MOMENTUM Sponsors CORE Group’s Global Health Practitioner Conference
Published on January 22, 2021
The Global Health Practitioner Conference is CORE Group’s flagship annual conference where implementers, academics, governments, donors, United Nations agencies, the private sector, and other community health advocates convene for a multi-day, content-rich meeting that features knowledge sharing and skills-building sessions, recent evidence on cross-sectoral technical areas, dialogues on community health, and professional networking. This 2021 conference took place virtually on January 27-28, 2021, with the theme of Unlocking Potential: Prioritizing Child & Adolescent Health in the New Decade.
MOMENTUM was a sponsor of the conference and lead several sessions across the two days:
Adolescents and Youth Speak Up!: Youth-led Social Accountability for Family Planning and Reproductive Health
Callie Simon, an Adolescent and Youth Health Advisor from MOMENTUM Country and Global Leadership (MCGL) presented findings from a new MCGL landscape analysis on youth social accountability (YSA) and led a panel with youth advocates and leaders from Zimbabwe and Nepal. The advocates spoke about their experiences with youth social accountability programs, how they have improved health services, and how youth social accountability has elevated youth voices and opportunities for representation by young women. The youth also highlighted challenges such as ageism, resistance from the community, and difficulty sustaining momentum as youth age out. The report’s main recommendations include: improving YSA program documentation and learning, prioritizing investment in youth-led organizations to lead social accountability, investing in YSA efforts that target multiple levels of the health system, and shifting from tool-focused approaches to supporting youth movements for accountability. Youth advocates responded to questions on how to adapt programs to COVID-19 and fragile settings, and how to involve parents and faith-based organizations.
Partnerships and Engagement: Breaking Down Silos to Transform Care and Unlock Potential for the Smallest and Most Vulnerable Citizens of the Future
Partners from MOMENTUM Country and Global Leadership (MCGL) shared insights on successful interventions to address the needs of the smallest and sickest under the theme, partnerships and engagement. Neena Khadka, Newborn Focal Point at MCGL, along with practitioners from hospitals in New Delhi, India, described the poor quality of care observed in neonatal intensive care units (NICUs) with resource limitations and the need for more emotional, developmental, and psychosocial support for babies and families. Family centered care and “Mother in NICU” units are innovative strategies that allow mothers to stay and engage with their babies 24/7, so they can be the primary caregiver, breastfeed, and provide kangaroo mother care. This approach lessened the responsibilities of overworked nursing staff and encouraged mother-baby bonding. Panelists outlined the tools used to educate mothers and the process used for intervention scale-up. A randomized controlled trial provided evidence of improved care that is already being used to inform scale up in India. Findings from the Mother in-NICU intervention will be published and shared shortly.
Humanitarian Development Nexus/Fragility & Conflict: Reimagining Benchmarks for iCCM Scale-Up in Fragile Settings
MOMENTUM Integrated Health Resilience (MIHR), Knowledge Accelerator (MKA), and USAID presented during the conference on the theme of fragility & conflict. The panelists focused on scaling-up Integrated Community Case Management (iCCM) of childhood illnesses in fragile settings, sharing a case study from the Democratic Republic of the Congo which piloted iCCM in 2005 and scaled up in 2007. Using data from the DHS and MICS, little to no change in care-seeking behaviors was observed from 2001 to 2018, despite significant investment. The panelists used this case study to facilitate an interactive discussion with audience members about re-imagining iCCM scale-up models for fragile settings. The very engaged audience highlighted challenges such as motivating community health workers (CHWs), the inability of CHWs to access all populations, the quality of supplies and drugs without strong regulatory systems, security concerns, and the need for sustainable sources of funding.
Make sure to visit the MOMENTUM digital booth and engage directly with MOMENTUM staff members and technical experts via a live chat function. Participants will also be able to access various program resources.
Registration for the CORE Group Global Health Practitioner Conference is free and open to anyone who is interested.