With Teamwork And Partnerships, Successes Experienced In Millennium Villages Can Be Extended Globally

In this post in the Huffington Post’s “Global Motherhood” blog, Jeffrey Sachs, director of the Earth Institute at Columbia University, Sonia Sachs, director of health at the Millennium Villages Project (MVP), and Prabhjot Singh, assistant professor of international and public affairs at the MVP, respond to a study on the MVP, published in the Lancet on Tuesday, writing, “These results … reinforce the global effort to build effective, low-cost, community-led health care systems that can end millions of deaths of young children and pregnant women each year.” They note, “Together with advances in food production and other related areas in the villages, the MV health system shares credit for the rapid gains reported.”

“Across the nine countries included in the Millennium Villages Lancet study (Ghana, Kenya, Malawi, Mali, Nigeria, Rwanda, Senegal, Tanzania, and Uganda), five elements of the new health systems are re-defining what is possible in rural poor settings in sub-Saharan Africa,” they continue. The authors write that these elements include community health workers, procedures and decision support, mobile phones for health management, low-cost devices for disease detection and management, and the implementation of a “verbal autopsy” system. They conclude, “We continue to see rapid progress as new technologies, smart phones, wireless broadband, and improved medicines and diagnostic tests come to the aid of poor communities. With teamwork and global partnerships, these successes can be extended throughout the world’s poorest villages” (5/7).