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Baltimore Highlands, MD, United States

McGuire S.,University of East Anglia | Sperling L.,Catholic Relief Services
Food Security | Year: 2016

Seed can be an important entry point for promoting productivity, nutrition and resilience among smallholder farmers. While investments have primarily focused on strengthening the formal sector, this article documents the degree to which the informal sector remains the core for seed acquisition, especially in Africa. Conclusions drawn from a uniquely comprehensive data set, 9660 observations across six countries and covering 40 crops, show that farmers access 90.2 % of their seed from informal systems with 50.9 % of that deriving from local markets. Further, 55 % of seed is paid for by cash, indicating that smallholders are already making important investments in this arena. Targeted interventions are proposed for rendering formal and informal seed sector more smallholder-responsive and for scaling up positive impacts. © 2015 The Author(s) Source

Plucinski M.M.,Centers for Disease Control and Prevention | Guilavogui T.,National Malaria Control Programme | Sidikiba S.,Maferinyah Rural Health Research Center | Diakite N.,National Malaria Control Programme | And 11 more authors.
The Lancet Infectious Diseases | Year: 2015

Background: The ongoing west Africa Ebola-virus-disease epidemic has disrupted the entire health-care system in affected countries. Because of the overlap of symptoms of Ebola virus disease and malaria, the care delivery of malaria is particularly sensitive to the indirect effects of the current Ebola-virus-disease epidemic. We therefore characterise malaria case management in the context of the Ebola-virus-disease epidemic and document the effect of the Ebola-virus-disease epidemic on malaria case management. Methods: We did a cross-sectional survey of public health facilities in Guinea in December, 2014. We selected the four prefectures most affected by Ebola virus disease and selected four randomly from prefectures without any reported cases of the disease. 60 health facilities were sampled in Ebola-affected and 60 in Ebola-unaffected prefectures. Study teams abstracted malaria case management indicators from registers for January to November for 2013 and 2014 and interviewed health-care workers. Nationwide weekly surveillance data for suspect malaria cases reported between 2011 and 2014 were analysed independently. Data for malaria indicators in 2014 were compared with previous years. Findings: We noted substantial reductions in all-cause outpatient visits (by 23 103 [11%] of 214 899), cases of fever (by 20249 [15%] of 131 330), and patients treated with oral (by 22 655 [24%] of 94 785) and injectable (by 5219 [30%] of 17 684) antimalarial drugs in surveyed health facilities. In Ebola-affected prefectures, 73 of 98 interviewed community health workers were operational (74%, 95% CI 65-83) and 35 of 73 were actively treating malaria cases (48%, 36-60) compared with 106 of 112 (95%, 89-98) and 102 of 106 (96%, 91-99), respectively, in Ebola-unaffected prefectures. Nationwide, the Ebola-virus-disease epidemic was estimated to have resulted in 74 000 (71 000-77 000) fewer malaria cases seen at health facilities in 2014. Interpretation: The reduction in the delivery of malaria care because of the Ebola-virus-disease epidemic threatens malaria control in Guinea. Untreated and inappropriately treated malaria cases lead to excess malaria mortality and more fever cases in the community, impeding the Ebola-virus-disease response. Funding: Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria, and President's Malaria Initiative. © 2015 Elsevier Ltd. Source

Jere E.,Catholic Relief Services | Cohen J.,Allegheny General Hospital | Imasiku M.,University of Lusaka | Mayeya J.,Ministry of Health
Child Abuse and Neglect | Year: 2013

To monitor and evaluate the feasibility of implementing Trauma Focused-Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (TF-CBT) to address trauma and stress-related symptoms in orphans and vulnerable children (OVC) in Zambia as part of ongoing programming within a non-governmental organization (NGO). As part of ongoing programming, voluntary care-workers administered locally validated assessments to identify children who met criteria for moderate to severe trauma symptomatology. Local lay counselors implemented TF-CBT with identified families, while participating in ongoing supervision. Fifty-eight children and adolescents aged 5-18 completed the TF-CBT treatment, with pre- and post-assessments. The mean number of traumas reported by the treatment completers (N= 58) was 4.11. Post assessments showed significant reductions in severity of trauma symptoms (p<. 0.0001), and severity of shame symptoms (p<. 0.0001). Our results suggest that TF-CBT is a feasible treatment option in Zambia for OVC. A decrease in symptoms suggests that a controlled trial is warranted. Implementation factors monitored suggest that it is feasible to integrate and evaluate evidence-based mental health assessments and intervention into programmatic services run by an NGO in low/middle resource countries. Results also support the effectiveness of implementation strategies such as task shifting, and the Apprenticeship Model of training and supervision. © 2013 Elsevier Ltd. Source

Ferris S.,Catholic Relief Services | Engoru P.,International Center for Tropical Agriculture | Kaganzi E.,CHF International Rwanda
Cahiers Agricultures | Year: 2014

To assist smallholder farmer commercialisation, a new generation of low-cost market information services (MIS) has been developed in Uganda. These MIS services take advantage of new information and communication technologies (ICT). They help farmers to monitor market conditions in local, national, and export markets. Although there is much interest in market information from farmers, traders, and service providers, there is scepticism from donors about the effectiveness and sustainability of market information services. This study evaluated how farmers access and use market information to improve their market decision-making and support group marketing. Survey results found that farmers were able to access and use market information successfully. The cost of the service was relatively low and was able to serve more than 4.5 million farming households on a weekly basis. Up to 58% of farmers who used market information services indicated they achieved financial gains, with average gains of 16% above prevailing market prices for individual farmers, and 24% for farmers in groups. Source

Longevity of piped water-supply systems remains an elusive goal in rural Madagascar. In 1999, the local enterprise Sandandrano negotiated the first public-private partnership (PPP) in the Malagasy water-supply sector. Other companies have followed suit and now there are at least 20 piped water systems under private management in the country, collectively providing services to an estimated 120,000 people in rural areas. This paper explores the evolution of the PPP model for the construction and management of piped water systems in rural Madagascar. Three case studies highlight how PPP has proven effective at sustaining service levels in three geographically diverse settings. Four key factors that have contributed to making the PPP model successful are discussed: political will, size and geographic location, latent demand, and donor support. The paper also shares recommendations for replicating the model in large rural towns where the opportunities are greatest, and the cycle of construction, mismanagement, and abandonment of piped water systems is most pervasive. © Practical Action Publishing, 2012. Source

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