Jhpiego is an international nonprofit health organization and an affiliate of Johns Hopkins University. Jhpiego’s programs are primarily centered on the prevention of unnecessary deaths of women and children in developing countries. The organization works on the front lines in urban slums and rural settings to design accessible and affordable healthcare solutions. Jhpiego is currently active in 40 countries, concentrated in Africa, Asia, Latin America and the Caribbean.

The organization works with healthcare professionals, influential community members and government leaders to deliver quality healthcare for those in need. It also focuses on developing sustainable strategies for communities in developing countries to manage their own well-being. Jhpiego trains local healthcare workers, improves the quality of community health systems and makes delivery of care, services or products more efficient and dependable. It focuses on developing technologies and solutions that can be used both in hospitals or in the home. The organization’s provision of affordable healthcare for women and families ensures of level of care previously unattainable by many of the recipients.

Jhpiego began as an acronym for the Johns Hopkins Program for International Education in Gynecology and Obstetrics, yet the organization has now expanded its efforts to tackle issues such as the prevention and treatment of HIV/AIDS, infection, malaria, tuberculosis and cervical cancer. Jhpiego’s science division also researches innovative technology that has the potential to help poor and vulnerable communities. The ultimate goal is sustainability—giving poor communities the tools and education they need to build a foundation of good health and continue the cycle without outside assistance or aid.

As an affiliate of a prestigious university, Jhpiego has the advantage of being well-connected. In June 2014, the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) awarded $500 million to Jhpiego to fund a program to alleviate maternal and child mortality. Jhpiego is currently using the funds to spearhead a five-year program centered around preventing child deaths due to treatable causes like diarrhea and pneumonia. By working in conjunction with other partners and nonprofits, Jhpiego seeks to create a network of aid to mothers and children in need.

Jhpiego will use the funds to provide cost-effective vaccines and antibiotics to the 24 countries with the highest numbers of child mortality. Jhpiego will also provide other medical equipment, train community medical providers and reach out to women in slums and rural areas. The USAID funds will be used to research prevention and treatments for the leading causes of death for mothers and children. Among mothers, the leading causes of mortality include uncontrolled bleeding after birth, infections and high blood pressure during pregnancy. Among newborns, asphyxia and low birth rate. And among young children, pneumonia, malaria and diarrhea.

Since 1990, the global child mortality rate has nearly been halved. Yet Jhpiego’s efforts instill hope that the number can be further lowered. Jhpiego works with NGOs and government policymakers alike to increase accessibility to quality health services. By focusing on sustainable, cost-effective health solutions, Jhpiego can help provide care for underrepresented, vulnerable populations.

– Mari LeGagnoux 

Sources: Baltimore Sun, Jhpiego
Photo: Jhpiego