2021 Self-Care Learning and
Discovery Series

24 June – 27 August 2021

about sclads 2021

The first edition of the Self-Care Learning and Discovery Series featured 16 virtual sessions organized by diverse partners on various self-care topics, including self-care in humanitarian settings, digital health, menstrual health, adolescents and youth sexual and reproductive health and rights, and self-care decision-making.

Each session featured examples and discussions of self-care evidence, advocacy, and practice through interactive panels, participatory dialogues, and more.

White Ribbon Alliance (WRA) hosted the first edition on behalf of the SCTG with over 55 co-organizers. The 2021 SCLADS mobilized 1,858 registrants from 119 countries, of which about 66% were from the Global South. All sessions were available in English, French, and Spanish, including closed English captioning.

Click on the session titles below to access each session’s details, recordings, and PowerPoint presentations.


This report collates powerful content from the 16 sessions at the 2021 SCLADS. It highlights promising self-care practices, key learning questions, advocacy asks, living case studies, resources, and more collected across the sessions. It is an essential tool to inform and ignite action to advance self-care in any context.

Event Description: WASH United, Days for Girls, and MIET Africa in collaboration with the Global Menstrual Collective (GMC) How can supportive self-care environments help to catalyze advancements in menstrual equity? Join leaders and innovators in the field of menstrual health as we explore this question through an interactive session. Looking across the full course of the menstrual cycle and the reproductive life span, we will examine links between self-care and menstrual health through four main lenses: mental wellbeing, physical wellbeing, menstrual materials and products, and education. Each of the four sections will offer learnings from the field about challenges that menstruators face and showcase speakers who are innovating new solutions, both physical and digital. Informational segments will be followed by activities including surveys, videos, brainstorms, and breakout rooms designed to surface new ideas and questions. Through their participation, attendees will contribute to collaborative deliverables that will live beyond the session itself, serving as a basis for advocacy to raise awareness and further explore connections between supportive self care environments and menstrual health.

Event Organizers: WASH United, Days for Girls, and MIET Africa in collaboration with the Global Menstrual Collective (GMC)


Laura Amaya

Associate Partner, Dalberg, United Kingdom

Laura Amaya is an Associate Partner in Dalberg’s London office. She works with a range of foundations, companies, and non-profit organizations on the design social impact strategies, in particular on embedding a gender lens. She has worked extensively on menstrual health and hygiene (MHH), including with the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and The Case for Her. She also advised PSI India on the strategy for a new social business unit focused on expanding access to family planning to women across India’s states of Uttar Pradesh and Bihar. Laura has published several reports and articles on approaches to advancing gender equity, including the 2020 report on the state of MHH around the world (Advancing Gender Equity by Improving Menstrual Health). Laura is also a frequent speaker at global conferences and events, including those organized by the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA), the Aspen Network of Development Entrepreneurs (ANDE), and WASH United. Prior to joining Dalberg, Laura was an Associate Director at FSG, where she co-led the firm’s Gender and Latin America practices. She also sits on the Board of The Vavengers, a UK-based charity committed to fighting gender-based violence and female genital mutilation across the UK. Laura is also a qualified architect and holds a Bachelor of Architecture degree from Cornell University. She is Colombian, and has lived and worked across Latin America, South Asia, Sub-Saharan Africa, the US and Europe.

Dr. Mags Beksinska

Dr. Mags Beksinska has worked in the field of SRH for 25 years and her research has included clinical and operations studies in a broad area of reproductive health with a focus on barrier methods for dual protection. She has specialized in research on female condoms (FCs) and is a member of the UNFPA/WHO FC Technical Review Committee and involved in the development of International Standards and Specifications for condoms. She was an author of the WHO/UNFPA Female Condom Specifications. With regards to menstrual health, Mags has been involved in several menstrual cup acceptability studies and more recently in the assessment of menstrual health management (MHM) in senior primary schools in three provinces in South Africa. She has been involved in local efforts to raise awareness of MHM issues in young women in schools and further education institutions. Beyond her research activities, she is actively involved in Global FC programming and advocacy. Dr. Beksinska has a Bachelor of Science in Genetics and Cell Biology, a Masters in the Neurophysiological Basis of Behaviour and her PhD focused on the effect of hormonal contraception on bone mineral density in adolescent and perimenopausal women. She has authored over 100 peer-reviewed publications.

Dr. Renjini Devaki, PhD

Monitoring and Evaluation Manager, MIET AFRICA, South Africa and Mags Beksinska, Deputy Executive Director, MatCH Research Unit, Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, University of Witwatersrand, South Africa

Dr. Renjini Devaki holds a Ph.D. in sociology. She worked on projects concerning women and children in India, Canada and South Africa. She has published books on women and social security. Renjini is a Monitoring and Evaluation specialist and has experience in working with non-profit organisations. Currently, she is engaged in projects involving children with a focus on retention, absenteeism, teen pregnancy, and knowledge and skills in menstrual health management in South Africa. She works for MIET Africa.

Barghavi Govindarajan

Co-founder, Hey Period.

Barghavi Govindarajan is co-founder and CEO of digiD8 (A George Church company) which is building a planet-scale operating system for women. She is passionate about optimizing science for social impact. Her mission is to create a world where every woman can effortlessly and confidently make health-informed decisions every single day. Barghavi’s extensive engineering career has multiple defining moments including the acquisition of Actifio by Google, instrumented by her leadership of the first-ever SaaS/ Cloud copy-data protection product initiative. Prior to Actifio, she managed the global Engineering Development Group at MathWorks which serves millions of daily active users.  Barghavi holds a Master’s degree from Harvard University in Education as well as a Master’s & Bachelor’s Degree in Engineering from Tufts University and BITS, Pilani respectively.

Melanie Wilkinson

Consultant, UNICEF South Africa

Melanie Wilkinson is currently the consultant for the UNICEF South Africa’s WASH programme, overseeing UNICEF South Africa’s installation of handwashing with soap stations across the nine provinces of the country.  She has been involved in the WASH sector for more than 20-years and has provided support to the Department of Women, Youth and Persons and Disabilities on the sanitary dignity programme and the development of the sanitary dignity implementation framework. She also conducted the feasibility study for MHH in the Mpumalanga province and has for many years supported efforts related to sanitation hygiene and handwashing, menstrual health, and water supply.

Naana Abena Afadi

Program Manager, Days for Girls Ghana, Ghana

Naana Abena Afadi is a project management professional at Days for Girls Ghana Office. As a program Manager, she leads Menstrual Hygiene and Health Program Design and Implementation, Partnership building and Advocacy activities in the West Africa office in Accra. One of the highlights of her current role involves building and nurturing partnership relationships among organizations working in the sector of Menstrual Hygiene  and Health as well as WASH to advocate for the Creation for a Washable Standard of Menstrual Products in Ghana. 

Event Description: Although self-care for sexual and reproductive (SRH) health has been practiced for many years, new and emerging products are putting self-care within our reach like never before. This dynamic session will explore the landscape of SRH self-use products—from what’s in the development pipeline and regulatory and policy barriers and enablers, to lessons learned from introduction and scale up of self-care products in low- and middle-income countries. Case studies from self-care in HIV and family planning will showcase HIV self-testing and self-injection of subcutaneous DMPA—two areas where evidence has informed implementation and advocacy to strengthen the enabling environment for self-care in recent years. Bring your experiences, ideas, and questions on how we can best design and deliver SRH self-care products that meet user needs and preferences and are accessible in a variety of contexts and channels.


Olarewanju Ramon Babamole

National Youth Network on HIV/AIDS in Nigeria

Olanrewaju Ramon Babamole is a youth activist, community organizer, and HIV advocate, as well as the current Lagos State Coordinator of National Youth Network on HIV/AIDS in Nigeria (NYNETHA), a network of more than 100 youth-led and youth focused organizations in Lagos State. He is currently Secretary of Lagos State Technical working group on HIV Prevention, a member of resources mobilization under Lagos State AIDS Control Agency, and a member of Youth and Adolescent Technical Working group under Lagos State Ministry of Health/UNFPA. He holds BSc in Sociology from University of Ilorin and Bsc criminology in view with Atlantic International University.

Margaret Njenga

Population Services Kenya

Dr. Margaret Njenga is the Chief Operating Officer at Population Services Kenya which works on getting HIV self-tests (HIVST) into the hands of hard-to-reach groups, such as youth and men, and first-time testers. Dr. Njenga is a public health leader with a Master’s Degree in Public Health (MPH) and 13 years hands on experience in health programs design, implementation, monitoring and evaluation. Her thematic areas of expertise include HIV, TB, Reproductive, Maternal, New-born, Child & Adolescent Health, Malaria Control and Elimination and Health Systems Strengthening.

Zachariah Khawai

The Link Empowerment Initiative

Zachariah Kahwai is the Managing Director of The Link Empowerment Initiative Githurai which is based in Githurai, Nairobi, Kenya. Zachariah is also the founder of Nairobi Y2Y Beauty Pageant which is an annual event which is celebrated every year on the International Youth Day (12th August). As a champion for change, and having roots in Githurai, which is an informal settlement in Nairobi, Zachariah is courageous and is dedicated to delivering the best of his local community and Kenya at large.

Bibiche Izale Kwanzimi

Pathfinder Democratic Republic of Congo

Bibiche Izale Kwanzimi is a Medical Doctor with a master’s degree in Family Medicine. She is Pathfinder International’s Country Coordinator for the DMPA-SC Scale-Up Monitoring Project in DRC since 2019. Prior to joining Pathfinder, Bibiche worked with Pricewaterhouse Coopers as a monitoring and evaluation expert and with SANRU as a research officer.

Laminou Mamane Aichatou

Pathfinder Niger

Laminou Mamane Aichatou joined Pathfinder in 2020 to manage the pilot project on expanding contraceptive access in Niger through self-administration of DMPA-SC. Her program experience includes working with Help, Helen Keller International, Marie Stopes International and state institutions in various positions of responsibility. She has a Master’s in Nutrition and is passionate about maternal and child health and quality care.

Jérémie Zoungrana

Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation

Dr. Jeremie Zoungrana is the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation (BMGF) Nigeria Country Office (NCO) Director since January 2021. As NCO Director, he leads the team in the execution of the foundation’s strategy in Nigeria and expands the foundation’s local presence by building and strengthening our relationships with the federal and state government, Nigerian businesses, traditional and religious leaders, non-governmental organizations, and civil society organizations—with the goal of supporting Nigeria’s own development agenda. Dr. Zoungrana, a health sociologist, program management and public health specialist, brings more than two decades of leadership and experience managing complex, large-scale family planning; reproductive health; maternal, newborn and child health; HIV; and community health projects across both the public and private sectors in sub-Saharan Africa.

Saumya Ramara0

Population Council

Saumya Ramarao is a Senior Associate at the Population Council, and chair of the New and Under-Used Reproductive Health Technologies (NURHT) Caucus of the Reproductive Health Supplies Coalition. She is an economic-demographer with three decades of experience in policy, implementation science research, capacity building and working to advance health and rights in low and middle-income countries. Over the past decade, she has led the introduction of contraceptive vaginal rings in sub-Saharan Africa and India. She has also led evaluations of other self-care technologies including emergency contraceptive pills.

Catherine Kidiga

Population Services International

Dr. Catherine Kidiga works at Population Services International as the project lead for HIV self-test challenge fund, whose main objective is to catalyze the market for HIVST. She received her master’s degree in public health from the University of London School of Tropical Medicine and has 10 years of experience in designing, implementing, and evaluating HIV programs in Kenya.

Allen Namagembe

DMPA-SC Access Collaborative/PATH

Allen Namagembe is a clinical epidemiologist and a biostatistician with over 10 years of experience in research, monitoring and evaluation, data management, and policy advocacy. She is currently working for PATH as Uganda’s Deputy Project Director and M&E Lead on the DMPA-SC Access Collaborative project. Allen also serves as a global and regional expert on self-injection and is a member of the Uganda self-care expert group. She has developed and implemented numerous research protocols to study feasibility, acceptability, continuation, and rollout of self-injection of DMPA-SC.

Frehiwot Getahun Birhanu

Clinton Health Access Initiative Malawi

Frehiwot Getahun Birhanu is a senior Public Health expert with over fifteen years of experience in Sub-Saharan Africa in areas of Sexual and Reproductive Health, Human and Institutional Capacity Building and Program Development and Management. Currently, she is working with the Clinton Health Access Initiative (CHAI) Malawi country office as Senior Program Manager leading the SRMNH portfolio. In her current role at CHAI Malawi, Frehiwot leads the DMPA-SC project that is supporting the Malawi Ministry of Health in the rollout of DMPA-SC.

Yaba Essien

Jhpiego Togo

Yaba Essien, a public health midwife, joined Jhpiego-Togo in 2019 as DMPA-SC Program Officer then Country Program Manager. In this capacity, she has contributed to the strengthening of providers in the introduction and scale up of DMPA-SC, including self-injection. Prior to Jhpiego Togo, Ms. Essien worked at the Directorate of Mother and Child Health as the national focal point for PAC-FP and PPFP.

Ebony Easley

DMPA-SC Access Collaborative/John Snow, Inc.

Ebony Easley serves as the Deputy Director and Monitoring, Evaluation, and Learning Lead for the Access Collaborative at JSI. The Access Collaborative is a CIFF and Gates funded partnership between PATH and JSI. Ebony is a monitoring, evaluation, learning, and adaptive management specialist with nearly 10 years of experience improving global health and health systems. She has a deep background in qualitative and mixed-methods research, and has worked domestically and internationally in community based participatory research and program design, implementation, and evaluation.

Lester Chinery

Concept Foundation

Lester Chinery is Director of Programmes at Concept Foundation with responsibility for the research and innovation, country support and market access and manufacturing and development program areas within the organization. Lester has over 30 years of executive level Reproductive Health/Family Planning experience working with Concept Foundation, the International Planned Parenthood Federation (IPPF) and its subsidiary company ICON Ltd, which he founded in 2000, serving as its Managing Director/IPPF Director of Procurement Services until 2008. He is a leading expert on the quality of reproductive health medicines and the pharmaceutical manufacturing industry.

Event Description: Digital health is revolutionizing health care by providing the platform to facilitate and promote self-care, thereby increasing access and equity to essential health information and services. The expansion of mobile phones, smartphone applications, internet access and artificial intelligence is enabling people to engage in self-care in new ways. This session will highlight the role of digital health in self-care. Presenters will share their experiences and challenges with using digital health technology in research settings, during the COVID-19 pandemic and when providing services to low socio-economic groups. The session will also introduce the participants to the Digital Health Framework, developed by HealthEnabled in partnership with the Self-Care Trailblazers Group, share experiences of utilizing it, and promote its use to guide the design and implementation of self-care interventions.


Laxmi Rao

Senior Director SBCC, Pathfinder, India

K Laxmi Rao is the Senior Director SBCC for the YUVAA Project in Pathfinder-India. He has over 15 years of public health experience, specializing in SBCC. He has worked on family planning, social marketing, NCD and WASH related global and national award winning SBCC campaigns. He is a staunch advocate of ‘inter-personal communication’ for behavior change.

Charles Otwori

Pathfinder, Kenya

Dr Charles Ondieki Otwori is a Senior Technical Advisor in maternal, newborn, and child health and technical lead for the USAID Afya Pwani project led by Pathfinder International in Kilifi County, Kenya. He is a medical doctor and a consultant obstetrician-gynecologist with over 15 years of experience in maternal and newborn health in the public and private sectors. He has expertise in service delivery as well as programming in maternal and newborn health, nutrition and WASH. He has a keen interest in strategic management, capacity building, continuous quality improvement, and self-care. Under his leadership, the mCPR of Kilifi county increased from 33% to 53 % , MPDSR from 60% to 100% , and postnatal care utilization from 39% to 69%. Charles has participated in the adaptation, development, and deployment of two digital solutions to enable self-care, on which he will share his valuable insights.

Patricia (Patty) Mechael

Co-founder and Policy Lead, HealthEnabled

Dr Patricia (Patty) Mechael is co-founder and policy lead at HealthEnabled, a South African based non-profit focused on nationally scaled integrated digital health systems. With over 20 years working in more than 40 countries, Patty is celebrated for her roles as thought leader, writer, researcher, professor and executive director of the mHealth Alliance and executive vice president of the Personal Connected Health Alliance. She currently leads the Global Digital Health Index and Maturity Model; Digital Self-care Framework; and advises on digital health and immunization with Gavi, the Vaccine Alliance as well as efforts to promote responsible artificial intelligence (AI) and the effective use of ICTs for the prevention and mitigation of sexual and gender-based violence (SGBV). Dr Mechael has a PhD from the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine and a Masters in Health Science from the Johns Hopkins School of Public Health.

Moses Wanami

Consultant, Plan A, Kenya

Moses Wanami is a consultant for the Plan A Project based in Kenya. He is a program management, social development and coordination specialist with over 13 years managing development programs for both local and international NGOs, with experience of working with international donors / funders, and strong understanding of donor policies and approaches.

Edna Anab

Digital Health Specialist and Health Coordinator, Kasha, Kenya

Edna Anab is currently working with Kasha as a Digital Health Specialist and Health Coordinator. She is experienced in both clinical management and program coordination, having worked with various local health facilities, non-governmental organizations and the Ministry of Health. She is a Registered Nurse (Bachelor of Science in Nursing and Public Health) and a Public Health Specialist (Masters in Public Health major Epidemiology and Population Health). She has a passion for sexual health. Edna played a key role in supporting National and County leadership towards spurring acceleration of the country’s effort to eliminate mother to child transmission of HIV and syphilis. She previously worked with the Kenya National HIV/STI Control Program (NASCOP) as a PMTCT (prevention of mother to child transmission of HIV) Technical Advisor on the PMTCT Rapid Response Team.

Fausiat Balogun

Country Social Media Engagement Coordinator, Delivering Innovation in Self-Care Project, Nigeria

Fausiat Modupe Balogun is a public health specialist with seven years’ work experience as a social worker in the non-profit sector. She has a master’s degree in Public Health (MPH) from the University of Ibadan, and currently works at Society for Family Health as the Country Social Media Engagement Coordinator. While working as the Program Officer (Communications) under the John Hopkins Center for communications, she was instrumental in increasing the knowledge of over 100 journalists and social media influencers on sexual and reproductive health issues which has impacted the lives of thousands of Nigerians positively to make informed decisions. Fausiat also runs an online forum; “Healthcommunicators” where she educates thousands of people on healthy lifestyle and wellbeing, and supports individuals make informed and healthy lifestyle choices. She is passionate about the reproductive rights of women and men.

Ajibola Olayiwola

Head, Marketing Konga E-commerce, Nigeria

Ajibola has more than 7 years of successful online to offline marketing and PR experience with quality certifications. He possesses a good track record in conceptualizing and implementing super-impressive media campaigns and strategic partnerships. He has worked as Marketing Lead on a number of global and local brands like Procter and Gamble (P&G), Nokia Mobile, Facebook, World Bank, UN, Heineken Global, Shell, Lufthansa Air, Friesland Campina WAMCO, NBC Universal, Flour Mills of Nigeria (FMN), GB Foods, Canon and many others. He previously managed the highest integrated digital spend in Nigeria and is currently the Head of Marketing of Nigeria’s largest eCommerce group, Konga. Ajibola has presented and led a number of pan-African webinars/sessions where he touched on topics of interest – Marketing, Digital Media, E-Commerce, Advertising, Social Media and more. He was recently named ‘Marketer Of The Year’ AdWorldMasters – https://adworldmasters.com/marketers-brands-of-the-year-nigeria/

Kendra Njoku

Quality Lead/Head of Programs, mDoc Healthcare, Nigeria

Kendra Njoku, MBBS MScPH FISQua, is a medical doctor and public health professional with wide and varied experience in global health both at the local and international frontiers. She is the Quality Lead/Head of Programs at mDoc, a digital health organization. She is leading mDoc’s digital health solutions and quality initiatives across several countries, including the MSD-funded Reducing Indirect Causes Of Maternal Mortality and Morbidity Project and the capacity building arm of mDoc via in-person and ProjectECHO tele-education series. She is at the frontline leading mDoc’s COVID-19 response across Africa, including managing the CompleteHealthTM digital platform, that provides guidance on self-care and lifestyle modifications to individuals living with regular and chronic health needs. She has an MScPH from London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, is a Fellow and Member of the International Society of Quality (ISQua) and serves as an Improvement Advisor/Faculty for the Institute for Healthcare Improvement.

Diana Santana

Regional Program Director for the Latin America Regional Office, Planned Parenthood Global

Diana has a background in program management and applied research, with a focus on gender, sexuality, reproductive health/family planning, and HIV. Diana worked as a research associate on the transition away from door-to-door contraception distribution in Bangladesh, and was a program evaluator on a cross-site HIV and substance abuse prevention program. She has provided pre-natal education and labor support to immigrant women in D.C., and spent over a year as the HIV program coordinator of an indigenous NGO in the Guatemalan rainforest. At Planned Parenthood Global, Diana leads the Peru program and is technical lead for service delivery, and is leading the effort to systematize community-based service delivery models. Diana has a degree in Anthropology and certificates in environmental studies, gender, and human rights.

Tania Socarras

Planned Parenthood Global, TBC


Event Description: Self-Care and Abortion: This session centers on understanding the pathways and choices along a person’s abortion self-care journey, as well as the support needed for their informed choice and access to quality products and care. Convened by the International Planned Parenthood Federation, Rutgers, Women on Web and Options Consultancy Services, we will be discussing the different pathways of abortion self-care, including through accompaniment models, the transformative opportunity presented by digital solutions, and the role of health systems.

Lilian Muchoki

Partnership Associate Women First Digital

Lilian is a fierce Feminist and a dedicated women rights activist with more than 8 years of experience in promoting the rights of women as an activist, trainer and facilitator. She has a background in sociology and political studies (B.A.) and is currently pursuing her M.A. in international relations and diplomacy, a field that has allowed her to interact with the politics surrounding a woman’s body. Lilian is passionate about gender equality and equity in access to sexual and reproductive health and rights and has for the last 4 years worked in advancing access to safe abortion information and care within Eastern Africa. Her current role at Women First Digital in Kenya involves promoting women’s access to sexual and reproductive health information and services through the currently available, and the ever-expanding digital technologies. 

Adriana Vallejos

Adriana is a feminist activist socorrista from Neuquén, in Argentine Patagonia. She is currently finishing her graduate degree in Psychology at the National University of Comahue, where she also participates in a research project on topics related to Community Psychology. She is part of the “Colectiva Feminista La Revuelta“, a local feminist organization with 20 years of experience, which integrates “Socorristas en Red“, an articulation of collectives in Argentina. As part of La Revuelta, she accompanies people in their abortion decisions and processes from the logic of the accompaniment device called “Socorro Rosa”. In addition to the accompaniments, being part of La Revuelta implies a territorial work of feminist activism: they carry on street interventions, collective virtual actions, dissemination campaigns, and collective training in various topics concerning feminist theories and politics.

Dr. Fekou Cyrille Eddy

CAMNAFAW, Cameroon

Dr Eddy Fekou is a general practitioner at the Cameroon National Association for Family Welfare (CAMNAFAW). He started his professional career as a consultant at Humanity First, a community-based organisation working in the fight against HIV among key populations. His career path led him to the Kids Aids as Medical Coordinator, where his skills were put to good use in improving the care of children living with HIV. Dr. Fekou joined CAMNAFAW in March 2017, as a clinician at the CAMNAFAW Medical Centre in Soa and he was subsequently promoted to Clinic Manager. His areas of expertise are in the field of sexual and reproductive health, including modern methods of contraception, gynaecological cancer screening, the management of STIs, gender-based violence, and safe abortion including surgical and medical management of abortion, 1st and 2nd trimester abortion, post-abortion care. He also has expertise in values clarification for positive attitudinal transformation in various aspects of SRH, particularly for adolescents and young people. He is currently the acting coordinator of the Global Comprehensive Abortion Care Initiative (GCACI) in Cameroon.


Event Description:

The first consolidated guideline on self-care interventions launched by the World Health Organization (WHO) in 2019 marked a paradigm shift to place individuals at the center of responsive and accountable health systems. Join us for a 90-minute interactive ‘talk show’ to learn about the WHO Consolidated Guideline on Self-Care Interventions for Health (2019)its recent 2021 updates, and how trailblazing countries are adapting the global guidance to scale-up self-care within national health systems as an approach to support universal health coverage. Moderated by the WHO, this session will showcase national experiences developing self-care policies and guidelines. Nigeria and Uganda will share their experiences pioneering the development of national self-care guidelines in 2020. Pakistan will share how they’re planning to approach self-care policy. Australia will share lessons from its National Policy Blueprint for Self-Care which provides a framework for action to achieve integration of self-care across Australia’s health system.


Dr. Fauzia Assad

Country Director, Jhpiego-Pakistan

Dr. Fauzia Assad, Country Director in Jhpiego- a Public Health Specialist and with an experience of Law and Management for over 20 years. She studied medicine from Karachi, had a clinical experience of Gynae/Obst and proceeded to work in a fast, upscale environment of Public Health in various INGOs. Passionate about women’s health and reproductive rights, the move to Jhpiego was a natural fit from technical advisor to now Director Program’s position. She is also regional mentor and Jhpiego designated expert trainer. She works at both the technical and policy levels. She believes in the volunteer work since her student life therefore is a member of UN reserve force, recipient of American Presidential Award on Community Work and Woman of the Millennium Award by South Asia Foundation along with other reputable awards at national level. Also nominated as women leadership in UN women Chapter from Pakistan.

Dr Kayode Afolabi

Director, Reproductive Health Division of the Federal Ministry of Health

Dr Kayode Afolabi, Director, Reproductive Health Division of the Federal Ministry of Health, Nigeria has 30 years of experience in the field of Reproductive Maternal Newborn Child and Adolescent Health (RMNCAH) in Nigeria. He also served the Oyo State Government of Nigeria as Honourable Commissioner of Health. Currently Dr. Kayode Afolabi provides leadership in Sexual and Reproductive Health System Strengthening, Government Policy Development, and Development/Humanitarian Programme Coordination in RMNCAH towards improving health of mothers, adolescents and children under five in Nigeria.

Dr. Lillian Sekabembe

Deputy Country Director, Population Services International Uganda

Dr. Lillian Sekabembe is a public health specialist and development leader with 15 years’ work experience in the health sector at community and national levels as well as resource limited and emergency relief settings. She is currently the Deputy Country Representative at Population Services International (PSI) Uganda. Dr. Lillian holds a Master’s degree in Public Health and a Bachelor of Science in Human Medicine and Surgery from Makerere University. Additionally, she attained a Diploma in Leadership and Management from the University of Los Angeles.

Dr Olumuyiwa Ojo

National Professional Officer, Maternal, Sexual and Reproductive Health, World Health Organization, Abuja, Nigeria

Dr Olumuyiwa Ojo MBBS, MPH is a Public health practitioner with over a decade-long experience at various levels of health-care delivery, Health system strengthening interventions, RMNCH programs, Implementation research, HIV/AIDS, TB and Malaria projects. He is presently the focal point for Maternal, Sexual and reproductive health programs with World Health Organization Nigeria. He is the Country focal point for WHO-led MNCH QOC network and support implementation at Federal and health facilities in the network. Before his present role, he worked on implementation of evidence-based and policy-driven health system strengthening interventions to improve performance, capacity and overall management of Health workers geared towards improving the Health system to deliver quality MNCH services.

Roselyn Odeh

Deputy Team Lead, Delivering Innovation in Self-Care, Society for Family Health, Nigeria

Roselyn works at Society for Family Health Nigeria and is the deputy team lead for the Delivering Innovation in Self-Care project. A proponent of value for money, she is particularly interested in advancing innovative approaches and harmonisation of resources/alignment of plans for efficiency and effectiveness in the delivery of health programmes. With over 15 years’ experience in managing family planning, adolescents’ sexual health and HIV programmes, Roselyn has strengthened community health systems and civil society organisations to deliver health and development interventions. Currently in DISC, she is working with national stakeholders to strengthen capacity for delivering self-care interventions. She holds a MSc. in Gender Studies and Communication.

Professor Rosemary Calder

Director, Australian Health Policy Collaboration, Victoria, Australia

Professor Rosemary Calder has worked in health policy for more than two decades and heads up the Mitchell Institute’s Australian Health Policy Collaboration (AHPC). AHPC brings together more than 60 of Australia’s leading health policy experts to advise on the future direction of the country’s health policy. Professor Calder has held positions as a senior executive in health policy and administration in both State and Commonwealth Departments of Health and was head of the Office for the Status of Women in the Commonwealth Department of Prime Minister and Cabinet from 2000 to 2003. She was awarded a Member of the Order of Australia (AM) in the 2015 Australia Day Honours. She received the honour for “significant service to public administration, particularly in the areas of mental health and ageing, through academic roles, and to the community.” She is a member of the Expert Steering Committee advising the Federal Government on the development of a 10 year National Preventive Health Strategy.

Dr. Dinah Nakiganda Busiku

Assistant Commissioner Adolescent and School Health, Ministry of Health, Kampala, Uganda

Dr Dinah Nakiganda- Busiku is the Assistant Commissioner for Adolescent and School Health at the Ministry of Health, Uganda. She believes in empowering and supporting adolescents and young people to reach their fullest potential in life and believes that selfcare is one of the ways this can be done. She is a public health specialist from the University of Sydney, Australia and the current Chair of the Uganda National Self-care expert group.

Dr. Olive Setumbwe Mugisa

Family Health and Population Advisor, World Health Organization, Kampala, Uganda

Dr. Olive Sentumbwe-Mugisa works with the WHO Country Office Uganda as the Family Health and Population Officer. Her major responsibility relates to reproductive and maternal health, including mainstreaming gender and health of elderly populations. She works with the Ugandan Ministry of Health to support policy, guidelines, and evidence based program implementation, monitoring and evaluation.


Event Description: This session aims to illustrate and cement the need for more coordinated learning and metrics for self-care, and to share some practical experiences on how to do so at the global and country level. The presenters will use interactive approaches, including polls, Q&A, and talk-show and game-show approaches to engage participants and solicit feedback on specific questions. The session ends with a Call to Action to coordinate and align around measurement of self-care. At the end of the session, participants will leave with ideas on how to identify research and learning questions and how to measure self-care. 

Recording is unavailable. We apologize for the inconvenience.


Dr. Holly M. Burke

Scientist, FHI 360

Holly M. Burke, PhD, MPH has 20 years of experience conducting applied research focused on sexual and reproductive health, primarily in sub-Saharan Africa. She has held scientific leadership roles as the Principal or Co-Investigator for 18 studies utilizing various research methodologies resulting in 35 peer-reviewed journal articles. Since 2009, Dr. Burke has been FHI 360’s lead scientist on DMPA-SC and self-injection efforts and is a leading expert in this field.

Suzanne Kiwanuka

Makerere University, School of Public Health, Uganda

Suzanne is a Senior Lecturer in the Department of Health Policy Planning and Management at Makerere University School of Public health. She is a health systems researcher with keen interest in knowledge management, human resources for health, health policy, governance and maternal health.

Fatoumata Traore-Toure

FHI 360, Cote d’Ivoire

Fatoumata is Associate Director for BMGF REACH (Resiliency through Azithromycin for Children) at FHI 360. She is a medical doctor and PhD researcher (Epidemiology) who recently led a US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention-funded HIV research/ implementation project in Côte d’Ivoire for FHI 360. She is based in Côte d’Ivoire.

Dr. Dieudonne Bidashimwa

Associate Scientist, FHI 360

Dieudonne, an associate scientist at FHI 360, is leading a multi-country study on self-care acceptability under the R4S project. Before joining FHI, Dieudonne worked on a project piloting self-injection of DMPA-SC in the Democratic Republic of Congo, among other FP and MCH-related studies there.

Sruthi Chandrasekaran

Senior Project Manager, Ibis Reproductive Health

Sruthi Chandrasekaran leads work on self-managed abortion in India. She also serves as the Principal Investigator on several projects, including a research portfolio aimed at protecting and expanding access to abortion after the first trimester in the United States, and a mixed-method study documenting the medication abortion needs and preferences of Asian American and Pacific Islanders (AAPIs) in the United States.

Dr. Ugo Okoli

Deputy Country Director, Jhpiego Nigeria

Dr Ugo Okoli is the Project Director for the RICOM3 Project focused on reducing the indirect causes of maternal morbidity and mortality in Lagos State the Federal Capital Territory (FCT)and funded by the MSD for Mothers. Dr Okoli is a seasoned public health specialist with extensive experience in strategic development and implementation of maternal and child health and quality of care programs.

Gillian Leitch

HIV Access Program Manager, CHAI

Gillian Leitch is focused on introducing and scaling optimal HIV testing strategies, including HIV self-testing. In her work, Gillian supports Ministries of Health in East and Southern Africa to set evidence-based HIV testing targets, strengthen national planning and decision-making, and mobilize resources for HIV testing services. She has more than six years of experience working with public- and private-sector global health partners to expand access to vaccines, family planning, and diagnostic products.

Simon Peter Kibira

Makerere University, School of Public Health, Uganda

Simon is a social and population scientist and a Lecturer at the School of Public Health at Makerere University. Simon has over 15 years’ experience in conducting, supervising, coordinating and managing research activities at different levels, and is a member of the Uganda Self-care expert group and the Uganda FP2030 National steering committee, among other groups.

Allen Namagembe

PATH, Uganda

Allen Namagembe is a clinical epidemiologist and a biostatistician with over 10 years of experience in research, monitoring and evaluation, data management, and policy advocacy. She is currently working for PATH as Uganda’s Deputy Project Director and M&E Lead on the DMPA-SC Access Collaborative project. Allen also serves as a global and regional expert on self-injection and is a member of the Uganda self-care expert group. She has developed and implemented numerous research protocols to study feasibility, acceptability, continuation, and rollout of self-injection of DMPA-SC.

Dr. Jean Christophe (JC) Fotso

Executive Director, Evihdaf

JC is the Founder and Executive Director of EVIHDAF (Evidence for Sustainable Human Development Systems in Africa), a research and evaluation organization headquartered in Yaounde, Cameroon, which serves the West and Central Africa region. He is a research and evaluation professional with over 20 years’ experience in family planning and reproductive health, maternal and child health, nutrition and food security, and health systems strengthening and an Adjunct Assistant Professor at the Gillings School of Global Public Health, University of North Carolina in Chapel Hill, USA.

Philip Chikolowere Mkandawire

Head of Marketing and Research, PSI Malawi

Philip is responsible for leading the development and execution of PSI Malawi research and marketing strategies and has 15 years of hands-on experience in research and marketing. He is very passionate at providing high quality, cutting edge research that helps to better understand complex profiles of consumers and how business can tap directly into their habits, aspirations and attitudes.


Event Description: Self-care is one of the most promising approaches to ensure that populations have efficient, adequate, and appropriate healthcare, particularly in the context of the third wave of the COVID-19, which is proving more deadly in most countries. Despite growing consensus on its role in the healthcare continuum, and a WHO definition, self-care has not become as embedded in health systems as it should be. There are many misconceptions around the concept of self-care and the benefits that self-care brings to health systems and consumer health outcomes. One of the most effective methods of transforming opposition to support is to demonstrate the value of self-care by showing the evidence on a social, health and economic level. This will also help to garner support from policymakers around the world.

In this session we will: Showcase the initiative by the National Self-Care Pioneers Group and the Senegalese Women’s Network for the Promotion of Family Planning (REFESPF) in promoting a strong advocacy campaign, leading to the integration of self-care in health policies in Senegal. Highlight current evidence on the benefits of self-care from the Global Self-Care Federation’s new report, the Self-Care Readiness Index, and recent studies on the socio-economic value of self-care.


Judy Stenmark

Director General, Global Self-Care Federation

Judy Stenmark, BSc MPH, has been leading the Global Self-Care Federation as Director General since September 2020. During that time, she has overseen a restructure and re branding of the organization and implemented a new direction – the Future of Self-Care Strategy. She has a background in health with a degree in physiotherapy and a Master’s degree in Public Health. A long-standing career leading global and national NGOs in the musculoskeletal arena, with an eight-year tenure as head of the International Osteoporosis Foundation in Nyon, Switzerland and nine years leading Osteoporosis Australia before that.  An Australian national, Judy has spent the last ten years living and working in Switzerland. In this time, she established a strong network within global healthcare institutions, including the World Health Organization, international scientific academia and among many global pharmaceutical and consumer health companies.  

Fatimata Deme

President, Senegalese Women’s Network for the Promotion of Family Planning (REFESPF)


Ida Ndione

Senior Program Manager, PATH Senegal

Juan Thompson

Director General, Latin American Association of Responsible Self-Care (ILAR)

Juan Thompson holds a degree from the Argentinian Business University (UADE) in Government and International Affairs with a specialization in Latin American Regional Integration. He has experience providing political, strategic and regulatory advice to companies, trade associations and government bodies in Latin America. In addition, he is involved in the analysis of key health stakeholders, at regional and international level, and their impact on the policy-making process in Latin America. Before joining ILAR, Juan worked for the Latin American Alliance for Responsible Nutrition (ALANUR) and the Brazilian Association of Foods (ABIAD) as Executive Director. He has managed the association’s interactions and representations with government officials at national and regional level such as Pacific Alliance, Mercosur, Codex Alimentarius, Latin American Parliament, Central American Integration Process and Pan American Health Organization, among others.

Jurate Švarcaite

Director General, European Association of the Self-Care Industry (AESGP)

Jurate Švarcaite is Director General of the Association of the European Self-Care Industry (AESGP). She is responsible for providing strategic direction and leadership while managing the day to day operations of the AESGP and its ongoing relationships with its member associations, companies and other stakeholders, as well as representing the self-care industry in various International, European and national forums. Her previous work experience includes the Secretary General position at the Pharmaceutical Group of the EU (PGEU), head of Pharmaceutical Care Department in Camelia Pharmacy Chain, Professional and Pharmaceutical Affairs Adviser position with the PGEU, Project Manager post in the London School of Pharmacy, University of London. Svarcaite holds an MA in Pharmacy degree from Kaunas University of Medicine, Kaunas, Lithuania. She went on to earn her Master of Science degree in Pharmacy Practice from The School of Pharmacy, University of London.

Farmata Seye

Program Associate, PATH Senegal


Event Description: Policy and Legal Frameworks to Support Self-Care during COVID-19 and Beyond: This session will discuss the different obligations of duty bearers and right’s holders in the promoting self-care capability in a way that is person-centred and sustainable in the context of the healthcare system. We will consider the example of how countries are aligning with the WHO Guideline for Self-Care Interventions, and more broadly the importance of enabling the legal and policy environment to promote self-care in the new setting.


Dr. Moses Mulumba

Director of at Center for Health, Human Rights and Development Uganda

Mulumba Moses is a Lawyer with special interest in International Human Rights, Global Health and Sexual Reproductive Health and Rights. He has a Bachelor’s of Laws (LLB), Post Graduate Bar qualification, Master of Laws and Master of Philosophy in health sciences. Mulumba has widely researched, published and taught in the various areas of global health and international human rights.

He has been an African Advisor to the HIV and the Law Commission and a former board member to the Uganda National Drug Authority (NDA). Mr. Mulumba has successfully been a principle and co-investigator on a number of research projects funded among others IDRC, SIDA, Rockefeller Foundation, the Ford Foundation, European Union, the Canadian Institute for Health Research (CIHR) and the European Space Agency. His recent projects include serving as a legal researcher on a scoping assessment of the global financing facility (GFF) implementation in Uganda and study on developing the regulatory aspects for Satellite-Enhanced Telemedicine and eHealth for sub-Saharan Africa (eHSA).

Dr. Austen El-Osta

Director of the Self-Care Academic Research Unit (SCARU) at Imperial College London

Dr Austen EL-Osta is Director of the Self-Care Academic Research Unit (SCARU) at Imperial College London School of Public Health. He is also Director & Trustee of the International Self-Care Foundation and is a fellow of the International College of Person-Centred Medicine. His initial contribution to the self-care space was the publication of the Self-Care Matrix which is a unifying framework for self-care. He also led the development of a pragmatic policy mapping tool that could be used at country level to assess levels of implementation of the WHO Guideline on Self-Care Interventions for Sexual & Reproductive Health & Rights. Imperial SCARU is committed to making the ‘absolute case for self-care’ and to promoting the widespread adoption and diffusion of evidence-based policy prescriptions to embed good health-seeking self-care behaviours through the life cycle for the benefit of individuals and society fit for 21st century living. @austenelosta @ImperialSCARU

Katherine Mayall

Director of Strategic Initiatives, Center for Reproductive Rights

Katherine Mayall is the Director of Strategic Initiatives in the Global Legal Strategies unit, which serves as the focal point for ensuring technical excellence and legal coherency across the Center. In this capacity, Katherine oversees the development of technical resources such as the World Abortion Laws map and institutional legal positions. From 2017-2019, Katherine served as the Center’s Director of Capacity Building, overseeing a $3.5 million euro grant to advance legal networks, technical assistance, and capacity building. Katherine received her J.D. from Fordham Law School and has a B.S. in communications from Boston University.

Aïssata Fall

Social Protection & Inclusive Policy Dialogue Specialist and West Africa Regional Director, Population Reference Bureau, Senegal

Aïssata Fall is a social protection senior advisor. She joined PRB in early 2020. She has more than 25 years of experience in West and Central Africa, upholding the rights of the most vulnerable residents and minorities through a range of areas including local development, democracy, decentralization, and access to basic social services. She previously worked for international development agencies and African governments, providing various stakeholders with technical, operational, and strategic support to design and implement social protection programs and policies. Inspiring, leading, and supporting people in multicultural contexts by sharing her knowledge, know-how, and experience drive her way of working at any level. She holds a master’s degree in sustainable development from the University of Sciences and Technology in Lille, France.

Dr. Lucia Berro Pizzarossa

Coordinator of the MAMA network (Mobilizing Activists around Medical Abortion)

Prof. Charlemagne Ouedraogo

Minister of Health for Burkina Faso



Event Description:

Self-Care and Universal Health Coverage: To reach the goal of universal health coverage (UHC) by 2030, we need every idea on the table for transforming health systems and markets to advance people-centered primary health care (PHC)—including appropriately supported self-care. WHO developed self-care guidelines for SRHR in 2019, which were recently updated with a broader look across health areas and are being adopted and adapted by individual countries.  During this session, we will explore how evidence-based self-care within PHC can support governments to achieve UHC; and what steps governments and partners across sectors can take to finance and scale self-care tools and approaches in the context of UHC efforts. UHC policy experts, health economists, and self-care champions from different countries will share their experiences, and participants will have the chance to practice making the case for the role of self-care in UHC through an interactive exercise.


Mercy Mvundur

Technical Advisor, PATH

Mercy Mvundura, PhD works as a health economics technical advisor at PATH. She has over 10 years of experience leading the design and conduct of economic evaluations of health care programs, interventions, and technologies. She led the costing and costing effectiveness studies during the Sayana Press pilot introductions in Uganda, Senegal and Burkina Faso. In addition to this work in reproductive health, she has  experience conducting economic evaluations for other health programs including the immunization program and cervical cancer screening. Dr. Mvundura holds a doctorate in economics from Georgia State University, USA and a did a post-doctoral fellowship at the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Dr Patrick Kadama

Executive Director of the African Platform on Human Recourses for Health and the Director for Health Policy and Planning at the African Centre for Global Health & Social Transformation

Dr Patrick Kadama is a physician and Health Economist with over 40 years of practice, health system governance, policy analysis, planning and financing. Studied Medicine at Makerere University; specialized in Infectious diseases at London University; in Economics at the London School of Economics and in Health Management at Harvard University. Has been expert Advisor at WHO in Geneva, prior to which was a Commissioner for Health Planning in Uganda.

Dr. Shannon Barkley

Technical Officer, Primary Healthcare Services, World Health Organization

Dr. Shannon Barkley is a Technical Officer in the Special Programme on Primary Health Care at the World Health Organization, where she leads the work on Evidence and Innovation. She completed her MD at the University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine and an MPH with an emphasis in International Health at Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, followed by specialization in Family Medicine and additional specialization in Advanced Hospital Medicine.  Throughout her career she has been involved with the development of effective primary health care among underserved communities globally through direct service provision, health workforce education, health system strengthening and health policy, and monitoring and evaluation. 

Nelly Wakaba

Country Engagement & Support Director, Financing Alliance for Health

Nelly Wakaba is a global health leader whose mission is to make access to care a reality through strategic heath programming, innovative health financing pathways and strategic partnership with governments and other key stakeholders to remodel healthcare systems. Her experience spans across clinical practice, civil service and running impactful health programs such the Global Fund TB program in Kenya and the Changing Diabetes in Children (CDiC) program across 10 countries in Sub-Saharan Africa. Currently, she leads the country engagement and support work at the Financing Alliance for Health, an organization that seeks to work with governments in narrowing the funding gap for the primary and community health systems so as to ensure health for all.

Bella Bayu Roman

Adolescent and Youth Sexual and Reproductive Health and Gender Advisor, EngenderHealth, Ethiopia

Bella Bayu Roman ​​has more than ten years’ experience in development and humanitarian programs. She has worked in programs related to maternal, child and youth health, education, and empowerment. Currently she serves as EngenderHealth’s Adolescent and Youth Sexual and Reproductive Health and Gender Advisor in Ethiopia, where she is also a member of various national and global technical working groups and task forces.


Event Description:

In this session, young people will take the lead in defining what self-care actually means to them, which may extend beyond the clinical notions of self-care that have been used by the public health sector to date. They will share some of the challenges that traditionally impede them and their peers from achieving their self-care goals in the ways in which they have defined and experienced self-care, and will shed light on some of the activities and approaches (both digital and analogue) that have been helpful in overcoming these challenges.


Ipsa Agnani

Youth Engagement Officer, HCDExchange, India

Ipsa (she/her) is a young feminist from India who currently serves as the Youth Engagement Officer at HCDExchange, where she facilitates meaningful engagement of a diverse group of youth advocates. She has two years of work experience with a youth-led organization where she worked on communications, research, and programming on comprehensive sexuality education, safe abortion, and youth-friendly health services. Ipsa is curious about tackling systemic issues to create a more equitable world, and therefore wants to study and work in public policy.

Susan Towett

HCDExchange Fellow, Grassroot Soccer, Kenya

Susan is a 2021 fellow with Grassroot Soccer and she is currently based in Kenya. She is passionate about social impact projects and has worked on Adolescent SRHR projects with LVCT Health Kenya and Ark Africa. She’s also worked on projects related to healthcare in urban slums and waste management at the Nairobi Design Institute. Most recently, she worked with Dalberg Media and Merck Group on a project to help eradicate bilharzia in Kenya. With a masters degree in Human Computer Interaction Design from City University of London and an MBA in Business Information Systems from Turku School of Economics in Finland, Susan uses her knowledge and skills to help Grassroot Soccer build a strong foundation in youth-powered design.

John Maina

Project Manager, Health Options for Young Men on HIV/AIDS & STIs (HOYMAS) and associate at HCDExchange, Kenya

John Maina has worked with key populations in Kenya for over 5 years focusing on SRH service delivery, behaviour change communication and empowerment of young people. He is globally conscious and curious about self improvement as well as improving the community around. He is especially passionate about sexual and gender minority rights as well as mental health advocacy. In his work at HOYMAS, he collaborates with volunteers, technical staff, donors, local and regional MOH bodies to develop and review strategic awareness campaigns as well as deliver high quality services in line with the desires of youth and current global best practices. He is currently acting as an associate at HCDExchange to continue advancing learning on the impact of human centered design on ASRH work.

Patience Tembo

Senior Coach for Grassroot Soccer Zimbabwe, Zimbabwe

Patience Tembo has worked with Grassroot Soccer Zimbabwe for seven years as a Senior Coach and a Youth Reproductive Health Assistant. She conducts soccer-based health activities with youth participants in her community to help them determine which contraceptive method is suitable for them, links them to health services, and equips them with the relevant information they need to make informed decisions. As a Youth Reproductive Health Assistant, Patience works to create an environment where crucial health-centered discussions and decisions can be made in a safe environment. From HIV testing services, to family planning and contraceptive methods, to sexual and gender based violence education, she helps to empower young people with the knowledge and power they need to make informed decisions for their happier and brighter futures.

Gary Layn

Content Writer, YLabs, Rwanda

Gary oversees the content strategy and creation for CyberRwanda. He develops characters, series outlines, and leads the content approval processes with young people and the technical working groups within the Rwandan government.

Mary Dapash

ASRH Youth Champion, White Ribbon Alliance Kenya, Kenya

Mary Dapash is a trained citizen journalist and youth champion with White Ribbon Alliance Kenya with a focus on sexual reproductive health and rights among adolescents and young people within her community in Narok County. She is a passionate girl’s and women’s right advocate who spends her time organising community conversations with young women and adolescents to capture their sexual and reproductive health needs, challenges and lived experiences. Mary has been instrumental in driving local advocacy efforts targeting young people, including pushing for the implementation of the National Adolescent Sexual Reproductive Health Policy at the sub-national level as it relates to establishing comprehensive adolescent and youth-friendly health services as well as eradicating harmful cultural practices such as female genital mutilation and child marriages.


Event Description:

In this exciting interactive session, we will explore how provider competencies need to shift to support clients in safe, quality self-care, and how to support providers in this evolving role. Participants will gain various perspectives on questions like “how does self-care fit into clients’ health goals and where do providers fit into this journey? How can midwives support and promote self-care among young people? What factors help healthcare providers facilitate client uptake and continuation of preventive self-care behaviors and products?”. Participants will also engage in discussion and Q&A with panelists, and partake in small-group exercises to unpack the barriers and benefits for provider-supported self-care, the shifts needed among healthcare providers, and what support is needed to assist healthcare providers in this evolution of their role.


Dr. Helen Blackholly

Vice President and Director Technical Services for MSI Reproductive Choices

Helen joined the Executive team at MSI Reproductive Choices six years ago after a successful career in the commercial sector. After completing her degree in Biology, MSc in Anthropology and PhD PhD in Food Policy, Helen started her professional journey with a UK based supermarket chain, utilising the skills skills learnt in behaviour change to encourage healthy eating. Here, Helen had a series of commercial trading and marketing roles, including a secondment with McKinsey, the management consultancy firm. Helen then moved into organisations including Colgate Palmolive where she ran Colgate Oral Pharmaceuticals, responsible for healthcare professional products; collaborating with key bodies such as British Dental Association, British Dental Hygienists Association & represented industry for think tank “Demos” on Future of Dental Health to help shape Government dental health policy. At Revlon as Commercial Director, UK & Ireland, the focus was on building brands using consumer insight and innovation and at Reckitt Benckiser as Global Trade Marketing Director, Helen led a team to develop sales & channel strategies where her work took her across the globe, ranging from Indonesian “wet” markets to working with International retailers in the USA. This wide and deep experience on understanding consumer motivations and how best to meet those needs has been invaluable in Helen’s role at MSI. The Technical Services Department is charged with developing the solutions for best practice across MSI channels (clinics, outreach, Marie Stopes community based nurses, and public sector strengthening) to reach both the most marginalised and disadvantaged in society but also to ensure sustainable delivery through a strengthened private sector. This includes innovation in behavioural and social norms change; use of digital technology and contact centres to inform, educate and refer clients to safe services; implementing integrated service solutions such as cervical cancer, vaccines; creating sustainable, high quality clinics that enable essential access for surgical abortion/PAC services; maximising the reach, efficiency and effectiveness of mobile teams; developing SRH products for commercial sale; and providing the data & evidence that makes the case for SRHR investment to empower women around the globe to have access to safe contraception and safe abortion/post abortion care.

Raveena Chowdhury

Executive Director of the African Platform on Human Recourses for Health and the Director for Health Policy and Planning at the African Centre for Global Health & Social Transformation

Raveena Chowdhury is an SRH leader with two decades of experience in international health and development. She is Marie Stopes International’s lead on Integrated Service Delivery, including self-care and new technologies. She has led MSI’s work on DMPA-SC as well as the development of integrated SRH packages for MSI’s global partnership including cervical cancer prevention. Previously Raveena worked with FCDO where she was seconded to the Ugandan Ministry of Health as a Technical Advisor for Sexual and Reproductive health. She led the development of the Ugandan National SRH and Maternal health strategy, helped to improve contraceptive procurement systems, to integrate SRH within Uganda’s ongoing health sector reforms and improve donor co-ordination. Raveena started her career with PSI working on community-based distribution programmes in Uttar Pradesh, India. Raveena is passionate about bringing new health technologies to communities that most need them in record time. She has a master’s degree in Population and Development studies from the London School of Economics as well as a master’s degree in French translation and interpretation from Jawaharlal Nehru University, Delhi.

Mercy Muthoni Kamau

Program Manager Oral PrEP, Jhpiego Kenya

Ms. Mercy Kamau is a Reproductive health specialist and an ardent champion of the rights-based approach to health and development. Her work in the fields of reproductive health and HIV care and prevention spans over 15 years where she has worked closely with, scientists, policy makers and program implementers in Kenya and the East Africa region. She has vast experience in designing interventions, which resulted to increased demand, access and utilization of high quality reproductive health, and HIV services that have been recognized as best practices and presented in various conferences. Mercy advocates for timely interventions to address current global health challenges especially when they target young people and women. She has been leading a coalition of organizations, advocating for budgetary allocation and policy change to address sexual reproductive health rights and non-communicable diseases among young people. She is a budding co-author on peer reviewed scientific content and has presented in several international conferences and symposia. Currently, Mercy is working for Jhpiego-Kenya as a Project manager for the Bridge to Scale Project (Jilinde). Jilinde is the largest transition to scale project whose main goal is to demonstrate the effectiveness of oral PrEP when implemented at a population level in “real life” routine service delivery. Under this project, she has been at the heart of strategic planning and plays a vital role in designing innovative strategies to address emerging challenges in scaling-up oral PrEP at National, County and service delivery levels.

Harriet Nayiga

ICM Young Midwife Leader and Director of Midwife-led Community Transformation, Uganda

Harriet Nayiga is a midwife and director of Midwife-led Community Transformation (MILCOT), a community-based organization in Uganda bridging the gap between midwives and the community through provision of sexual reproductive health services, targeting marginalized adolescents and young adults. She is a Young Midwife Leader with the International Confederation of Midwives and Nursing Now Challenge champion.
Harriet has received numerous academic and professional awards and recognition for her work. She was honored to be interviewed by HRH the Duchess of Cambridge in the Nursing Now campaign and most recently by the WHO Director General Dr. Tedros when she spoke about the urgent need for vaccines to control the surge in COVID-19 cases and deaths of several people, including health workers in Uganda. Harriet has participated in various national and global health discussions where she has called onto key decision makers to ensure improved health services by increasing investments in nursing and midwifery-led care. Harriet is a member of PMNCH Accountability working group where she works with a team of global stakeholders in strengthening Women’s Children’s and Adolescent Health.

Prof. Issa Wone

President Senegalese Association of Public Health, Professional, Senegal

Prof. Issa Wone is a professor of Public Health at Assane Seck University in Ziguinchor, and president of the Senegalese Association of Public Health Professionals since January 2019. He was previously a district physician (1992-1998), then a teacher at UCAD (Cheikh Anta Diop University ) and director of studies at ISED (Health and development institute) 2006-2010. As a researcher and teacher, Prof. WONE has mainly focused his work on planning, monitoring & evaluation of health projects and programs. For several years, he has been particularly interested in non-communicable diseases. He has assisted several African countries (Senegal, Cameroon, Mali, Niger, Burkina Faso, Benin, Burundi) in the elaboration of their policies, public health strategies, and National Health Development Plans. In the field of Reproductive Health, he has, among others and as recent studies, conducted a study on the programmatic and financial Gaps for the achievement of the MDGs (2014), led the development of the National Strategy for Sexual and Reproductive Health of Adolescents and Youth of Senegal (2014-2018) and conducted the Feasibility Study for the introduction of a project of SRAJ in schools and health facilities in the regions of Thies and Diourbel on behalf of the NGO ChildFund. Accredited since November 2014, Prof. Issa WONE also holds a Certificate of Special Studies in Public Health (ISED/UCAD), a Master’s degree in Epidemiology (Bordeaux II University, France) and a Master of Science in International Development (Payson Center, Tulane University, LA/USA). He holds several certificates in various fields related to public health (statistics and modeling, research methodology, clinical research, etc.

Event Description:

How do people make decisions around self-care? And what is the relationship between self-care decisions and empowerment? In this interactive session, we’ll take a deep dive into understanding the perspectives, needs and challenges distinct populations across Africa and Asia – including youth, girls, women entering the workforce, special needs populations, and the elderly – face around self-care. We’ll also explore a social and behavior change framework that illuminates the behavioral elements of decision-making and empowerment to help us design effective self-care programs. We’ll discuss with the audience key topics related to self-care and empowerment, such as: when should people seek care and when should they self-manage? What is the provider’s role in setting these boundaries? What policies can amplify access and use of empowering self-care initiatives? Participants will leave this session with new insights and approaches to improve the impact and uptake of self-care interventions.


Sylvia Wamugi-Obaga

Deputy Director – Advocacy, Communications and Strategic Partnerships, Y-ACT, Kenya

Sylvia Wamugi-Obaga is currently the Deputy Director of Advocacy, Communications and Strategic Partnerships at Y-ACT (Youth in Action), a regional initiative of Amref Health Africa that aims to mentor, support and increase the capacity of youth advocates to influence youth policy and resource priorities in the areas of gender equality and sexual and reproductive health and rights (SRHR) in Africa. Sylvia is passionate about social advocacy, communications and women’s right to health. She has over 13 years’ experience in social & behavior change communications (SBCC), advocacy communications, social accountability, content management, digital strategy management, youth programming and project management. She holds a Masters Degree in International Communications Management (Development) from University of Warwick (UK).

Christy Asala

White Ribbon Alliance, Nigeria

Christiana Asala is a dynamic advocate and communication professional with more than 11 years of experience working across the sexual, reproductive, maternal, newborn, child, and adolescent health (SRMNCAH) continuum, including HIV/AIDS, in more than 15 states across Nigeria. She is presently the National Coordinator for White Ribbon Alliance Nigeria. Through her various roles, she has developed a strong track record in designing and implementing advocacy strategies that have led to SRMNCAH policy change at the federal and state levels. Moreover, she has significant experience leading social and behavior change communication efforts targeting women, men, and adolescents to promote uptake of family planning (FP) and HIV/AIDS interventions and services. She believes that self-care for sexual and reproductive health and rights (SRHR) holds transformative power, and she is passionate about advancing self-care in Nigeria and Africa at large.

Dr. Adewole Adefalu

Country Director, JSI, Nigeria

Adewole Adefalu works as Nigeria DMPA-SC Access Collaborative Country Coordinator with JSI; supporting the FMOH to coordinate stakeholders’ collaborative efforts to introduce the next generation FP method, DMPA-SC into the Reproductive Health Commodity Supply. Adewole is a physician with over 18 years progressive, incremental experience of working with multi-disciplinary teams to carry out diverse ranges of public health interventions on research, project management, health systems and capacity building at the community, national levels. His work includes providing technical assistance related to service delivery, policy, supply chain and coordination. Adewole has helped government to use data analytics and visualization as leverage for critical program decision making. He supports the FMOH to develop systems for time-limited, near real time data visualization for national DMPA-SC supply chain and service delivery. His work with colleagues in about 8 countries link country-level work to existing global activities in an end-to-end, two-way process of information exchange and learning; integrating country-level planning, introduction, implementation tracking, and eventual integration with global tracking efforts. Before this, Adewole has managed several grant-funded projects by UNFPA, USAID, CDC and others. He volunteers as an associate lecturer with the University of Ibadan; teaching MPH students on Public Administration, Public Policy, Gender Analysis, Politics and Principles of Administrative Law. He belongs to many international and local professional organizations like the American Public Health Association (APHA), American College of Epidemiology, South African HIV Clinician Society, Association of Public Health Practitioners in Nigeria, among others. 

Yusuf Nuhu

Programme Officer, Pathfinder, Nigeria

Pathfinder International (in Advance Family Planning Project (AFP) 2018 – Date) implementing advocacy for increased investment and pollical commitment to increase access to quality FP information, services and supplies. Prior to his current position, Yusuf has worked as a Technical Manager Evidence & Accountability at Africa Health Budget Network (AHBN), leading in the implementation of advocacy strategies in Health Budget and Policy Advocacy for Family Planning, Immunization, Maternal, Newborn and Child Health and CSOs engagement for the implementation of Nigeria GFF RMNCAH+N strategy. He has also worked as the Monitoring and Evaluation Officer for Isa Wali Empowerment Initiative (IWEI) providing technical support for the implementation of projects in Family Health, Girl Child Education and Girls’/Women’s Rights and Empowerment. He has experience in advocacy, community mobilization, citizen engagement, M&E and capacity building.

Ronnie Lovitch

Consultant, UNAIDS

Ronnie Lovich has been promoting self-care practices in women’s health since the early 90’s, as co-author of Where Women Have No Doctor. Developed with women’s groups around the world, this work has been translated into over 30 languages by community organizations. Since its publication, Ronnie has been working in support of programs and services that equip women and young people with information, life skills and supportive environment to adopt healthy practices. She has played technical leadership roles for many years with Save the Children, Elizabeth Glaser Pediatric AIDS Foundation, The Education Development Center, and has been consulting most recently with UN organizations (UNAIDS, UNESCO, UNFPA, UNICEF). The work she is sharing in this forum was conducted with UNAIDS in Eswatini.

Dr. Erick Yegon

Senior Youth and Sexual and Reproductive Health and Rights Specialist, ICRW, Uganda

Dr. Erick Yegon is a Youth and Sexual and Reproductive Rights Specialist based out of the ICRW-Africa office with wide-ranging experience in research and monitoring and evaluation on Women Economic Empowerment and sexual and reproductive health in Africa. Erick brings over 15 years’ experience in managing, designing and leasing the implementation of M&E systems. He has conducted project evaluations, and provided technical leadership for large scale adolescent sexual and reproductive health (SRH) programs in Sub-Saharan Africa. His current work at ICRW includes providing technical assistance to a project concerning how COVID-19-related health and economic shocks, and the policy responses to them, interact with pre-existing gender and other social norms to impact the livelihood, experience of gender-based violence (GBV) and SRH outcomes for women who work in the urban informal economy in Kenya and Uganda. He also leads technical components of a mixed-methods evaluation of an intervention to promote positive masculinity for sexual and reproductive health and rights and gender equality in informal settlements in selected cities in sub-Saharan Africa.

Rahin Khandker


Rahin Khandker has over 10 years of experience designing, implementing, and testing behavioral science interventions in higher-education and international development. Currently she is a Vice President in the Global Health domain of ideas42 and oversees a portfolio of projects aimed at improving the quality and uptake of family planning and reproductive health services and maternal and child health services. She holds an MPA in international development from the Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University.

Heather Hancock

Senior Program Officer, Breakthrough ACTION, USA

Heather Hancock, Senior Program Officer at the Johns Hopkins Center for Communication Programs, is a social and behavior change specialist with expertise in the field of reproductive health and family planning. Her areas of expertise include integration of social and behavior change and service delivery, provider behavior change, capacity strengthening, online community management, materials development, and curriculum development. She currently works with the Breakthrough ACTION team to improve the practice of social and behavior change for service delivery and has led the efforts to develop a model for using SBC to improve self-care outcomes.

Melissa Higbie

Project Director – DISC, PSI, Kenya

Melissa Higbie, Project Director, DISC (Delivering Innovation in Self-Care) has 15 years of marketing and public health experience, designing and delivering programming in sexual and reproductive health, adolescent health, safe abortion, and social franchising. She is passionate about building cohesive and innovative teams who translate consumer insights into impactful programming. Melissa holds a Masters degree in Business Administration and Masters degree in Public Health from University of California, Berkeley.

Comfort Hajra Mukasa

WASH Program Manager, AMREF Health Africa Uganda

Comfort Hajra Mukasa, a holder of Bachelors of Environmental Health Science and MPH from Makerere University in Uganda. Hajra is a public Health specialist with a bias to sanitation and hygiene promotion with circular economy lens for the past 15 years. Currently a WASH program manager who provides technical leadership to the WASH programs of Amref Health Africa Uganda to realize the organization vision of a lasting health change in Africa. Riding on her vast experience which ranges from local to central government and international Non-Government Organizations, Comfort innovated the Sanitation Digital Solutions system (SaniDigS) that brings sanitation and hygiene stakeholders and beneficiaries together by just a click of a button for better planning and coordination. Over the years, Hajra has led programs that produce best operational practices that have featured in the country’s annual sector performance reports. Her Current focus and passion is development of innovative sanitation solutions that offer sustainable and inclusive services with a key focus on the circular economy and leaving no one behind.

Quraish Matovu

Reproductive Health Uganda, Uganda

Mr. Quraish Matovu is the Acting Manager Gender and Youth at Reproductive Health Uganda (RHU) a member association of International Planned Parenthood Federation (IPPF). He has had repetitive experience in managing intervention programs focused on promoting access and utilization of Adolescent and Youth Sexual Reproductive Health and Rights, capacity building, Sexuality Education for diverse young people as well as research on effectiveness of service delivery approaches. He is currently pursuing a Master’s degree in public Health at Makerere University, holds a first degree in social work and social administration and vast training sexual reproductive health and rights, gender and adolescent & youth responsive service delivery. He is a master trainer in evidence and rights-based HIV/Sexual Reproductive Health and Rights (SRHR) programming, Meaningful Youth Participation, Comprehensive sexuality education and Gender Transformative Approaches. He is a member of; the International Conference on Family Planning International Steering Committee, Global Youth Coalition on HIV/AIDS, United Nations Association of Uganda, Uganda National Social Workers Association, World Starts With Me community of practice. He has authored and presented papers at various national and international conferences including International Family Planning Conference 2016, 2018, Operational Research symposium, Kisumu, Kenya 2015, AIDS Impact 2015,2017,2019, AIDS 2018, 11th World Congress on Adolescent Health,2017 among others.

Event Description:

Self-Care is a radical act of liberation and a powerful tool used to challenge the status quo individually and collectively. Self-care can be deeply individualized yet requires a unified effort to become institutionalized into collective care. Join us for this exciting session that centers on self-care’s connection to bodily autonomy, liberation, and gender transformation from activists working in trans community care in Colombia, in feminist accompaniment of abortions in Latin America, and feminist self-defense in the US. Convened by Profamilia, BalanceMX, and White Ribbon Alliance, this session features interactive dialogue as participants learn how to practice and progress self- and collective care in our everyday lives.

**Please note that this event features a 40-minute interactive session on Feminist Self-Defense where participants are encouraged to practice self-defense techniques like basic punches and kicks. Participants are recommended to wear comfortable clothing and find a space to safely move in. Movements can be modified to meet the needs and abilities of attendees (for example, those sitting in a chair at home or in an office). We look forward to seeing you there!**


Diana Carolina Moreno

Advocacy Director, Profamilia, Colombia

Diana Carolina Moreno is a lawyer from the Universidad Javeriana and LLM from Columbia University. She  is currently Director of Advocacy at Profamilia. Diana has worked for human rights and sexual and reproductive rights at the Center for Reproductive Rights, ELEMENTA S.A.S, the Inter-American Court of Human Rights and Women’s Link Worldwide. Diana has also been a researcher and professor at the Universidad Javeriana on issues of gender, human rights and armed conflict since the beginning of her legal studies. In her professional career she has participated in national and regional strategic litigation activities related to women’s and LGBTI rights.

Oriana López Uribe

Executive Director, Balance MX, Mexico

Oriana López Uribe, Executive Director, Balance MX, Mexico Oriana has been a feminist activist for Sexual and Reproductive Rights and Health since she was 15 years old. Based in Mexico, she has worked for the Ministry of Health, and in various organizations and networks to develop strategies to disseminate and promote Sexual Rights and Sexual and Reproductive Health for women, youth and adolescents. Since 2007 she has been advocating for Sexual and Reproductive Justice at the national, regional and international levels. Since 2010 she has specialized in training abortion doulas and since 2012 in reducing abortion stigma at the individual and community levels. In 2017, she became Balance’s Executive Director. Ms. Lopez is a member of RESURJ, a Global South-led transnational feminist alliance, and a member of Vecinas Feministas, a Latinamerican Network of Feminists for Sexual and Reproductive Justice. She is part of the Supervisory Board of Mama Cash and represents Latin America in the Bisexual Comittee of ILGA. In 2011 she received the Omeccihuatl medal from the Women’s Institute of Mexico City, due to her commitment to women’s autonomy as the manager of the MARIA Fund. In the same year, the World Association for Sexual Health recognized her work in the field of Sexual Health and Youth. Ms. Lopez has a degree in Social Communication from the Metropolitan Autonomous University. In 2018 she attended a short-program for Human Rights advocates at Columbia University.

Marta Royo

Executive Director, Profamilia, Colombia

Marta Royo found a great opportunity to serve as a rights activist when she became the Executive Director of Profamilia in 2012, Colombia’s longest -standing non-governmental organization that provides, protects, and advocates for sexual and reproductive rights and services. This responsibility has given her the opportunity to help achieve significant political and social transformation aimed towards improving the status of girls and women in Colombia, including, but not limited to: leading legislature on the National Policy on Sexuality and Sexual and Reproductive Rights; making sure these rights are recognized for people with disabilities; eliminating the barriers that prevent women from accessing safe abortions. In this position, she has managed to implement a successful social enterprise model, while working towards making Profamilia a sustainable organization and expanding the social impact of its programs and initiatives. This model has targeted marginalized areas, where women and girls experience vast inequalities seen in high teen pregnancy rates, gender-based violence, low levels of reproductive autonomy among women and their low representation in the education system. Of Spanish and Panamanian nationality, Marta Royo graduated from Dartmouth College. She holds a post-graduate degree in Social Economy from the University of Barcelona; a Master’s in Literature from New York University; Advanced Negotiation Program from University of California, Berkeley; a Health Management Development Program from Universidad de los Andes and the Innovation and Strategy Program from Universidad de la Sabana.

Juli Salamanca

Director of Communications, Red Comunitaria Trans

Social communicator from the Javeriana University, feminist, human rights defender, activist for the rights of trans people. Passionate about the defense of the rights of sex workers. Expert in communication for social change. Woman who defends bodily autonomy, equal rights for all forms of being a woman and works to build a feminism in which we all fit.

Verónica Vera

Red Compañera – Latin American Feminist Network of Abortion Doulas

Feminist Communicator. Abortion doula in Comadres, a feminist network of safe abortion accompaniment in Ecuador. Member of  Surkuna, Ecuadorian organization that works for access to justice for women and girls, especially those criminalized for abortion or obstetric complications. Specialist in education and communication with a focus on human rights and gender issues related to sexual and reproductive rights.

Colleen Daly

Founder of Guerrera Fit, US

Colleen is the founder of Guerrera Fit, a personal trainer, group fitness instructor, athlete, self-defense expert, and martial artist. She has over 10 years’ experience as a fitness professional, working to help people feel strong, confident, and powerful in their bodies. In addition to Guerrera Fit, Colleen is the founder of Guerrera Fight Club, a martial arts community for women and femmes. Colleen trains and competes in boxing, kickboxing, and jiu jitsu. She is a black belt in Fit to Fight Defensive Options and a purple belt in 10th Planet Jiu Jitsu. She is the 2019 Finishers Open Champion at the Expert Level, the 2019 ONNIT Open Champion at the Expert level, and the 2019 WKA Kickboxing Nationals 2nd place athlete and Worlds qualifier. In addition to martial arts, Colleen is an accomplished endurance athlete, having completed several triathlons, two marathons, and a cross-country cycling tour. Colleen takes a functionally focused, body positive approach to training. She emphasizes what your body is capable of, rather than what it looks like. She is a published author in the Journal of Clinical Sport Psychology on research she conducted with the Northwestern University Body and Media Lab on how fitness professionals influence the body satisfaction of their participants.

Event Description:

Approximately 1.8 billion people live in fragile settings, including 168 million in humanitarian settings. Achieving Universal Health Coverage and Sustainable Development Goals for sexual and reproductive health and rights requires that innovations in service delivery be applied at scale across the humanitarian-development nexus. This interactive session will examine promising strategies for increasing access to sexual and reproductive health self-care in humanitarian settings and how learning from these settings can be applicable everywhere. We will also explore ways in which to adapt and apply evidence around self-care from stable settings to humanitarian settings. We will hear directly from humanitarian implementers on innovative approaches to self-care in crises and discuss how we can engage both humanitarian and development partners in advancing an inclusive self-care agenda that responds to the needs of people in humanitarian and fragile settings.


Erin Wheeler

Senior Technical Advisor for Sexual and Reproductive Health and Rights, International Rescue Committee

Erin Wheeler is the Senior Technical Advisor for Sexual and Reproductive Health and Rights at the International Rescue Committee.  Prior to joining the IRC, she worked with the RAISE Initiative at Columbia University. She is an active member of Interagency Working Group for Reproductive Health in Crises and is the co-chair of the safe abortion care sub-working group.  Erin spent three years in Central Africa working for the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in Rwanda and for the IRC in the DRC. Erin is also a Returned Peace Corps Volunteer from Senegal and holds a master’s degree in public health from Columbia University.

Dr. Roopan Gill

Co-Founder and Executive Direcotor, Vitala Global Foundation

Dr. Roopan Gill is an obstetrician gynecologist with expertise in family planning. She is the  Co-Founder and Executive Director of, Vitala Global Foundation that is focused on developing digital solutions to empower women living in challenging contexts to self-manage their sexual and reproductive health needs. She is also a field worker and technical referent with Medecins Sans Frontieres and has spent time in Nigeria and Yemen. Dr. Gill is a recipient of various grants as primary investigator including Grand Challenges Canada OPTions Grant, Saving Lives at Birth and Society for Family Planning. She has published in peer-reviewed journals on topics to better understand the challenges and needs of women and girls accessing reproductive and sexual healthcare needs. Her most recent work includes building a digital tool using user-centered design to support Venezuelan women to self-manage their sexual and reproductive health needs.  In her spare time, she is learning to kite surf, is a fitness fanatic and loves travel and a good book.

Sheena M Currie, RN, RM, MEd, PGCE

Senior Maternal and Newborn Health Adviser, Jhpiego

Sheena Currie, a British midwife educator and maternal and newborn health expert, has 20 years’ experience working in low resource and fragile settings, providing technical guidance in the development, management and evaluation of maternal and newborn health programs including support for skilled birth attendants, especially midwives. Sheena has work experience from Afghanistan, Myanmar, South Sudan & Yemen.

Marta Royo

Executive Director, Profamilia, Colombia

Marta Royo found a great opportunity to serve as a rights activist when she became the Executive Director of Profamilia in 2012, Colombia’s longest -standing non-governmental organization that provides, protects, and advocates for sexual and reproductive rights and services. This responsibility has given her the opportunity to help achieve significant political and social transformation aimed towards improving the status of girls and women in Colombia, including, but not limited to: leading legislature on the National Policy on Sexuality and Sexual and Reproductive Rights; making sure these rights are recognized for people with disabilities; eliminating the barriers that prevent women from accessing safe abortions. In this position, she has managed to implement a successful social enterprise model, while working towards making Profamilia a sustainable organization and expanding the social impact of its programs and initiatives. This model has targeted marginalized areas, where women and girls experience vast inequalities seen in high teen pregnancy rates, gender-based violence, low levels of reproductive autonomy among women and their low representation in the education system. Of Spanish and Panamanian nationality, Marta Royo graduated from Dartmouth College. She holds a post-graduate degree in Social Economy from the University of Barcelona; a Master’s in Literature from New York University; Advanced Negotiation Program from University of California, Berkeley; a Health Management Development Program from Universidad de los Andes and the Innovation and Strategy Program from Universidad de la Sabana.

Diana Carolina Moreno

Director of Advocacy, Profamilia, Colombia

Diana Carolina Moreno is a lawyer from the Universidad Javeriana and LLM from Columbia University. She is currently Director of Advocacy at Profamilia. Diana has worked for human rights and sexual and reproductive rights at the Center for Reproductive Rights, ELEMENTA S.A.S, the Inter-American Court of Human Rights and Women’s Link Worldwide. Diana has also been a researcher and professor at the Universidad Javeriana on issues of gender, human rights and armed conflict since the beginning of her legal studies. In her professional career she has participated in national and regional strategic litigation activities related to women’s and LGBTI rights.

Faridah Luandah

Refugee from Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) and lived at Kyaka II Refugee settlement, in Uganda for 5 years and recently resettled to Stockholm, Sweden

Faridah’s life experience as a child mother, SGBV survivor and a victim of forced marriage has inspired her to want to make a difference and to create change in her community, her life, and her family by transforming vulnerabilities into strengths. Together with her brother she built One Touch Solar-Powered Music Studio, which produces songs with a social message —about HiV Aids, to promote girls’ education and try to stop child marriage, gender based violence and early pregnancy. She also started the DA VISION GROUP, which works to transform young refugees’ lives through music, dance, drama, education and livelihood activities. She has been a champion for self care and sexual and reproductive health rights (SRSH); she has run workshops to teach others how to make reusable pads, distributed condoms and promoted SRSH, self-care and self protection for girls and young women. She believes that as an aspect of SRHR, it is important to speak out against the the sexual exploitation that can occur in refugee contexts and that can put girls and young women at risk of early pregnancy, HIV and other sexually transmitted diseases. Faridah is an advocate for partnering with refugee youth and supporting their leadership in addressing these challenges.

Dr. Manisha Kumar

Coordinator of the Task Force for Safe Abortion Care, Doctors Without Borders/Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF)

Manisha is a family medicine doctor with a Masters in Public Health and fellowship training in Obstetrics. She has been working for Médecins Sans Frontières since 2014 and is currently the intersectional coordinator for safe abortion care.

Event Description:

This session will examine the intersection of respectful care and self-care and provide a space for an open and honest conversation about the systemic challenges women and providers face when trying to care for themselves and others. Speakers will introduce respectful care, compassionate, and anti-racist frameworks that can address systemic challenges before an open presentation and discussion of the ways women and communities are navigating health systems and community services to care for themselves in the meantime.


Carmen Green

National Vice President of Research & Strategy, National Birth Equity Collaborative, United States

Carmen’s career trajectory heads towards applications of reproductive justice in research, policy and culture change for health equity. Racial equity, justice and the human rights framework are understood through sociological meaning, which is why she is honored to bring a community based and sociological perspective to the Birth Equity Collaborative. As former Director, now VP of research and strategy, Carmen is core personnel on major projects with Johns Hopkins University and Tulane University. She has co-created and conducting Birth Equity Assessments for health and hospital systems, analyzed qualitative analysis projects and synthesized data to illuminate opportunities for improvement. Carmen is part of the 2016 cohort of the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities State Policy Fellowship which focused on health policy, long term care support and predatory lending. Carmen is also the creative director of Hazel Green, LLC, building capacity for Black owned community-based programs and family services. Currently, Carmen is a sociology doctoral student in the University of California San Francisco School of Nursing. In addition to being a doula in training, she holds degrees in sociology, maternal and child health and community health education from Wake Forest and Tulane Universities, respectively.

Heather Buesseler

Focus Area for Compassion & Ethics (FACE) The Task Force for Global Health, United States

Heather has 18 years’ experience in global health in both development and humanitarian settings. She is currently focused on the integration of compassion into health services and population health programming in order to improve patient experience and to accelerate achievement of SDG 3: Good Health and Well Being. She is equally passionate about fostering caring cultures in health systems and organizations that prioritize the mental and emotional health of its workers and that provide opportunities to cultivate their self-compassion and resilience.

Dr. Dinesh Baswal

Deputy Director, Programs, MAMTA | Ex-Joint Commissioner, Maternal health at Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, Government of India, India

Ofelia Pérez

Traditional and Professional Midwife, Movimiento de Parteras de Chiapas Nich Ixim, Mexico

Dora Lucía Méndez Alfonso

Traditional Midwife, Movimiento de Parteras de Chiapas Nich Ixim, Mexico

Bhavana Dhomase

Director of IT, HelpLife, India

Bhavana has her own business where she works as a key player and empowers the team of 20 staff. Bhavana’s other passion is helping girls and women with disabilities that she fulfills through her work at Helplife. Bhavana has created an environment where everyone is supportive of each other and we work as a team to achieve goals in business and in charity.

Thandu Thengwa

Programme Coordinator, Beyond Zero, South Africa

Thandu was born in a small town called Matatiele in the Province of the Eastern Cape Republic of South Africa. Post Matriculation, she studied pharmacy and graduated the two-year course as post basic pharmacist assistant in 2011. Thandu has worked both in public and private hospital pharmacies and retail pharmacy. Thandu worked as a Clinical researcher (pharmacovigilance study) at the University of Free state in South Africa and Co-authored the resulting study publication with the same University. Currently, she is a second-year student at the University of South Africa toward Bachelor of Arts (Public Administration and Communication facilitation).

Wanjiru Kihusa

CEO, Still a Mum, Kenya

Wanjiru Kihusa is the Founder and CEO of Still A Mum, an organization that has supported over 5,000 parents in Africa who have gone through a miscarriage, stillbirth or infant death experience. Ms. Wanjiru’s career in bereavement support and advocacy spans 7 years. She is especially passionate about improving the support offered to bereaved mothers and fathers in hospitals and the benefits that arise when society rallies around men and women who have lost a child. She sits in the Stillbirth Advocacy Working Group (SAWG) and Bereavement Care Working Group, both hosted by the International Stillbirth Alliance (ISA). With her background in IT and MA in Communication, Ms. Wanjiru has extensively used social media and mainstream media to challenge norms around the taboo topics surrounding child loss and educate the public on how to support bereaved parents.

Event Description:

This session aims to define and outline what self-care means based on WHO definitions and perceptions of individual participants. Interactive discussion via audio and chat to identify societal perceptions of self-care and how it varies. We’ll explore multiple factors like race, gender identity, economic status and access to healthcare, and what role trauma plays. Discuss ways to improve access to self-care tools and mental health resources. Derive a “game plan”, based on the outcomes of the discussion, for each participant to take initial steps to garner authority over their well-being and practical steps to lead others to do the same.


Tamika English

Operations Manager, SisterLove


Freedom Osun Bey, BSN, MS, RN
Sir Jose Bright
Dr. TaMara Rose Campbell



Self-Care Country Advocacy Working Group SMART Advocacy Workshop

Are you an advocate who wants to use your experience and skills to strengthen the policy environment for self-care in your country? Then the Self-Care Country Advocacy Working Group (CAWG) is for you!

Join Advance Family Planning (AFP), the Reproductive Health Supplies Coaltion (RHSC) and WRA for a Self-Care SMART Advocacy Workshop open to members of the SCTG Country Advocacy Working Group and other interested advocates. Running parallel to and beyond the Self-Care Learning and Discovery Series, the SMART Advocacy Workshop gives participants an opportunity to connect with fellow advocates and use learnings from the series to develop targeted, country advocacy strategies to advance self-care. Using the AFP SMART approach, participants will identify policy and/or funding changes that are critical to advancing self-care in any setting—including adaption, adoption, and implementation of all or most relevant parts of the WHO Consolidated Guideline on Self-Care Interventions for Health: Sexual and Reproductive Health and Rights—and will develop a corresponding advocacy plan.  

This will include:

The Advocacy Workshop consists of four virtual, hands-on sessions, which will serve as the CAWG meetings for 2021. This workshop will be held in English with simultaneous French translation; Spanish to be confirmed. The tentative schedule for the virtual workshop is as follows:  

  • 24 June 2021, 8:00-10:30am EDT / 3:00-5:30pm EAT
  • TBD July
  • TBD late August/early September
  • TBD November

The Self-Care SMART Advocacy Workshop and CAWG are designed for participants with prior experience conducting advocacy. Registration has closed. Please reach out to [email protected] for inquiries.


White Ribbon Alliance (WRA) mobilizes and amplifies community voices, especially those of women and girls, to create demand and accelerate progress for sexual, reproductive, maternal, and newborn health and rights and gender equality at all levels.  Through our extensive network of Alliances and partners around the world, WRA influences policies, programs, and practices, harnesses resources, enhances accountability, and inspires action.

The Self-Care Trailblazer Group (SCTG) is a global coalition of partners dedicated to expanding the safe and effective practice of self-care so that individuals can better manage their own health, health outcomes are improved, and health systems are better equipped to achieve universal health coverage. In 2021, the SCTG is supporting the adoption and implementation of the World Health Organization (WHO) Consolidated Guideline for Self-Care Interventions for Health as well as supporting the wider community in advancing self-care at the global, regional, national, and local levels.

Over 50 Self-Care Trailblazer Group Members came together to make the Self-Care Learning and Discovery Series possible. The SCTG is comprised of a diverse set of institutional and individual members working to advance the practice of self-care to improve health around the globe. Members include representatives of multilateral and bilateral organizations, private foundations, governments, civil society, intergovernmental-governmental and non-governmental organizations, advocacy groups, research and academic institutions, and the private sector. We thank all SCTG members who supported the organization of this series.

Advance Family Planning (AFP) is an initiative consisting of partner organizations worldwide that advances family planning through evidence-based advocacy. Housed at the Bill & Melinda Gates Institute for Population and Reproductive Health within the Department of Population, Family and Reproductive Health at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, AFP helps to achieve the global goal of expanding access to quality contraceptive information, services, and supplies. AFP is leading the design and execution of the Country Advocacy Working Group Self-Care SMART Advocacy Workshop running alongside the Self-Care Learning and Discovery Series.

TechChange is a digital events firm that will provide the innovative technology platform and world-class support team to meet everyone’s needs for the Self-Care Learning and Discovery Series. TechChange will support the smooth functioning of all 16 virtual sessions throughout the Series, provide live translation, oversee registration, and provide hands-on support for session organizers.


We thank members of the Self-Care Learning and Discovery Series Steering committee:

  • Sandy Garçon, Senior Manager, Advocacy, PSI
  • Stephanie Kim, Associate Manager, Advocacy and Communications, PSI
  • Kasey Henderson, Senior Associate Communications Manager, PSI
  • Kristy Kade, Deputy Director, White Ribbon Alliance
  • Kim Whipkey, Advocacy and Communications Manager, White Ribbon Alliance
  • Amanda Livingstone, Senior Advocacy Officer, White Ribbon Alliance
  • Sarah Onyango, Senior Technical Advisor, Self-Care, PSI
  • Andrea Cutherell, Self-Care Consultant, PSI
  • Katie Gray, Policy & Advocacy Officer, Access Collaborative, PATH
  • Megan Christofield, Technical Advisor, Family Planning & Self-Care and Project Director, Expanding Family Planning Choices, Jhpiego
  • Liz Bayer, Program Officer II, Advance Family Planning



We invite you to attend this virtual series in a spirit of curiosity, friendliness, open-mindedness, and respect. During the series, we will not tolerate harassment in any form. You will be asked not to participate. We also ask that you respect confidentiality and privacy requests by session organizers and speakers.


Building Resilient, Consumer-Powered Health Systems

PSI’s Health Systems Accelerator is built on 50+ years of experience collecting and elevating consumer and health system insights, scaling innovations and partnering with government and private sector actors to shape stronger, more integrated health systems that work for consumers. Learn more here.


In the absence of a trusted and dedicated Primary Healthcare (PHC) provider, individuals often spend valuable time and resources navigating through a multitude of health facilities, visiting various providers in search of the right place to address their health concerns. Challenges navigating the health system can result in delays in assessment, diagnosis, and treatment, potentially leading to poor quality of care and adverse health outcomes. One promising solution is the digital locator, which can enable healthcare consumers to promptly find high quality, affordable health products and services when they need them. What are current applications of digital locator tools?  How can they be improved? What are the challenges faced in utilizing these tools?

Explore our resources

listen to the podcast

Better data for stronger health systems

In the ever-evolving health landscape, a robust health management information system (HMIS) stands as a cornerstone of a strong health system. It not only guides decision-making and resource allocation but also shapes the well-being of individuals and communities. However, despite technological advancements that have revolutionized data collection, analytics, and visualization, health systems in low- and middle-income countries (LMICs) continue to grapple with a fundamental challenge: fragmented data and limited effective data use for decision-making. What are some promising solutions?

Explore our resources

View our short interviews

In this video, Wycliffe Waweru, Head of Digital Health & Monitoring at Population Services International outlines three barriers to the use of data for decision-making in health in low- and middle-income countries. For each barrier, Wycliffe proposes some concrete solutions that can help overcome it.

In this video, Dominic Montagu, Professor Emeritus at the University of California, San Francisco, and CEO of Metrics for Management outlines the three levels of data from private healthcare providers in low- and middle-income countries that need to be sequentially integrated into a country’s health information system to assure that governments can manage the overall health system more effectively.

Join us in this illuminating session as we explore the evolution of the STAR self-testing project, sharing insights, challenges, and successes that have emerged over the years. By examining the lessons learned and considering the implications for future healthcare strategies, we hope to foster a deeper understanding of the transformative potential of self-testing in improving healthcare accessibility and patient-centric services.   

This enlightening session promises to provide updates from WHO guidelines and share insights on the journey toward viral hepatitis elimination. It will also showcase outcomes from the STAR hepatitis C self-testing research and discuss how these findings could potentially inform hepatitis B antigen self-testing and the use of multiplex test kits in the context of triple elimination. Join us in this crucial discussion as we work together to fast-track the global journey toward a hepatitis-free world by 2030. 

In this two-part session, the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, PSI, and Population Solutions for Health will share lessons and best practices from rigorous research and hands-on implementation experience in Zimbabwe. The session will cover important topics like client-centered, community-led demand creation, differentiated service delivery, sustainable financing, and digital solutions. The sessions will also cover lessons in the program.  

In this session, PSI and PSH will share lessons for optimizing access to comprehensive, culturally sensitive HIV and sexual and reproductive health services. Topics will include enhancing the accuracy and reliability of sex worker population data, improving HIV case finding among men who have sex with men (MSM) through reverse index case testing, and scaling differentiated service delivery models. The session will also cover integrating mental health and substance abuse in key populations (KP) programming and lessons in public sector strengthening.  

Additionally, the session will showcase solutions that MSMs have co-designed, highlighting how this collaboration has improved the consumer care experience. It will demonstrate the critical role of KP communities in establishing strong and sustainable HIV responses, including amplifying KP voices, strengthening community-led demand, and establishing safe spaces at national and subnational levels for KP communities to shape and lead the HIV response.

This enlightening session promises to provide updates from WHO guidelines and share insights on the journey toward viral hepatitis elimination. It will also showcase outcomes from the STAR hepatitis C self-testing research and discuss how these findings could potentially inform hepatitis B antigen self-testing and the use of multiplex test kits in the context of triple elimination. Join us in this crucial discussion as we work together to fast-track the global journey toward a hepatitis-free world by 2030. 

In this two-part session, the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, PSI, and PSH will share lessons and best practices from rigorous research and hands-on implementation experience in Zimbabwe. The session will cover important topics like client-centered, community-led demand creation, differentiated service delivery, sustainable financing, and digital solutions. The sessions will also cover lessons in program management. These insights are applicable beyond Zimbabwe and can be used to scale up HIV prevention efforts in the region.


Scaling Digital Solutions for Disease Surveillance

Strong surveillance systems are essential to detect and respond to infectious disease outbreaks. Since 2019, PSI has worked alongside the Ministries of Health in Cambodia, Laos, Myanmar, and Vietnam to strengthen disease surveillance systems and response. Learn more here.


Misinformation and Vaccine Hesitancy

As COVID-19 spread globally, so did misinformation about countering the pandemic. In response, PSI partnered with Meta to inspire 160 million people to choose COVID-19 preventative behaviors and promote vaccine uptake. Watch the video to learn how. 


The Frontline of Epidemic Preparedness and Response 

Early warning of possible outbreaks, and swift containment actions, are key to preventing epidemics: disease surveillance, investigation and response need to be embedded within the communities. Public Health Emergency Operations Centers (PHEOCs) are designed to monitor public health events, define policies, standards and operating procedures, and build capacity for disease surveillance and response. Learn more here. 


Private sector pharmacies and drug shops play an important role in improving access to essential health services and products for millions of people living in low- and middle-income countries (LMICs), where healthcare resources are often limited. However, the way in which these outlets are, or are not, integrated into health systems holds significant importance. Do they serve as facilitators of affordable, high-quality care? Or have they become sources of substandard health services and products?

Explore our resources

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The Consumer as CEO

For over 50 years, PSI’s social businesses have worked globally to generate demand, design health solutions with our consumers, and work with local partners to bring quality and affordable healthcare products and services to the market. Now consolidating under VIYA, PSI’s first sexual health and wellness brand and social business, our portfolio represents the evolution from traditionally donorfunded projects towards a stronger focus on sustainability for health impact over the long term. Across 26 countries, the VIYA model takes a locally rooted, globally connected approach. We have local staff, partners and providers with a deep understanding of the markets we work in. In 2022, we partnered with over 47,000 pharmacies and 10,000 providers to reach 11 million consumers with products and services, delivering 137 million products. VIYA delivers lasting health impact across the reproductive health continuum, from menstruation to menopause. Consumer insights drive our work from start to finish. Their voices, from product exploration to design, launch, and sales, ensure that products not only meet consumers’ needs but exceed their expectations. The consumer is our CEO. 

In 2019, our human-centered design work in East Africa explored ways that our work could support and accompany young women as they navigate the various choices required for a healthy, enjoyable sexual and reproductive life. Harnessing insights from consumers, VIYA is revolutionizing women’s health by addressing the confusion, stigma, and unreliability surrounding sexual wellness. Across five markets – Guatemala, Kenya, South Africa, Uganda and Pakistan – VIYA utilizes technology to provide women with convenient, discreet, and enjoyable tools for making informed choices about their bodies. The platform offers a wealth of high-quality sexual wellness information, covering topics from periods to pleasure in an accessible and relatable manner. Additionally, VIYA fosters a supportive community where users can share experiences and receive guidance from counselors. In 2023, VIYA will begin offering a diverse range of sexual wellness products and connect users with trusted healthcare providers, ensuring comprehensive care tailored to individual needs.  

Digitalizing contraceptive counseling to reach rural women and girls in Ethiopia

By: Fana Abay, Marketing and Communications Director, PSI Ethiopia 

In rural Ethiopia, women and girls often face significant barriers in accessing healthcare facilities, which can be located hours away. Moreover, there is a prevailing stigma surrounding the use of contraception, with concerns about potential infertility or the perception of promiscuity. To address these challenges, the Smart Start initiative has emerged, linking financial well-being with family planning through clear and relatable messaging that addresses the immediate needs of young couples—planning for the lives and families they envision. Smart Start takes a community-based approach, utilizing a network of dedicated Navigators who engage with women in their localities. These Navigators provide counseling and refer interested clients to Health Extension Workers or healthcare providers within Marie Stopes International-operated clinics for comprehensive contraceptive counseling and services.  

In a significant development, PSI Ethiopia has digitized the proven counseling messaging of Smart Start, expanding its reach to more adolescent girls, young women, and couples. This approach aligns with the priorities set by the Ethiopian Ministry of Health (MOH) and is made possible through funding from Global Affairs Canada. The interactive and engaging digital messaging has revolutionized counseling services, enabling clients to make informed and confident decisions regarding both their finances and contraceptive choices. 

Clients who received counseling with the digital Smart Start tool reported a higher understanding of their options and were more likely to choose contraception (74 percent) compared to those counseled with the manual version of Smart Start (64 percent). Navigators also found the digital tool more effective in connecting with clients, leading to higher ratings for the quality of their counseling. 

By December 2023, PSI Ethiopia, working in close collaboration with the MOH, aims to reach over 50 thousand new clients by leveraging the digital counseling tool offered by Smart Start. This innovative approach allows for greater accessibility and effectiveness in providing sexual and reproductive health services, contributing to improved reproductive health outcomes for women and couples across the country. 

Building community health worker capacity to deliver malaria care

By: Christopher Lourenço, Deputy Director, Malaria, PSI Global 

Community health workers (CHWs) are critical lifelines in their communities. Ensuring they have the training, support, and equipment they need is essential to keep their communities safe from malaria, especially in the hardest to reach contexts. 

For example, in Mali, access to formal health services remains challenging, with four in ten people living several miles from the nearest health center, all without reliable transportation or access. In 2009, the Ministry of Health adopted a community health strategy to reach this population. The U.S. President’s Malaria Initiative (PMI) Impact Malaria project, funded by USAID and led by PSI, supports the Ministry with CHW training and supervision to localize health services.  

In 2022, 328 thousand malaria cases were recorded by CHWs); 6.5 thousand severe malaria cases were referred to health centers, according to the national health information system. 

During that time, the PMI Impact Malaria project (IM) designed and supported two rounds of supportive supervision of 123 CHWs in their workplaces in the IM-supported regions of Kayes and Koulikoro. This included developing and digitizing a standardized supervision checklist; and developing a methodology for selecting which CHWs to visit. Once a long list of CHW sites had been determined as accessible to supervisors for a day trip (including security reasons), the supervisors telephoned the CHWs to check when they would be available to receive a visit [as being a CHW is not a full-time job, and certain times of the year they are busy with agricultural work (planting, harvesting) or supporting  health campaigns like mosquito net distribution].  

Supervisors directly observed how CHWs performed malaria rapid diagnostic tests (RDTs) and administered artemisinin-based combination therapy (ACT). They recorded CHW performance using the digitized checklist, interviewed community members, reviewed records, and provided on-the-spot coaching. They also interviewed the CHWs and tried to resolve challenges they expressed, including with resupply of commodities or equipment immediately or soon afterwards.  

Beyond the observed interactions with patients, supervisors heard from community members that they were pleased that CHWs were able to provide essential malaria services in the community. And the data shows the impact. 

In IM-supported areas of Mali, 36% of CHWs in the first round were competent in performing the RDT, which rose to 53% in the second. 24% of CHWs in the first round compared to 38% in the second were competent in the treatment of fever cases and pre-referral counseling. Between both rounds, availability of ACT increased from 80 percent to 90 percent. 

Supportive supervision with interviews and observations at sites improved the basic competencies of CHWs between the first and second rounds, and additional rounds will help to understand the longer-term programmatic benefits.

Taking a market-based approach to scale sanitation in Ethiopia

By: Dr. Dorothy Balaba, Country Representative, PSI Ethiopia  

In Ethiopia, PSI leads the implementation of USAID Transform WASH (T/WASH) activity with consortium partners, SNV and IRC WASH. Contrary to traditional models that rely on distribution of free or heavily subsidized sanitation products, T/WASH utilizes a market-based sanitation approach. This approach creates sustainable and affordable solutions, by integrating market forces and supporting businesses to grow, while creating demand at the household level. 

During the last six years, T/WASH has worked alongside the private sector and government (Ethiopia’s Ministry of Health, Ministry of Water and Energy, and Ministry of Labor and Skills), among other stakeholders, to increase household access to affordable, quality sanitation products and services. For example, more than 158 thousand households have invested in upgraded sanitation solutions with rapid expansion to come as the initiative scales and market growth accelerates. 

T/WASH has successfully trained more than 500 small businesses, including community masons and other construction-related enterprises, with technical know-how in sanitation product installation, operational capacities, and marketing and sales skills needed to run successful, growing businesses. The Ethiopian government is now scaling the approach to all districts through various national, regional, and local institutions with requisite expertise. T/WASH has also worked the One WASH National Program, Ministry of Health, Ministry of Water and Energy, and Ministry of Labor and Skills to examine policies that influence increased household uptake of basic WASH services, such as targeted sanitation subsidies, tax reduction to increase affordability, and increased access to loan capital for business seeking to expand and households needing help to improve their facilities. 

To share the journey to market-based sanitation, representatives of the Ethiopian Ministry of Health and the USAID Transform WASH team took to the stage at the UN Water Conference in 2023.

“Rather than relying on traditional aid models that often distribute free or heavily subsidized sanitation products, market-based sanitation creates sustainable and affordable solutions, integrating market forces and supporting businesses to grow.”  

— Michael Negash, Deputy Chief Party of T/WASH 

Promoting self-managed care like Self-testing and Self-Sampling

By: Dr Karin Hatzold, Associate Director HIV/TB/Hepatitis

Building upon the success and insights gained from our work with HIV self-testing (HIVST), PSI is actively applying this approach to better integrate self-care, more broadly, in the health system beginning with Hepatitis C and COVID-19. Self-testing has emerged as a powerful tool to increase access to integrated, differentiated, and decentralized health services, accelerating prevention, care, and treatment for various diseases, while also increasing health system resilience against COVID-19.

Here’s how we got there.

Seven years ago, the landscape of HIV self-testing lacked global guidelines, and only the U.S., the UK and France had policies in place that allowed for HIV self-testing. High disease burdened countries in low-and-middle-income-countries (LMICs) lacked evidence and guidance for HIVST despite major gaps in HIV diagnosis.

However, through the groundbreaking research from the Unitaid-funded HIV Self-Testing Africa (STAR) initiative led by PSI, we demonstrated that HIVST is not only safe and acceptable but also cost-effective for reaching populations at high risk with limited access to conventional HIV testing. This research played a pivotal role in informing the normative guidelines of the World Health Organization (WHO) and shaping policies at the country level. As a result, more than 108 countries globally now have reported HIVST policies, with an increasing number of countries implementing and scaling up HIVST to complement and  partially replace conventional testing services. This became especially significant as nations tried to sustain HIV services amidst the disruptions caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.

By leveraging our expertise, PSI is conducting research to identify specific areas and populations where the adoption of Hepatitis C and COVID-19 self-testing could significantly enhance testing uptake and coverage. This research serves as the foundation for developing targeted strategies and interventions to expand access to self-testing, ensure that individuals have convenient and timely options for testing for these diseases, and are linked to care, treatment and prevention services through differentiated test and treat approaches.

Using peer coaches to counter HIV stigma in South Africa

By: Shawn Malone, Project Director, HIV/AIDS Gates Project in South Africa, PSI Global

In South Africa, where the HIV response has lagged in reaching men, PSI’s Coach Mpilo model has transformed the role of an HIV counselor or case manager into that of a coach and mentor who provides empathetic guidance and support based on his own experience of living with HIV. Coaches are men who are not just stable on treatment but also living proudly and openly with HIV. Situated within the community and collaborating closely with clinic staff, they identify and connect with men struggling with barriers to treatment and support them in overcoming those barriers, whether that means navigating the clinic or disclosing their HIV status to their loved ones.

PSI and Matchboxology first piloted the model in 2020 with implementing partners BroadReach Healthcare and Right to Care as well as the Department of Health in three districts of South Africa. Since then, the model has been rolled out by eight implementing partners in South Africa, employing more than 300 coaches and reaching tens of thousands of men living with HIV. To date, the model has linked 98 percent of clients to care and retained 94 percent of them, in sharp contrast to the estimated 70 percent of men with HIV in South Africa who are currently on treatment.

Given the success of the program, South Africa’s Department of Health and the United States President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR) have each embraced the Coach Mpilo model in their health strategy and are embedding it in their strategies and programs. 

“The men we spoke to [while I was traveling to South Africa for a PrEP project with Maverick Collective by PSI] were not only decidedly open to the idea of taking a daily pill…many were willing to spread the word and encourage friends to get on PrEP too. We were able to uncover and support this new way forward because we had flexible funding to focus on truly understanding the community and the root barriers to PrEP adoption. This is the philanthropic funding model we need to effectively fight the HIV epidemic, and it’s beneficial for all sorts of social challenges.”

– Anu Khosla, Member, Maverick Collective by PSI

simplifying consumers’ journey to care in Vietnam

By: Hoa Nguyen, Country Director, PSI Vietnam

In late 2022, with funding from the Patrick J. McGovern Foundation, PSI and Babylon partnered to pilot AIOI in Vietnam. By combining Babylon’s AI symptom checker with PSI’s health provider locator tool, this digital health solution analyzes symptoms, recommends the appropriate level of care, and points them to health providers in their local area. The main goal is to support people in low-income communities to make informed decisions about their health and efficiently navigate the healthcare system, while reducing the burden on the healthcare workforce. The free 24/7 service saves people time and subsequent loss of income from taking time off work and from having to pay unnecessary out-of-pocket expenses. Under our global partnership with Meta, PSI launched a digital campaign to put this innovative product in the hands of people in Vietnam. By the end of June 2023 (in the nine months since product launch), 210 thousand people accessed the AIOI platform; 2.4 thousand people created personal accounts on the AIOI website, 4.8 thousand triages to Symptom Checker and linked 2.2 thousand people to health facilities.   

Babylon’s AI symptom checker and PSI’s health provider locator tool captures real-time, quality data that supports health systems to plan, monitor and respond to consumer and provider needs. But for this data to be effective and useable, it needs to be available across the health system. Fast Healthcare Interoperability Resources (FHIR) standard provides a common, open standard that enables this data exchange.
PSI’s first consumer-facing implementation of FHIR was launched in September 2022 as part of the Babylon Symptom Checker project in Vietnam, enabling rapid alignment between PSI and Babylon’s FHIR-enabled client records systems. PSI already has several other consumer health FHIR implementations under active development in 2023, including PSI’s collaboration with the Kenya MOH to launch a FHIR-enabled WhatsApp national health line for COVID-19 health information. PSI will also look to adopt and scale health workforce-facing FHIR-enabled tools, such as OpenSRP2, which will be piloted in an SRH-HIV prevention project in eSwatini in partnership with Ona by the end of 2023.

— Martin Dale, Director, Digital Health and Monitoring, PSI

Engaging the private sector for disease surveillance in Myanmar

By: Dr. Zayar Kyaw, Head of Health Security & Innovation, PSI Myanmar

Under a three-year investment from the Indo-Pacific Center for Health Security under Australia’s Department for Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT), PSI is enhancing disease outbreak surveillance and public health emergency preparedness and response capacities in Myanmar, Cambodia, Laos, and Vietnam. When PSI conducted a review of existing disease surveillance systems in Myanmar, it identified several gaps: although the Ministry of Health had systems in place for HIV, tuberculosis, malaria and other communicable diseases, they were fragmented, with different reporting formats and reliance on paper-based reporting. In addition, private sector case surveillance data were not routinely captured, yet private clinics and pharmacies are the dominant health service delivery channel in the country. This hindered effective disease prevention and control efforts.

Building on our extensive private sector malaria surveillance work under the BMGF-funded GEMS project in the Greater Mekong Subregion, PSI implemented a case-based disease notification system using social media channels to overcome the limitations of paper-based and custom-built mobile reporting tools. These chatbots, accessible through popular social media platforms like Facebook Messenger and Viber, proved to be user-friendly and required minimal training, maintenance, and troubleshooting. The system was implemented in more than 550 clinics of the Sun Quality Health social franchise network as well as nearly 470 pharmacies. The captured information flows to a DHIS2 database used for real-time monitoring and analysis, enabling rapid detection of potential outbreaks. Local health authorities receive instant automated SMS notifications, enabling them to promptly perform case investigation and outbreak response.

In 2022, private clinics reported 1,440 malaria cases through the social media chatbots, while community mobilizers working with 475 private providers and community-based malaria volunteers reported more than 5,500 cases, leading to the detection of two local malaria outbreaks. Local health authorities were instantly notified, allowing them to take action to contain these surges in malaria transmission. During the same time, pharmacies referred 1,630 presumptive tuberculosis cases for confirmatory testing – a third of which were diagnosed as tuberculosis and enrolled into treatment programs.

Training health workers in Angola

By: Anya Fedorova, Country Representative, PSI Angola  

The shortage of skilled health workers is widely acknowledged as a significant barrier to achieving Universal Health Coverage. To address this challenge, PSI supported ministries of health to develop a digital ecosystem that brings together stewardship, learning, and performance management (SLPM). The ecosystem enhances training, data-driven decision-making, and the efficiency of healthcare delivery.

Here’s what it looks like in practice.

In July 2020, PSI Angola, alongside the Angolan digital innovation company Appy People, launched Kassai, an eLearning platform that targets public sector health workers in Angola. Through funding from USAID and the President’s Malaria Initiatve (PMI), Kassai features 16 courses in malaria, family planning, and maternal and child health – with plans to expand learning topic areas through funding from ExxonMobil Foundation and private sector companies. A partnership with UNITEL, the largest telecommunication provider in Angola, provides all public health providers in Angola free internet access to use Kassai.

Kassai’s analytics system to follow learners’ success rate and to adjust the course content to learners’ performance and needs. Kassai analytics are integrated with DHIS2 – the Health Management Information System (HMIS) of Angolan MOH, to be able to link learners’ knowledge and performance with the health outcomes in the health facilities.  The analytics track learners’ performance by course and gives visibility by health provider, health facility, municipality, and province. Each course has pre-and post-evaluation tests to track progress of learning, too.

By the end of 2022, there were 6,600 unique users on the Kassai platform and 31,000 course enrollments. PSI Angola’s partnership with UNITEL, the largest telecommunication provider in Angola, allows for free internet access to learn on the Kassai for all public health providers in Angola. Building on its success for malaria training, Kassai now also provides courses in family planning, COVID-19, and maternal and child health. This reduces training silos and provides cross-cutting benefits beyond a single disease.

Implementing the SLPM digital ecosystem brings numerous benefits to health systems. It allows for more strategic and efficient workforce training and performance management, enabling ministries of health to track changes in health workers’ knowledge, quality of care, service utilization, and health outcomes in real time. The ecosystem also supports better stewardship of mixed health systems by facilitating engagement with the private sector, aligning training programs and standards of care, and integrating private sector data into national HMIS. Furthermore, it enables the integration of community health workers into the broader health system, maximizing their impact and contribution to improving health outcomes and strengthening primary healthcare.



PSI does not tolerate retaliation or adverse employment action of any kind against anyone who in good faith reports a suspected violation or misconduct under this policy, provides information to an external investigator, a law enforcement official or agency, or assists in the investigation of a suspected violation, even if a subsequent investigation determines that no violation occurred, provided the employee report is made in good faith and with reasonable belief in its accuracy.


Global Code of Business Conduct And Ethics

PSI’s code sets out our basic expectations for conduct that is legal, honest, fair, transparent, ethical, honorable, and respectful. It is designed to guide the conduct of all PSI employees—regardless of location, function, or position—on ethical issues they face during the normal course of business. We also expect that our vendors, suppliers, and contractors will work ethically and honestly.


The Future of Work

With overarching commitments to flexibility in our work, and greater wellbeing for our employees, we want to ensure PSI is positioned for success with a global and holistic view of talent. Under our new “work from (almost) anywhere,” or “WFAA” philosophy, we are making the necessary investments to be an employer of record in more than half of U.S. states, and consider the U.S. as one single labor market for salary purposes. Globally, we recognize the need to compete for talent everywhere; we maintain a talent center in Nairobi and a mini-hub in Abidjan. PSI also already works with our Dutch-based European partner, PSI Europe, and we’re creating a virtual talent center in the UK.


Meaningful Youth Engagement

PSI is firmly committed to the meaningful engagement of young people in our work. As signatories of the Global Consensus Statement on Meaningful Adolescent & Youth Engagement, PSI affirms that young people have a fundamental right to actively and meaningfully engage in all matters that affect their lives. PSI’s commitments aim to serve and partner with diverse young people from 10-24 years, and we have prioritized ethics and integrity in our approach. Read more about our commitments to the three core principles of respect, justice and Do No Harm in the Commitment to Ethics in Youth-Powered Design. And read more about how we are bringing our words to action in our ICPD+25 commitment, Elevating Youth Voices, Building Youth Skills for Health Design.


Zero Tolerance for Modern-Day Slavery and Human Trafficking

PSI works to ensure that its operations and supply chains are free from slavery and human trafficking. Read more about this commitment in our policy statement, endorsed by the PSI Board of Directors.



Since 2017, PSI has been a signatory to the United Nations Global Compact, a commitment to align strategies and operations with universal principles of human rights, labor, environment and anti-corruption. Read about PSI’s commitment to the UN Global Compact here.


Environmental Sustainability

The health of PSI’s consumers is inextricably linked to the health of our planet. That’s why we’ve joined the Climate Accountability in Development as part of our commitment to reducing our greenhouse gas emissions by 30 percent by 2030. Read about our commitment to environmental sustainability.


Affirmative Action and Equal Employment Opportunity

PSI does not discriminate against any employee or applicant for employment because of race, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, national origin, age, marital status, genetic information, disability, protected veteran status or any other classification protected by applicable federal, state or local law. Read our full affirmative action and equal employment opportunity policy here.


Zero Tolerance for Discrimination and Harassment

PSI is committed to establishing and maintaining a work environment that fosters harmonious, productive working relationships and encourages mutual respect among team members. Read our policy against discrimination and harassment here.

PSI is committed to serving all health consumers with respect, and strives for the highest standards of ethical behavior. PSI is dedicated to complying with the letter and spirit of all laws, regulations and contractual obligations to which it is subject, and to ensuring that all funds with which it is entrusted are used to achieve maximum impact on its programs. PSI provides exceptionally strong financial, operational and program management systems to ensure rigorous internal controls are in place to prevent and detect fraud, waste and abuse and ensure compliance with the highest standards. Essential to this commitment is protecting the safety and well-being of our program consumers, including the most vulnerable, such as women and children. PSI maintains zero tolerance for child abuse, sexual abuse, or exploitative acts or threats by our employees, consultants, volunteers or anyone associated with the delivery of our programs and services, and takes seriously all complaints of misconduct brought to our attention.


Diversity and Inclusion

PSI affirms its commitment to diversity and believes that when people feel respected and included they can be more honest, collaborative and successful. We believe that everyone deserves respect and equal treatment regardless of gender, race, ethnicity, age, disability, sexual orientation, gender identity, cultural background or religious beliefs. Read our commitment to diversity and inclusion here. Plus, we’ve signed the CREED Pledge for Racial and Ethnic Equity. Learn more.


Gender Equality

PSI affirms gender equality is a universal human right and the achievement of it is essential to PSI’s mission. Read about our commitment to gender equality here.


01 #PeoplePowered

02 Breaking Taboos

03 Moving Care Closer to Consumers

04 Innovating on Investments

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