16 Dec 2015

Engaging with DHS Data in Senegal

Days like today are why I love my job. “Thematic data use workshops are the most important part of the survey,” Fatou CAMARA, director of the Senegal Continuous Survey at l’Agence Nationale de la Statistique et la Démographie (ANSD), tells me over dinner. “They’re also my favorite,” she adds. I couldn’t agree more. It’s always rewarding to watch people engage directly with data from The DHS Program surveys, but even more so when it’s the women and men who manage a country’s health programs.

Representatives from ANSD, the Ministry of Health and Social Action, and USAID officially open the thematic workshop.

Representatives from ANSD, the Ministry of Health and Social Action, and USAID officially open the thematic workshop.

The topics for the thematic workshop are maternal health, child health, and nutrition. Regional medical coordinators, reproductive health coordinators, and nutrition supervisors have come from all 14 of Senegal’s regions to participate. They are joined by the national maternal health, child survival, and nutrition program directors.

Senegal DHS and SPA Report CoversThe morning is packed with introductions and presentations on the relevant results from the Senegal Continuous Survey. Data is collected each year in Senegal and the results are designed to guide program planning, monitoring, and evaluation. The Senegal Continuous Survey has two parts: 1) the Continuous DHS, which collects data on households, women, men, and children; and 2) the Continuous SPA, which collects data on health facilities, health care providers, and clients receiving health care.

Participants review the dissemination materials for the Continuous Survey.

Participants review the dissemination materials for the Continuous Survey.

Questions and comments during the discussion following the presentations are intriguing. “We trained our health care providers on the integrated management of childhood illness, but the [survey] results show that they aren’t putting this into practice during sick child consultations.” “Almost a quarter of births still occur at home instead of health facilities, though the availability of delivery services is high. We need to increase our communication efforts with women.” Continuous SPA coordinator, Dr Ibou GUISSE, and the director of field operations for the Continuous DHS, Mabeye DIOP, do an excellent job of providing detailed answers and explanations.

The afternoon begins with an activity on how to read and understand tables from the Continuous Survey. Participants are guided step-by-step, from reading the title and subtitle to finding the totals in the table. Over lunch, a participant tells me that the activity is useful, “Previously, I sometimes struggled to make sense of the tables. Now I’m more confident.”

Participants identify priority actions from their regional strategic plans during group work.

Participants identify priority actions from their regional strategic plans during group work.

The rest of the day is dedicated to group work. Each region must identify two priority actions from their regional strategic health plans that will be completed in the six months after the workshop. They must also indicate specific results from the Continuous Survey that support the actions they have chosen. Finally, they must create an action plan for these priority actions, including next steps and deadlines. The groups are so engrossed in the group work that they continue well past 6 PM. Tomorrow, they will present their priority actions, supporting data, and action plans. I can hardly wait see to see the data in action!

09 Dec 2015

Global Health Gets Social

© 2013 Phoebe Gullunan, Courtesy of Photoshare

© 2013 Phoebe Gullunan, Courtesy of Photoshare

In 2012 when the Social Media for Global Health and Development working group started, many people were searching for some guidance on how to do social media for global health. The group started small with just a few interested organizations and has since grown to over 500 around the world. The need for social media technical assistance has increased and was the inspiration for the development of a new Global Health eLearning Center course, Social Media for Global Health and Development. The course provides tips and resources for using social media in one free and easy-to-use place.

The course provides an introduction to social media and how it can be used in global health and development. It gives a rationale for why social media is important with examples from organizations such as DefeatDD, Maternal and Child Survival Program, and the USAID | Deliver Project. The course also provides an overview of the top global platforms such as Facebook, Twitter, WhatsApp, and more. Global health and development professionals can learn how to integrate social media within their programs with a step-by-step guide on creating a strategy and measuring social media.

The course targets beginner to intermediate social media users. There are helpful hints, case studies, and links to more information so learners can start their social media and do it effectively. Register today at the Global Health eLearning Center to begin the two hour course.

Anatomy of a Tweet

02 Dec 2015

ASTMH 64th Annual Meeting: #IAmTropMed


What do an Ebola treatment unit, the history of malaria in art, and malaria elimination all have in common? These were just some of the sessions available to participants of the American Society of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene (ASTMH) 64th Annual Meeting in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.

From October 25-29, 2015, three members of The DHS Program analysis group attended the conference to learn more about the new and innovative ideas emerging in the field of tropical medicine. Some topics of interest include data collection strategies for monitoring and evaluating seasonal malaria chemoprevention (SMC), as well as improvements in malaria diagnostic tools.

CT Poster

While at the conference, three posters were presented by The DHS Program staff:

These three posters were only a fraction of the posters that used or cited DHS data. Many presentations cited DHS data in their background sections and used DHS data in their analysis. Conference attendees also included past DHS workshop participants who continue to use DHS data for their jobs.

IamtropmedIn his opening address to the conference, former administrator for USAID Dr. Rajiv Shah commented, “so many of you are drawn to this conference because of your passion to protect those who are vulnerable…to eradicate diseases you know disproportionately affect the poorest communities in the world.” Indeed, the shared passion was tangible and energizing for The DHS Program staff.

If you are interested in tropical medicine, be sure to check out recent DHS analytical reports that use malaria data:

The information provided on this Web site is not official U.S. Government information and does not represent the views or positions of the U.S. Agency for International Development or the U.S. Government.

The DHS Program, ICF
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Tel: +1 (301) 407-6500 • Fax: +1 (301) 407-6501

Anthropometry measurement (height and weight) is a core component of DHS surveys that is used to generate indicators on nutritional status. The Biomarker Questionnaire now includes questions on clothing and hairstyle interference on measurements for both women and children for improved interpretation.