Louise Holly

I am the Senior Policy & Advocacy Adviser in the health team. We are working to ensure that all children can realise their right to health and have access to quality health services no matter where they live.

Our health workers campaign: let’s seize the moment

Friday 8 November 2013 by Louise Holly

A recent statement from the UK government marks an important step in our campaign for more health workers in the world’s poorest countries. But with just days to go until a pivotal global health conference, it’s vital the government’s warm words are translated into firm commitments.

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Maternal and child malnutrition: we must invest in health workers

Wednesday 9 October 2013 by Louise Holly

In Bangladesh, we met five-month-old Nirob, who was battling against a terrible combination of malnutrition and disease. He’d been losing weight since he was born and wouldn’t feed regularly.

Nirob’s mother Shipra didn’t know what was wrong and wished she could take him to a doctor. But she told us that no health workers visit their rural village and they can’t afford to make the 50km journey to the nearest clinic.

“Where can I go for help?” she asked. “I just want Nirob to be safe and well. Only then can I think about his future.”

The links between health and nutrition are well known: malnutrition is an underlying cause of almost half of child deaths worldwide. However, there is often little discussion about the role that health workers – doctors, nurses, midwives and community-based healthcare providers – play in preventing and treating it.

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Dear G8, 1 billion people who never see a health worker is far too many

Friday 14 June 2013 by Louise Holly

On the one hand, the G8’s latest accountability report, monitoring progress on the 60 development commitments that have been made over the past 11 years, makes impressive reading. According to their self-assessment, good progress has been made on health – the subject of almost one-third of the commitments monitored in the report. On the other hand, despite impressive reductions in maternal and child mortality and deaths from infectious diseases, the G8 has recognised that progress is falling “below expectations”.

Five years on, little progress

Under the 2008 Japanese presidency, the G8 committed “to work towards increasing health workforce coverage to meet the World Health Organisation (WHO) recommended target of 2.3 midwives, nurses & doctors per 1,000 people”. Countries falling below this are considered unlikely to be able to meet the health-related Millennium Development Goals (MDGs).

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Ending the scandal of newborn deaths

Friday 19 April 2013 by Louise Holly

In the 1940s the British government created a Welfare State that promised to look after citizens from the “cradle to the grave”.

Returning home to the UK from the first Global Newborn Conference in South Africa, I was reminded of how unequal the survival chances of babies are because of where they happen to be born.

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Pakistan: Award for lady health workers

Friday 12 April 2013 by Louise Holly

“In 17 years of my work with the Lady Health Workers Programme, his is first time I am feeling the importance of work I am doing being a Lady Health Worker”.

These were the words of 34 year old Abida Mustafa, after she was crowned the best Lady Health Worker in Pakistan’s Balochistan province this week.

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Sierra Leone: Health worker rewarded for exemplary service

Wednesday 10 April 2013 by Louise Holly

Today, as part of my series of blogs for World Health Worker Week, I am focusing on the winner of a national health worker award in Sierra Leone.

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India: Awards for unsung health heroes

Tuesday 9 April 2013 by Louise Holly

To mark the very first World Health Worker Week, I am highlighting some inspiring health workers that Save the Children has been working with around the world.

Today I wanted to feature two health workers from India who made a real impression on me when I visited India in January.

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A week for championing health workers

Monday 8 April 2013 by Louise Holly

Today is the first day of the very first World Health Worker Week!

Around the world people are taking action to celebrate the work that health workers do and to raise awareness of the challenges they face every day.

It is also an opportunity to fill in the gaps in the health workforce by calling on those in power to ensure that health workers everywhere have the training, supplies, pay and support they need to do their jobs effectively.

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DFID confirms ongoing support for health workers

Friday 5 April 2013 by Louise Holly

In parliament last week, the UK Department for International Development (DFID) highlighted the role of health workers for improving the health of women and children and reaffirmed its commitment to help train and support health workers in 28 countries.

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Myanmar: new opportunities to transform the health system

Tuesday 12 March 2013 by Louise Holly

I recently went to Myanmar to help our team in Yangon develop a plan for influencing national policies on health and nutrition.

Child mortality rates in Myanmar are the highest in the region – but there are positive signs that health is being prioritised, with promises to increase the health budget and to achieve universal health coverage.

As we begin to put our new plans into action over the next months and years, I hope that there will be lots of positive stories to share.

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