Jhpiego (Baltimore)

15 May 2009

Kenya: OB/GYN Receives International Health Award

press release

Baltimore — Jhpiego, an international non-profit health organization affiliated with Johns Hopkins University, is pleased to announce that Dr. Harshad Sanghvi, Vice President and Medical Director of Jhpiego, has been awarded the 2009 Award for Best Practices in Global Health from the Global Health Council.

The award will be presented to Dr. Sanghvi at the Council's 36th Annual International Conference on Global Health on May 28th in Washington, D.C.

"Dr. Sanghvi is known as a visionary who tirelessly advocates for the needs of women," said Dr. Leslie Mancuso, President and CEO of Jhpiego. "His medical research, advocacy and programs have saved the lives of thousands of women and children around the world."

Dr. Sanghvi is being recognized by the Global Health Council for his work in addressing the issue of postpartum hemorrhaging (PPH). As an OB/GYN physician from Kenya, Dr. Sanghvi saw firsthand the devastating impact PPH had not only on the mother's life but also its effect on her family, especially the lives of her children.

Through the years, Dr. Sanghvi became an international expert in PPH and has served on many international committees for the US Government, World Health Organization (WHO), International Federation of Gynecology and Obstetrics (FIGO) and International College of Midwives (ICM).

His work, supported by USAID and other donors, includes the promotion of skilled birth attendance, active management of the third stage of labor, pre-service education and most recently the use of misoprostol to prevent PPH during home births.

As a result of Dr. Sanghvi's efforts, Jhpiego, in collaboration with other development partners, are helping many developing nations to initiate community-based distribution of misoprostol into their maternal health programs, as well as promoting prevention of postpartum hemorrhage through active management of third stage of labor where there are skilled providers.

"According to USAID, up to 60 percent of the half a million women who die during or after pregnancy are due to PPH," said Maurice Middleberg, Executive Vice President of the Global Health Council. "Thanks to Dr. Sanghvi's pioneering work, many women will not experience PPH because they were given misoprostol by trained community volunteers. Although we would all like to see skilled providers from pre-pregnancy through postpartum care, Dr. Sanghvi's work has helped build a movement to ensure women have access to lifesaving medication."

As Vice President and Medical Director at Jhpiego, Dr. Sanghvi is responsible for providing leadership and oversight for technical and clinical approaches, leading strategic thinking, and pursuing innovative opportunities.

Dr. Sanghvi's professional background is in obstetrics and gynecology and clinical epidemiology. He completed his medical education and residency in Kenya; received graduate and postdoctoral training in the United Kingdom and United States; and is a former Chairman of the Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, University of Nairobi.

Dr. Sanghvi has extensive work experience in more than 25 low-resource countries. In recent years, he has led efforts to develop a global pool of maternal/neonatal health experts, focused world attention on reducing mortality from PPH, and developed global training materials for emergency obstetric care. He has received numerous awards and recognition for his tireless work for women and children in developing countries.

The Award for Best Practices is given annually by the Global Health Council to celebrate and highlight the efforts of individuals in the field dedicated to improving the health of disadvantaged and disenfranchised populations, and to recognize programs that effectively demonstrate the link between health, poverty and development. Recipients of the award are selected for their ability to exhibit measurable results in the field, as well as the capacity and expertise to share, inspire and extend best practices for improving health.

About JHPIEGO

Jhpiego (pronounced "ja-pie-go"), is an international non-profit health organization affiliated with Johns Hopkins University. For 35 years, Jhpiego has empowered front-line health workers by designing and implementing effective, low-cost, hands-on solutions to strengthen the delivery of health care services for women and their families. By putting evidence-based health innovations into everyday practice, Jhpiego works to break down barriers to high-quality health care for the world's most vulnerable populations. For more information go to www.jhpiego.org.

About the Global Health Council

The Global Health Council is the world's largest membership alliance dedicated to saving lives by improving health throughout the world.  The Council serves and represents public health organizations and professionals working in more than 140 countries on six continents. www.globalhealth.org.

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