As a constant innovator in maternal and child health, Jhpiego regularly expands into new arenas of health and development as we look to save more lives across the world. We’re proud and excited to introduce you to two of our newest experts—Myra Betron and Mychelle Farmer.
Senior Gender Advisor
Myra Betron has been working to end gender inequity for over a decade, and brings enormous experience to Jhpiego to scale up training that will address gender barriers in programs across the world.
From gender-based violence to early marriage, gender issues have enormous impact on maternal and child health. “There are a number of potential gender norms and prejudices that cause barriers to achieving our goals,” says Betron. “We need to overcome those barriers in order to save more lives and bring care to the people who need it most.”
Indeed, Jhpiego is working in Guinea, Kenya, Mozambique, Tanzania and Nepal to integrate screening, treatment, counseling and referral for gender-based violence into health services. The organization also has actively engaged men in Nigeria, Bangladesh and Malawi in women’s health issues to foster informed decision-making by couples.
What are the gender inequities that are prohibiting us from achieving our projects’ goals and outcomes? Why can’t someone access our services more fully? These are the kinds of questions Betron will focus on as Jhpiego develops a strong gender component to many of its programs.
“It is an arena of human rights and public health that we are determined to be a part of,” Betron says.
Senior Non-Communicable Disease Advisor
Mychelle Farmer is a pediatrician with a public health background and sub-specialty training in adolescent medicine. She has been involved with the global effort to integrate non-communicable disease (NCD) screening and prevention into primary care and community-based settings.
As a leader in cervical cancer screening and prevention, Jhpiego addresses one of the most common forms of cancer in women across the world. “We want to find more ways to expand such efforts by addressing non-communicable diseases that may present during the prenatal period—such as gestational diabetes,” says Farmer.
Jhpiego is already working in a variety of countries to better prepare health care providers to address non-communicable diseases during prenatal and postpartum periods, and Farmer brings great experience to the team as Jhpiego expands further.
“Jhpiego has the capacity to integrate NCD prevention, screening and control into women’s health programs, and to work alongside governments to develop low-cost, high-quality interventions,” says Farmer.
Farmer is also working with country programs to find ways to expand sexual and reproductive health services for adolescents and youth.
Given that 43 percent of the world’s population are under the age of 25, Jhpiego will continue to play a strong role in the development of innovative, youth-focused health programs, says Farmer.
Jhpiego has a strong commitment to health services that are culturally relevant and technically excellent. Using an approach focused on adolescents, new reproductive health services will be appropriate for their age and developmental stage as well, says Farmer.