Health Systems Strengthening

Health Systems Strengthening (HSS)

{Photo credit: Susana Galdos/MSH, South Africa}Photo credit: Susana Galdos/MSH, South Africa

Just a few months ago, the province of KwaZulu Natal, South Africa, captured the world’s attention for unfortunate reasons: xenophobic attacks on foreign African nationals. This week, from June 9 to 12 in Durban, the same province is hosting the 7th South African AIDS conference, a gathering expected to bring together thousands of activists from within the country, the Southern African region and, indeed, the rest of the continent and the world, to “reflect, refocus, and renew” efforts in response to HIV and AIDS.

{Photo credit: MSH staff/Haiti}Photo credit: MSH staff/Haiti

Multisector perspectives on achieving resilience in global health

Recent events, such as the Haiti and Nepal earthquakes and West Africa Ebola outbreak, have demonstrated, now more than ever, that a resilient health system is vital to ensuring stability and well-being in society. With this in mind, Management Sciences for Health (MSH) and the USAID-funded, MSH-led, Leadership, Management, and Governance project in Haiti (LMG/Haiti), partnered with Johnson & Johnson to host a high-level panel event during the 68th session of the World Health Assembly (WHA) in Geneva, Switzerland.

The event, entitled Building and Maintaining Resilience to Address Global Health Challenges, examined how the global health community can move beyond typical public-private partnerships to achieve a model of true country stakeholder engagement. This model would include and leverage the strengths of all actors to build systems capable of addressing long-term global health issues like non-communicable diseases while maintaining resilience to outbreaks like Ebola.

 {Management Sciences for Health and Novo Nordisk}Save Lives of Women & Newborns through Gestational Diabetes Screening: A Call to Action (Postcard: front)Management Sciences for Health and Novo Nordisk

Detecting and treating diabetes in pregnancy offers a simple, low-cost opportunity to improve maternal and child health and reduce maternal deaths. Yet, it has received scant attention as a public health priority, especially in low- and middle-income countries.

To put gestational diabetes on the global development agenda and call for action, Management Sciences for Health (MSH) and Novo Nordisk sponsored a technical advocacy event on the sidelines of the 68th World Health Assembly (WHA) in Geneva that closely examined gestational diabetes mellitus (GDM) and featured case studies and lessons learned from Ethiopia and Colombia.

[Catharine Howard Taylor, MSH Vice President, Center for Health Services, gives an overview of gestational diabetes and the need for routine screening to open the conversation.] {Photo credit: Barbara Ayotte/MSH}Catharine Howard Taylor, MSH Vice President, Center for Health Services, gives an overview of gestational diabetes and the need for routine screening to open the conversation.Photo credit: Barbara Ayotte/MSH

{Photo credit: Warren Zelman.}Photo credit: Warren Zelman.

MSH's May 2015 newsletter highlights the global health impact of pharmaceutical management: Ensuring access to affordable, quality medicines saves lives (subscribe).


by Jonathan D. Quick, MD, MPH

Health care is largely dependent upon essential medicines for preventing infection, reducing pain, and treating illness. The development of effective medicines, however, is only the beginning.

Quality care means getting the right medicine, in the right dose, at an affordable price, for all the people who need it.

Accessible, affordable, and properly used medicines save lives. Major childhood killers like diarrhea, pneumonia, malaria, and even HIV, are preventable or treatable with essential medicines. But for many children, where they live means the difference between life and death: some 30,000 children in developing countries die every year from diseases treatable with basic essential medicines.

Chryste D. Best recently was named one of the top 300 women in global Health. Best establishes the processes, procedures, and controls to ensure that all products procured and supplied by the Supply Chain Management System (SCMS) meet appropriate quality standards.

We spoke with MSH’s Chryste D. Best, BS, product quality assurance manager, The Partnership for Supply Chain Management (PFSCM), about her selection as one of the top 300 women leaders in global health by the Global Health Programme of the Graduate Institute of International and Development Studies in Geneva. Best provides innovative quality assurance oversight for the global procurement of medicines and commodities by MSH and partners.

{Photo: Gwenn Dubourthoumieu}Photo: Gwenn Dubourthoumieu

The Partnership for Supply Chain Management (PFSCM), an organization formed through a partnership between Management Sciences for Health (MSH) and John Snow Research & Training Institute, Inc., (JSI R&T), uses an innovative consortium model that draws on the capabilities and experience of 13 internationally-renowned organizations. PFSCM harnesses this expertise to strengthen, develop and manage secure, reliable, cost-effective and sustainable supply chains to meet the needs of health care and other public services. Since 2009, PFSCM has leveraged this unique expertise to manage the Pooled Procurement Mechanism (PPM), previously known as Voluntary Pooled Procurement (VPP).

Funded by The Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria (The Global Fund), PPM procures and delivers about $46.6 million in life-saving health care products monthly, including HIV and malaria medicines, test kits, and related commodities. As a managing partner in PPM, MSH has played a key role in the mechanism’s overall management and strategy.

 {Photo credit: Pinky Patel}A photo from A Corridor of Contrasts.Photo credit: Pinky Patel

This week, African Strategies for Health (ASH)—a USAID-funded, MSH-led project that identifies public health best practices in sub-Saharan Africa and advocates for their adoption—has been attending the International Conference on Urban Health from May 24 through 27 in Dhaka, Bangladesh. At the conference, ASH has been sharing A Corridor of Contrasts, a report compiling photographs and stories of the people living along the West African Abidjan to Lagos transport corridor, which crosses Côte d'Ivoire, Ghana, Togo, Benin and Nigeria.

In partnership with USAID’s Africa Bureau and Bureau of Global Health, ASH sent me and a photographer, Pinky Patel, to West Africa this past January to document life along the Abidjan to Lagos transport corridor. We traveled the majority of the road through Benin, Togo, Ghana, and Cote d’Ivoire, talking with and photographing people from all walks of life with the goal of learning how cities influence health. Our experience is documented in A Corridor of Contrasts.

South African poster encouraging appropriate use of antimicrobials, developed for Pharmacy Week 2014.

Antimicrobial resistance is a major threat to the long-term security of public health and has the potential to negatively impact our society. It is a serious and growing global health security risk, which needs to be prioritised at local and international levels.

-Dr. Aaron Motsoaledi, South African Minister of Health

Last May, the World Health Assembly called for global action to address the growing threat of antimicrobial resistance (AMR). The Systems for Improved Access to Pharmaceuticals and Services (SIAPS) Program in South Africa (SIAPS-SA), understanding the need for a coordinated national response, worked closely with the National Department of Health (NDoH) on the development of the National Antimicrobial Resistance (AMR) Strategy Framework 2014-2024 and the institutionalization of a self-assessment and continuous quality improvement approach to enhance infection prevention and control (IPC) programs.

{Photo credit: Rui Pires}Photo credit: Rui Pires

More than 10 years ago, Management Sciences for Health (MSH) developed its Leadership Development Program (LDP), a structured program for leadership development that ties together personal development and real life challenges, utilizing a team-based, action learning approach to improve health outcomes.

This week, May 26 through May 28, all health leaders and managers interested in the LDP, and the new and improved LDP Plus (LDP+), are invited to participate in a free, three-day online seminar on MSH’s LeaderNet.

 {Photo Credit: Brigid Boettler/MSH}Ibil Surya, William Yeung, and Meggie Mwoka at Youth Lead side event, May 19, 2015.Photo Credit: Brigid Boettler/MSH

This post originally appeared on USAID's Leadership, Management & Governance (LMG) Project is led by Management Sciences for Health (MSH) with a consortium of partners.

“Age is not an issue when it comes to experience and knowledge,” said Katja Iversen, CEO of Women Deliver at Youth Lead: Setting Priorities for Adolescent Health. The World Health Assembly (WHA) side event wrapped up almost two weeks of young leaders sharing their experience and knowledge in Geneva at global consultations of health agendas and the creation of the new Global Strategy for Women’s, Children’s, and Adolescents’ Health.


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