Health Systems Strengthening

Health Systems Strengthening (HSS)

“Songs brought by foreigners do not last long at the dance.”  So goes a Kenyan proverb that supports the concept that countries should own their development. The development community knows this, but we aren’t yet making it happen on a broad scale. On the opening day of the Global Health Council conference last week, Management Sciences for Health (MSH) teamed up with Oxfam America to host a panel on country ownership and how to successfully achieve it.

To a standing room only audience the panelists from civil society, NGOs, local government, and US government discussed country ownership models from a varied perspectives. Highlights from the interesting conversation are below:

Just over five months ago, Haiti suffered a devastating earthquake that displaced more than 700,000 people.  Addressing the health needs of such a large population in a post-disaster situation is a complex challenge, one Management Sciences for Health (MSH) is supporting through its many programs including our Leadership, Management and Sustainability Program (LMS).

Global Health TV visits Ethiopia’s capital, Addis Ababa, to see how MSH’s  systems approach at the community level results in better lives for people living with HIV & AIDS. Management Sciences for Health, an international nonprofit organization, uses proven approaches developed over four decades to help leaders, health managers, and communities in over 60 countries build stronger health systems for greater health impact.

Watch the video.

In fragile states, constraints on governments often prevent them from simultaneously building their stewardship role and immediately expanding service delivery. National and local governments must ultimately lead the process and work together with NGOs and the private sector to successfully strengthen their own health systems.

In Haiti, a two-pronged approach was successfully developed and implemented prior to the earthquake by a four-way partnership between the Government of Haiti, the United States Government, a network of Haitian and international NGOs  (Santé pour le Développement et la Stabilité d’Haíïti) (SDSH), and Management Sciences for Health.

The two-pronged approach included:

Today, the 37th annual Global Health Council Conference “Goals and Metrics” begins in Washington, DC. MSH is pleased to be a Silver Sponsor of the conference.

MSH is sponsoring two auxiliary events:

“Can Country Ownership Work?  Field Perspectives on Health Systems Strengthening”
Today, June 14, 2-4pm, Governors Room, Omni Shoreham Hotel, Washington, DC
A panel discussion co-hosted by MSH and Oxfam on how “country ownership”—the management of donor funds by a national government—works in practice. The panel will feature first-hand perspectives from government and civil society health providers from Cambodia, Mozambique, and Nigeria.
The event is open and free to the public.
A live webcast will also be available:  http://www.ustream.tv/channel/can-country-ownership-work

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