US Global Health Policy

U.S. Global Health Policy

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

While at the World Federation of Public Health Associations meeting in India earlier this year, I met with a district health manager from Nigeria. He asked,

What is the value of having a District Health Council? It takes a lot of time to work with them; so what is the return on that invested time?

My Nigerian colleague is not the only one struggling to support the role of governing bodies. For years, governing bodies -– from district and provincial health councils to executive boards -– have been overlooked as valuable players in strengthening health systems.

“There are many examples of how investments in good governance lead to better health outcomes,” I said, “and many opportunities for supporting the under-supported leaders who govern through district health councils, hospital boards, or other governing bodies.”

We talked about how in the journey to stronger health system performance and greater health outcomes, it is not enough to have good leaders and managers to enable the talents of good health workers.

Strong health systems also need strong trustees serving on the organization’s governing body.

We determined that a good district health council -– or any good governing body –- amplifies the investment of time in at least three ways:

 {Photo by: <a href="https://www.flickr.com/photos/nyayahealth/7157522726/">Possible</a> <a href="https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/">CC BY</a>}A female health volunteer surveys women to gather data in Nepal. Better health information is vital to achieving health goals.Photo by: Possible CC BY

In many developing countries, true life-and-death decisions hinge on information that’s old, unreliable or both.

Without strong national capacity for data collection, health officials are left in the dark when monitoring outbreaks of diseases like Ebola or trying to improve care for cancer patients. Many countries are unable to produce an accurate picture of their progress toward universal health coverage (UHC) or even assess their starting point.

Meanwhile, the global health community has rallied behind ambitious sustainable development goals for the post-2015 era, an agenda that adopts new priorities like achieving UHC and addressing noncommunicable diseases alongside updated targets for the health-related Millennium Development Goals. Delivering on the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) for health foresees countries’ taking increased ownership over health priority-setting and program implementation.

{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).

Introduction

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: 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 LMGforHealth.org. 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.

{Photo credit: Genaye Eshetu/MSH}Photo credit: Genaye Eshetu/MSH

Going to Geneva for the 68th Session of the World Health Assembly (WHA)? Please join Management Sciences for Health (MSH) for three WHA side events: two on Monday, May 18th (a breakfast call to action on gestational diabetes screening, and an evening panel discussion on building global health resilience); and one on Tuesday, May 19th (a lunch panel discussion on setting adolescent health priorities). Please RSVP to each event separately. We hope to see you in Geneva!

(Not going to Geneva? Follow this blog for updates. On Twitter, follow , , and , and hashtags .)

Saving the Lives of Women & Newborns through Gestational Diabetes Screening: A Call to Action

Monday, May 18, 2015
8:00 am – 9:30am (08h00 - 09h30)
Vieux Bois restaurant, at the entrance to the Palais des Nations, Avenue de la Paix 12

{Photo credit: Todd Shapera}Photo credit: Todd Shapera

In the Geita District in Tanzania’s Lake Zone, some 10 kilometers from the nearest health facility, a one-year-old girl child wakes up crying with a severe fever. “We used to walk more than 10 kilometers to present our sick children to Geita Regional Hospital,” says Joyce Bahati, the girl’s mother.

Access to proper diagnosis and medicine is critical when a child develops a severe fever. A long journey can delay treatment, or for some, discourage seeking care altogether. In rural sub-Saharan Africa, where the nearest fully-functional health facility may be, at best, a three-hour journey on foot, women and children often turn first to community-based caregivers and medicines sellers or small health dispensaries as first providers of primary health care, including severe fever.

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