October 2014

 {Photo credit: Jon Jay/MSH.}FROM LEFT: Joanne Manrique, Center for Global Health and Diplomacy; Sheila Tlou, UNAIDS (Eastern and Southern Africa), Former MOH Bostwana; Irene Kiwia, Tanzania Women of Achievement; Catharine Taylor, MSH; Kate Gilmore, UNFPA; Raymonde Goudou Coffie, MOH, Cote d'Ivoire; Language interpreter.Photo credit: Jon Jay/MSH.

Experience the 69th UN General Assembly (UNGA) and Clinton Global Initiative (CGI) Annual Meeting as we take you through some of the key events in photos, videos, and tweets. More than a dozen Management Sciences for Health (MSH) representatives led or participated in UNGA and CGI activities in New York City, New York, last week.

{Photo credit: Rui Pires - Ghana.}Photo credit: Rui Pires - Ghana.

Sometimes the people who know best are, well, the people, say MSH President & CEO Dr. Jonathan D. Quick and colleagues in the second issue of The Strengthening Health Systems Journal.

Achieving the fundamental objectives of universal health coverage (UHC) and meeting the challenges of governing complex health systems requires people-centered schemes that include formal mechanisms to bring civil society and communities into the design and implementation of UHC programmes.

Dr. Quick, Research & Communications Specialist Chelsey Canavan, and Senior Writer Jonathan Jay highlight three areas where civil society and communities play vital roles in people-centered health systems: 1) ensuring the right services are provided under an essential package of health services; 2) removing barriers to care such as user fees; and 3) ensuring equitable access to health services.

In each of these areas and at every level of the health system, "citizen representation is essential", Quick and colleagues say. Bringing communities into the process at every step in the design and implementation of UHC will help "ensure meaningful increases in equity and improvements in health outcomes for the people the health system is meant to serve".

MSH President & CEO Jonathan D. Quick says "investment in health systems, including epidemic preparedness, is the only way to ensure rapid containment of the next disease outbreak," in today's The New York Times.

"Developing strong health systems will ensure the collective well-being for all over the long term," said MSH President & CEO Jonathan D. Quick in a Letter to the Editor, published October 3, 2014, in The New York Times.

In the letter responding to Nicholas Kristof's Sept. 25 column, “The Ebola Fiasco”, Dr. Quick wrote:

Nicholas Kristof rightly states that early action on Ebola could have saved lives and money. The early investment should have been in bolstering the health systems for the long term—not as a quick fix after Ebola had re-emerged. ...

Steady international and national investment in health systems, including epidemic preparedness, is the only way to ensure rapid containment of the next disease outbreak—which surely will come—and to avoid the human and financial cost of an epidemic out of control.

Read Dr. Quick's Letter to the Editor in today's The New York Times (print edition or online).

 {Photo credit: Sarah Lindsay/MSH.}Ayanda Ntsaluba (right) Executive Director of Discovery Health and Former Director-General of Health for South Africa, welcomes participants to the Third Global Governance for Health Roundtable.Photo credit: Sarah Lindsay/MSH.

Management Sciences for Health (MSH) and a consortium of partners lead the US Agency for International Development's (USAID's) Leadership, Management & Governance (LMG) Project. These posts originally appeared on LMG's blog as two posts (Day 1 and Day 2). They also appeared on MSH's Third Global Symposium on Health Systems Research conference blog (Day 1, Day 2).

L to R: MSH staffer Niniola Soleye and her aunt, Dr. Ameyo Adadevoh

My aunt, Dr. Ameyo Adadevoh, identified and contained the first case of Ebola in Nigeria.  She paid with her life because the health system was not ready to deal with Ebola.  The system has since caught up, and is today a model for other countries.  But the loss of such a gifted doctor and family anchor is incalculable.

Ebola arrived in Nigeria at a time when doctors at all federal government hospitals were on a labor strike (my aunt worked in a private hospital).  After ongoing negotiations with the government failed to meet their demands, the doctors – desperate to see significant changes in the health system and seeking improved salaries, positions, and titles – reached their breaking point.  So they went on an indefinite strike.

Patrick Sawyer – the index case – left quarantine in Liberia and collapsed at the airport in Lagos, Nigeria.  He was trying to travel to a meeting of the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) in Calabar, Nigeria.

 {Photo credit: Sylvia Vriesondorp/MSH.}2014 JWLI Fellows meet with Atsuko Fish (seated, in red coat) and Belkis Giorgis, MSH’s global technical lead on gender (seated at laptop). From right: Yuka Matsushima, Yumiko Nagai, Mito Ikemizu, Kozue Sawame (Fish Family Foundation), Megumi Ishimoto.Photo credit: Sylvia Vriesondorp/MSH.

“Japanese women could be a tremendous force for social change—in Japan and elsewhere,” said Atsuko Fish, Trustee of the Fish Family Foundation in Boston. “But, few have the confidence and skills to take on leadership roles.”

In 2006, three visionary women leaders, Fish; Mary Lassen, past president and Chief Executive Officer of the Women's Union in Boston; and Catherine Crone Coburn, former president of MSH, founded The Japanese Women‘s Leadership Initiative (JWLI). They created a pilot project designed to provide women from Japan four weeks of direct experience and training with successful nonprofit organizations in Boston. Training areas included domestic violence, elder care, child care, and women‘s leadership and empowerment. That same year, Simmons College became their academic partner.

Cover photo of Nepal Results-Oriented Leadership Development Program (ROLDP) brochure.

This post originally appeared on LeaderNet.org.

Have you ever wondered what happens after a project activity ends? We are always deeply committed to local ownership and sustainability, yet, we rarely have the opportunity to do long term follow up or reflection. I recently had the extraordinary opportunity to discover for myself the long term impact of the Leadership Development Program (LDP) in Nepal.

To sum it up in one word: Wow!

 {Photo credit: Ian Sliney/MSH}Liberia.Photo credit: Ian Sliney/MSH

Co-host Robin Young interviews Ian Sliney and Arthur Loryoun of Management Sciences for Health (MSH) about MSH's work with Liberia's government and community leaders to rebuild the health system, stop the spread of Ebola, and restore community confidence on today's NPR/WBUR Boston's Here & Now.

Sliney, senior director for health systems strengthening at MSH, says:

The idea of the community care center is to put a triage facility close to a health center that will allow people who think they may have Ebola to come and receive a very rapid diagnosis. Other people who have a fever or symptoms similar to Ebola can also come. There will be a very rapid turnaround of the diagnostic procedures to accelerate treatment for the people who catch this terrible disease.

Loryoun, technical advisor at MSH and a pharmacist, says:

Initially people were very resistant to the idea of opening any form of treatment centers in the [community], for fear that would further spread the virus. People are now beginning to appreciate the effort of setting up of the community care centers.

 {Photo credit: MSH}Colin Gilmartin, Dr. San San Aye, Uzaib Saya, and David Collins present at HSR 2014.Photo credit: MSH

This post originally appeared on the MSH at the Third Global Symposium on Health Systems Research conference blog.

On September 30 – October 3, 2014, nearly 3,000 researchers, program managers, and policy makers convened in Cape Town, South Africa for the Third Health Systems Research Symposium (HSR2014) to review evidence and research focused on improving people-centered health systems and service delivery. A key component to strengthening health systems and improving health outcomes is through health care financing mechanisms.

{Photo credit Ian Sliney/MSH}Photo credit Ian Sliney/MSH

Dr. Fred Hartman is in Liberia with the MSH Ebola response team; he shared some of what he's seen with the Boston Herald.

There isn’t the panic there was at the beginning, but the cases continue to rise. The paradox is that everything on the surface feels normal, but in the neighborhoods this infection is still blazing away and people are still dying of it....

It’s a new norm. By nature, Liberians are ebullient people. They like to laugh and hug and shake hands and touch. But there’s not as much laughter, and there’s no shaking hands. And there’s certainly no hugging....

You can’t control the disease until you detect and isolate every single case. That’s why we’re opening up these centers.

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