{Photo credit: Ben Greenberg/MSH}Peter SandsPhoto credit: Ben Greenberg/MSH

On November 13, approximately 100 global health security and development experts, public health practitioners, private sector representatives, academics, researchers, NGO staff members, scientists and students gathered at Harvard Medical School for the Ready Together Conference on Epidemic Preparedness. The day-long event was co-hosted by No More Epidemics, Management Sciences for Health (MSH), Harvard Global Health Institute, and Georgetown University Center for Global Health Science and Security with support from the James M. and Cathleen D. Stone Foundation. We attempted to find answers to the following questions: 1. What are the financial, economic and other risks to the private sector associated with major disease outbreaks and what is being done to minimize risk and ensure resilience?; 2. What innovations have been developed for pandemic preparedness?; 3. How can a whole of society collaboration be enhanced to ensure global health security?; and 4. How can we overcome barriers, ensure country engagement and public private partnerships?

Here are 5 key takeaways from the discussion:

1. “We must stop ignoring the economic risks. We need Finance Ministers to recognize health threats.”- Peter Sands 

Watch Peter's keynote

{Photo Credit: Warren Zelman}Photo Credit: Warren Zelman

Irrational medicine use and poor pharmaceutical management are widespread problems throughout all levels of Sierra Leone’s health system. Misuse, underuse, and overuse of medicines are particularly worrying because they contribute to the rise of antimicrobial resistance (AMR) and threaten the effective prevention and treatment of infections caused by bacteria, parasites, and viruses.

Recognizing that coordinated action is needed to minimize the emergence and spread of AMR, Management Sciences for Health (MSH) has catalyzed multidisciplinary and cross-sectoral coalitions to build awareness of the threat of AMR and advocate for its containment.

As part of its post-Ebola recovery work to strengthen its pharmaceutical system, Sierra Leone’s Directorate of Drugs and Medical Supplies (DDMS) partnered with the US Agency for International Development-funded Systems for Improved Access to Pharmaceutical and Services (SIAPS) Program, implemented by MSH, to develop efficient procurement, distribution, and inventory systems and establish stakeholder coordination and oversight mechanisms known as hospital Drug and Therapeutics Committees (DTCs).

{Photo credit: Warren Zelman}Marian Wentworth visits the Soroti Regional Referral Hospital in Mbale, Uganda.Photo credit: Warren Zelman

MSH CEO Marian Wentworth was interviewed by Global Health NOW. Part 2 of the interview was published today. When Marian Wentworth took charge of Management Sciences for Health in March, the global health NGO had been through a rough few years. It had shed a third of its workforce after some large contracts ended. Her top priority was making sure MSH was "was right sized or healed from its right sizing," Wentworth says. Now, she says, “I see a lot of things actually swinging into MSH's sweet spot. I'm really optimistic for MSH's future.”

Management Sciences for Health (MSH) knows that community readiness is key to epidemic prevention, detection and early response. Communities are at the frontline of infectious disease outbreaks and despite international progress around global health security, remain extremely vulnerable and under prepared.

The Bangladesh Ministry of Health and Family Welfare launched the Zero TB Cities Initiative in Dhaka on October 28, at an event attended by numerous local government and global healthcare leaders, including the U.S. Ambassador to Bangladesh, Marcia Stephens Bloom Bernicat, Management Sciences for Health’s (MSH’s) CEO, Marian W. Wentworth, and representatives from the Stop TB Partnership, Harvard Center for Global Health Delivery-Dubai, the International Union Against TB and Lung Disease, and Interactive Research and Development.  

{Photo credit: Brooke Barker/MSH}Participants in an LDP+ in Bangolo, Cote d'Ivoire.Photo credit: Brooke Barker/MSH

In 2014, an Ebola outbreak that started in Guinea and quickly spread to Liberia and Sierra Leone threatened health systems across West Africa. During the crisis, the Côte d’Ivoire National Institute of Public Health (INSP) mobilized a One Health cross-sectoral collaboration in the country’s western regions bordering the Ebola-affected countries and established committees to address the epidemic.

Thanks to emergency funds made available by USAID, the Leadership, Management and Governance (LMG) project, led by MSH, quickly focused on supporting the committees to form and run more efficiently.  A six-year, global project that strengthened health systems to deliver more responsive services to more people—LMG also placed technical advisors at the regional health offices to support integrated supportive supervision visits, data validation workshops, planning, coordination, and communication.

{Photo Credit: WHO Uganda.}The GHSA High-Level Ministerial Meeting was hosted by the Government of Uganda.Photo Credit: WHO Uganda.

At the 4th Global Health Security High-Level Ministerial Meeting held in Uganda on October 25-27, “Health Security for All: Engaging Communities, Non-governmental Organizations, and the Private Sector,” more than 600 participants including ministers from 41 countries recommitted to and eagerly embraced the agreements made under the Global Health Security Agenda (GHSA) to accelerate progress toward a world safe and secure from infectious disease threats.

The GHSA initiative was launched in 2014 to increase the capacity of countries to prevent disease outbreaks from becoming epidemics. The meeting brought together senior leaders across many sectors of government, international organizations, and nongovernmental stakeholders to evaluate the progress made so far and prioritize actions needed to close the gaps that remain. To succeed, nations recognized the urgent need to refine and improve their health systems – so that they are capable of delivering everything it takes to keep people healthy and safe from infectious disease threats.

Management Sciences for Health (MSH) was proud to be among the participants, drawing on more than 45 years of experience supporting countries to build the prevention, rapid detection, and effective response needed to mitigate global health threats.

{Photo Credit: UNICEF SYRIA/ ALEPPO, 2016/AL-ISSA.}After years of ongoing conflict, Syrian children face the prospect of a ravaged health system.Photo Credit: UNICEF SYRIA/ ALEPPO, 2016/AL-ISSA.

Management Sciences for Health (MSH) is helping countries in the Middle East and WHO Eastern Mediterranean region design, finance, and deliver health service packages toward universal health coverage (UHC). Two MSH representatives, David Collins and David Lee, attended a meeting in Cairo recently to discuss the way forward. They presented ideas on health service packages for countries in crisis and how these are necessary to help countries transition from humanitarian health services to long-term, sustainable health systems.

We’re excited to bring you this month’s edition of Leading Voices, a series that features the incredible talent that makes up MSH.

We’re chatting with Ashley Arabasadi, Campaign Manager of the No More Epidemics campaign and MSH's Global Health Security policy advisor. Ashley is a Pennsylvania native with a passion for global health security. She’s responsible for the strategy, planning, and execution of global health security activities here at MSH. See Ashley speak at the upcoming symposium "Pandemic Risk: A Threat to Global Health Security," November 6, University of Pennsylvania's Perry World House.

Pages

Printer Friendly Version
Subscribe to Management Sciences for Health RSS