{Photo Credit: Geoffrey Ddamba.}A peer educator mobilizes clients for outreach services in the Kawempe area of Kampala, Uganda.Photo Credit: Geoffrey Ddamba.

Many civil society organizations (CSOs) play an essential role as service providers and advocates in health systems around the world. They can connect policymakers and providers to the communities they serve, promote smarter decision-making, and foster local ownership. If countries are going to make Universal Health Coverage (UHC) a reality, it will be side-by-side and in partnership with civil society.

Delivering essential health services

Although many low- and middle-income countries lack public sector healthcare infrastructure and human resources for health, civil society can help fill in the gaps. Governments can partner with CSOs through mechanisms such as grants and contracts to leverage these organizations’ capacities to avoid duplication, reduce inefficiencies, and increase access.

For example, the USAID-funded Leadership, Management, and Governance (LMG) Project, led by Management Sciences for Health, worked with the Honduran Ministry of Health from 2012 to 2016 to contract with NGOs to provide HIV/AIDS services to key populations. In total, the LMG Project helped the ministry sign 25 contracts with NGOs to provide education, prevention, and rapid testing services for nearly 40,000 people over three years.

{Photo Credit: Tadeo Atuhura/MSH}Photo Credit: Tadeo Atuhura/MSH

How US Foreign Assistance is Making A Difference Uganda has made great progress in controlling the HIV epidemic and increasing access to critical HIV and health services in recent years. Under the Government of Uganda’s leadership and with the support of development partners, such as MSH, Uganda has reached the second of UNAIDS global 90-90-90 goals: 90% of people living with HIV who know their status are on treatment. 

In spite of substantial advances in maternal and newborn health over recent decades, roughly 300,000 girls and women still die due to pregnancy-related complications every year. At present, the global community largely agrees on what needs to be done to prevent these deaths and improve the health and wellbeing of women and babies.

Last week, the World Health Organization elected Dr. Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus as its next Director General. Amid his controversial campaign, I coauthored an open letter to the next Director General to prioritize factory farming, an eminent threat to global health.

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Jhpiego

Jhpiego is an international, non-profit health organization affiliated with The Johns Hopkins University. For 40 years and in over 155 countries, Jhpiego has worked to prevent the needless deaths of women and their families.

Jhpiego works with health experts, governments and community leaders to provide high-quality health care for their people. Jhpiego develops strategies to help countries care for themselves by training competent health care workers, strengthening health systems and improving delivery of care.

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