Gloria Sangiwa

{Photo credit: MSH}Photo credit: MSH

Experts in global health and chronic diseases, policymakers, patient groups, and more, are assembling in Johannesburg, South Africa, for the second one-day event hosted by The Economist on "New Approaches to Non-Communicable Diseases" July 16. Following on a successful October 2012 meeting in Geneva, this year's theme is "Accelerating Progress in Prevention and Control." Moderated by The Economist Group editors, the discussions will focus on the rise in chronic diseases in low- and middle-income countries and on developing solutions together through innovative cross-sector partnerships. 

Makasi after two months of tuberculosis treatment. {Photo credit: A. Massimba/MSH.}Photo credit: A. Massimba/MSH.

With less than 1000 days until the Millennium Development Goals expire, the process for setting post-2015 goals continues to ramp up.  We take this opportunity to reflect on the current state of community health systems in low- and middle-income countries and consider how the post-2015 agenda could reshape them—perhaps dramatically.

Community health systems today

Integration moves ahead

Poor and rural communities in low- and middle-income countries are leaving behind the “one clinic, one service” approach. So-called vertical programs, which organized resources according to single health conditions, created a patchwork of health services at the community level. You could get HIV care from one provider, but would have to go down the hall, down the street, or often much farther to get maternal health care or malaria care.

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