There is growing recognition that health plays a key role in stabilizing and rebuilding the world’s most troubled nations—those that have been ravaged by years of conflict, disease, poverty, and natural disasters.In times of crisis, health systems are battered by violence, poor governance, lack of funding, and loss of infrastructure. Where people no longer have access to adequate health services, mortality and morbidity rates increase dramatically.At MSH we believe that, despite the challenges, societies can move forward and health can be made a top priority.

This story is part one of a three-part series written in commemoration of Africa Malaria Day 2006. This year's Africa Malaria Day theme is "Get your ACT Together" - referring to ACT (artemisinin-based combination therapy), the most, and sometimes only effective treatment for malaria.ACTs are a cornerstone of case management, one of the three-prongs of global malaria control.

The current crisis of human resources for health (HRH) has the potential to not only reverse health gains made in the past decade, but also to contribute to the collapse of the health system in some countries. The World Health Organization (WHO) is raising awareness about the HRH crisis in part by making HRH the theme of World Health Day 2006: Working Together for Health.The chronic shortage of workers in the health sector of developed and developing countries includes practitioners, trainers, educators, managers, and support staff.