CHALLENGE PANEL 2.1: HEALTH SYSTEM STRENGTHENING: IT’S A JOURNEY, NOT JUST A DESTINATION

Panel Description: The panel will take a critical look on WHO’s health system strengthening framework developed in 2008. While the framework and its methodology are vital, is it perhaps time to take another look? Is the framework still relevant? Are the roles of all stakeholders adequately specified? Is it prioritizing the right things? Are there critical components missing and if so, where are the gaps and what needs adjustment and/or realignment? This panel will share approaches that have successfully contributed to country operational capacities touching on supply chain, healthcare workforce and strategies to stimulate increased access to medicines and share thoughts on what will advance a revised framework.

Chair: Veronica Arroyave, Executive Director, Baxter Foundation

Panelists:
• Anne Peterson, Americares
• Papa Salif Sow, VP Access Operations, Gilead
• Rabih Torbay, President, Project Hope
• Amanda McClelland, Senior VP, Resolve to Save Lives
• Eric Rasmussen, CEO, Infinitum Humanitarian Systems

The WHO HSS framework serves as a guide to creating sustainable health systems, building capacity, quality access to medicines and creating long-term solutions to large scale problems. While we use this framework in the work we do, we also need to evaluate and implement changes to improve upon the existing model.
As we work to build capacity and provide access to sustainable healthcare what are the gaps and where can we improve the WHO HSS framework to improve health systems?

Many working in the global health and humanitarian/disaster aid space use the building blocks to guide their work in post disaster and continued crisis environments however there is room for improvement and change to fit the needs of each community. Because the building blocks were created for a national system, we need to rethink on a local level to help local health centers and governments have what they need to create a sustainable system that responds to their unique needs.

Minding the Gaps

There is a big divide between response and preparedness. Using the building blocks as a catalyst to continue to move forward and develop health systems by helping communities prepare is essential but there is a gap in epidemic preparedness which requires immediate response. Emergency and preparedness are not built into the framework. If what you are building is not sustainable you lose trust. As a result, we need to have a holistic response to development with a sense of urgency.

Health systems can be strengthened in one place and fall apart in another. As we work to use the framework to strengthening health systems, we need to connect communities and ensure that all healthcare workers are trained to provide respectful care. This creates trust which is the crucial element in post disaster recovery.

Panelists discuss the WHO framework for health systems strengthening.

Business can use the building blocks to create long term solutions involving education, quality access to medicines and screenings and necessary training. Creating viable partnerships with NGO’s, business, government and academics enforces the holistic approach to healthcare. How do we build the capacity for today without causing damage while thinking about how what we are building fits into the current system?

We can take the building blocks and layer elements necessary to our work that include coordination and identifying problems that a country has based on evidence and not based on donor interests. This will require leveraging political will and solid NGO/Corp partnerships.

As we face ever changing challenges disaster response and disease specific initiatives require us to look towards recovery and resilience, we need to create a synergy while implementing programs together to measure impact. As all communities have different needs, we cannot use a cookie cutter approach.

Working to improve upon the framework will help move the needle forward. We need to build resilient communities to prepare for what lies ahead. We need to localize expertise and assistance. We need a well -trained workforce and viable and good health data. We need to continue to finance health systems in low income countries to build capacity and empower communities. Lastly, we need to give communities a voice to understand their needs post disaster.

Health systems can be strengthened in one place and fall apart in another.  As we work to use the framework to strengthening health systems, we need to connect communities and ensure that all healthcare workers are trained to provide respectful care.  This creates trust which is the crucial element in post disaster recovery.

Business can use the building blocks to create long term solutions involving education, quality access to medicines and screenings and necessary training. Creating viable partnerships with NGO’s, business, government and academics enforces the holistic approach to healthcare. How do we build the capacity for today without causing damage while thinking about how what we are building fits into the current system?

We can take the building blocks and layer elements necessary to our work that include coordination and identifying problems that a country has based on evidence and not based on donor interests. This will require leveraging political will and solid NGO/Corp partnerships.

As we face ever changing challenges disaster response and disease specific initiatives require us to look towards recovery and resilience, we need to create a synergy while implementing programs together to measure impact. As all communities have different needs, we cannot use a cookie cutter approach.

Working to improve upon the framework will help move the needle forward.  We need to build resilient communities to prepare for what lies ahead.  We need to localize expertise and assistance. We need a well -trained workforce and viable and good health data.  We need to continue to finance health systems in low income countries to build capacity and empower communities. Lastly, we need to give communities a voice to understand their needs post disaster.

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