Health system strengthening and the future of global health

Global health experts weigh in on health systems strengthening

Health systems strengthening is a hot topic on everyone’s mind these days given the onslaught of the Ebola epidemic in West Africa.

But stronger health systems would not only mitigate future crises — they would also help people in developing countries achieve a better quality of life.

In this Google Hangout video, Devex’s Michael Igoe talked to global health experts from the U.N. Population Fund, GlaxoSmithKline, Janssen and Gavi, the Vaccine Alliance to debate how health systems strengthening should advance as well as the role it plays in the future of global health.

“Health systems are made up of people and that’s a very complex groups of organizations that work together,” said Ramil Burden, GSK vice president for Africa and developing countries, adding that an overarching vision should lead governments, NGOs and private sector to accomplish basic health care goals.

Financing and data are also factors in managing health systems, noted Dr. Sennen Hounton, UNFPA senior technical advisor for maternal health and family planning, who warned against looking at individual components and suggested to instead assess how these components interact with one another.

Moz Siddiqui, manager for innovative finance and private sector partnership at Gavi, agreed and added that organizations should analyze current competencies and ways to enhance them to further strengthen health systems.

Forging partnerships is one way of improving health systems, said Jami Taylor, Janssen’s senior director for global access policy, who shared that’s one of the key lessons learned so far from Ebola.

Watch the above full conversation to learn more about how partnerships among sectors work, how to make them sustainable and what lies ahead in global health.

Want to learn more? Check out the Healthy Means campaign site and tweet us using #HealthyMeans.

Healthy Means is an online conversation hosted by Devex in partnership with Concern Worldwide, Gavi, GlaxoSmithKline, International Federation of Pharmaceutical Manufacturers & Associations, International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies, Johnson & Johnson and the United Nations Population Fund to showcase new ideas and ways we can work together to expand health care and live better lives.

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About the author

  • 013 devex%2520aug2015  pamstacruzphotography jacques

    Jacques Jimeno

    Jacques is a copy editor at Devex’s news production team. Previously, he worked with the Philippine Department of Tourism and the World Wide Fund for Nature. He is currently taking his master’s degree in communication from the University of the Philippines Diliman.