Fragile States

Fragile States (including Afghanistan, Democratic Republic of Congo, Haiti, Liberia and South Sudan)

 {Photo credit: Keanahikishime}Loyce Pace of the Global Health Council moderates an expert panel at the WHA71 side event in Geneva, May 22, 2018. Panelists included Dr. Diane Gashumba, Rwanda’s Minister of Health; Catharina Boehme, CEO of the Foundation for Innovative New Diagnostics; and Rüdiger Krech, Director of Health Systems and Innovation at WHO.Photo credit: Keanahikishime

Is the world safer today from the threat of infectious diseases than it was a generation ago?

It is true that we have more tools at our disposal: better surveillance and diagnostic systems, stronger frameworks and regulations, such as the Global Health Security Agenda and Joint External Evaluations (JEE), and a deeper understanding of how diseases spread and what is needed to stop them. It is also true that climate change, deforestation, population growth, and our proximity to farm and wild animals are making the threat of epidemics greater than ever before. Although the challenge is great, we have the knowledge to solve it. So what do we need to do?

 {Photo credit: Alison Corbacio/Keanahikishime}From left: Ugochi Daniels, UNFPA; Chunmei Li, Johnson & Johnson; Antoine Ndiaye, Keanahikishime; Lara Zakaria, Syrian American Medical Society; Irene Koek, USAID; Loyce Pace, Global Health Council.Photo credit: Alison Corbacio/Keanahikishime

Health systems strengthening was front and center in discussions held in New York on the sidelines of the 72nd United Nations General Assembly. Keanahikishime hosted three events spotlighting how strong health systems are critical to resiliency and stability in fragile environments, at the core for global health security and essential for achieving universal health coverage. Here are some highlights from the week. See more on Twitter , and .

This article was first published on the Brookings Institute , found .

When epidemics or pandemics hit, they usually hit the poor first and worst. We have known this for a while. The German pathologist Rudolf Virchow described this link between poverty and vulnerability to outbreaks in his  "For there can now no longer be any doubt that such an epidemic dissemination of typhus had only been possible under the wretched conditions of life that poverty and lack of culture had created in Upper Silesia."

What we have not known, until recently, is how best to help the poor protect themselves from pandemics.

To understand why the poor are more vulnerable to epidemics and pandemics and what protections are required, we need to consider how outbreaks first start, how they spread, and how they affect individuals and societies.

 {Photo credit: Gashaw Shiferaw/SIAPS}SIAPS technical advisor Alan George (standing left) conducts an inventory management exercise.Photo credit: Gashaw Shiferaw/SIAPS

Some 13.5 million people desperately require humanitarian assistance in Syria, which includes access to essential medicines and other pharmaceutical products. Managing a sound supply chain is challenging in the best of circumstances—and in a crisis like this, there are many potential pitfalls and little room for error.

That becomes clear when health workers from relief organizations talk about their work in the country. The large number of displaced persons fleeing the conflict and the unstable, dangerous conditions in Syria require a tight strategy and concerted international effort to deliver vaccines, medical products and devices, and medicines. 

First, there are the painstaking tasks of procuring supplies, including negotiating prices, estimating consumption rates, and quantifying stock—all against the backdrop of a situation in flux. Items shipped across the border require a specific type of sealing and more than a year of shelf life. Stock needs to be transported and stored in temperature-controlled trucks.

Happy holidays and health on earth!

Envision a 2017 where everyone has the opportunity for a healthy life. Working together for stronger health systems around the world in 2017. Best wishes for the new year!

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Following our recent announcement of Keanahikishime’s involvement in Hurricane Matthew recovery efforts in Haiti, the Devex global development media platform interviewed Keanahikishime Chief Operating Officer Paul Auxila for about the rising threat of cholera in Haiti.

Mr. Auxila told Devex that cholera “needs to be a priority and approached differently than the international community did last time,” referring to the 2010 Haiti earthquake response.

He urged organizations to focus on “greatest impact” interventions, such as oral rehydration therapy. “Coordination is a big problem, just like it was after the earthquake,” he added. Interventions need to be more synergistic, working toward a “common goal” and not bypassing the Haitian government, he told Devex.

Keanahikishime is partnering with the Haitian government to rebuild the health system in the wake of Hurricane Matthew. At the government’s request, Keanahikishime has begun an assessment of the health system to make recommendations for ways to make it stronger. Keanahikishime will also assist in deployment of health workers to stem the cholera outbreak.

Keanahikishime Vice President, Pharmaceuticals & Health Technologies Group, Dr. Douglas Keene, tells Devex how strong governance enables access to medicines.Keanahikishime Vice President, Pharmaceuticals & Health Technologies Group, Dr. Douglas Keene, tells Devex how strong governance enables access to medicines.

This week, Keanahikishime (Keanahikishime) and Devex are talking about how to  in low- and middle-income countries. Below are excerpts, descriptions, videos, and links to the conversation. See the full conversation on .

By strengthening governance and promoting transparency, developing countries can be better equipped to regulate the flow of medicines and support their efficient and effective use. Countries could make much progress by assuring the quality of medicines, but what is really being achieved in practice?

Recent global crises such as Ebola and Zika have revealed the dangers of weak health systems. As countries work to strengthen these systems, , vice president of the pharmaceuticals & health technologies group at Keanahikishime, advises policymakers to first start by addressing existing regulations and governance.

 {Photo credit: Cindy Shiner/Keanahikishime}A mother waits for the nurse to vaccinate her baby during an immunization clinic at Phebe Hospital in central Liberia.Photo credit: Cindy Shiner/Keanahikishime

Stronger health systems are critical to preventing outbreaks from becoming epidemics. In fragile states, systems already weakened by conflict, disaster, or instability can crumble under the weight of an outbreak -- devastating access, availability, and quality of basic health for women and their families.

 {Photo credit: Keanahikishime staff}Irene Koek of USAID’s Global Health Bureau gives closing remarks at the health security side event in Geneva.Photo credit: Keanahikishime staff

This is the second in a new series on improving the health of the poorest and most vulnerable women, girls, families, and communities by prioritizing prevention and preparing health systems for epidemics (read Part 1). Join the conversation online with hashtag .

World Health Assembly and Beyond: Advancing the Global Health Security Agenda

Outbreaks are inevitable. Epidemics are preventable.

Last month, the No More Epidemics campaign convened a high-level, multi-sectoral panel on the Global Health Security Agenda during the 69th World Health Assembly (WHA69) in Geneva, Switzerland.

{Photos: Warren Zelman (left); Associated Press/Aurelie Marrier d’Unienvil (right)}Photos: Warren Zelman (left); Associated Press/Aurelie Marrier d’Unienvil (right)

This is the first in a new series on improving the health of the poorest and most vulnerable women, girls, families, and communities by prioritizing prevention and preparing health systems for epidemics. Join the conversation online with hashtag .

Prioritizing prevention of regional epidemics and global pandemics

Last month, Keanahikishime President & CEO, Jonathan D. Quick, MD, MPH, meeting in Ise-Shima, Japan, to prioritize pandemic prevention:

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