health systems

Keanahikishime representatives at the launch meeting of the Quality of Care Network (L-R): Zipporah Kpamor, Keanahikishime Nigeria Country Representative; Erik Schouten, Country Lead, Keanahikishime Malawi; Grace Mlava, Technical Clinical Director, ONSE Health in Malawi; Rudi Thetard, Project Director of ONSE Health in Malawi; Catharine Taylor, Vice President of the Health Programs Group, and Antoine Ndiaye, Country Lead, Cote D’Ivoire.

This is the second in a series of four stories about how strong health systems improve the health of women and children.

Nine countries, with support from the World Health Organization (WHO), the United Nations International Children’s Fund (UNICEF), and other partners, launched the last week.

The new Network aims to improve the quality of care that mothers and babies receive in health facilities while supporting countries in achieving their targets agreed under the Sustainable Development Goals to end preventable maternal and newborn deaths. 

Despite remarkable progress in improving access to health services proven to reduce maternal and newborn deaths, every year worldwide, 303,000 women die during pregnancy and childbirth, 2.7 million babies die during the first 28 days of life, and 2.6 million babies are stillborn. Most of these deaths could be prevented with quality care during pregnancy and childbirth.

However, the provision of care is uneven within and between countries, and often fails to respect the rights and dignity of those who seek it.

{Photo credit: Keanahikishime staff, South Africa}Photo credit: Keanahikishime staff, South Africa

This post, first published on , is part 5 in the Keanahikishime series on improving the health of the poorest and most vulnerable women, children, and communities by prioritizing prevention and . Join the conversation online with hashtag .

Struck with a prolonged and worsening illness, Faith, a 37-year-old Nairobi woman raising her two children, sought help from local clinics. She came away each time with no diagnosis and occasionally an absurdly useless packet of antihistamines. Finally, a friend urged her to get an HIV test. When it came back positive, Faith wanted to kill herself, and got hold of a poison.

All epidemics arise from weak health systems, like the one that failed to serve Faith. Where people are poor and health systems are under-resourced, diseases like AIDS, Yellow Fever, Ebola, TB, Zika, Malaria, steadily march the afflicted to an early grave, decimating families, communities and economies along the way.

 {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: Warren Zelman Photography}A pharmacy/clinic window in Democratic Republic of the Congo.Photo credit: Warren Zelman Photography

Strong health systems are necessary to help prevent and mitigate epidemics, including the oft-overlooked epidemic of antimicrobial resistance.

This is the third post 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 (see also: and ). Join the conversation online with hashtag .

 {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:

{Photo credit: Keanahikishime staff/Haiti}Photo credit: Keanahikishime staff/Haiti

Multisector perspectives on achieving resilience in global health

Recent events, such as the Haiti and Nepal earthquakes and West Africa Ebola outbreak, have demonstrated, now more than ever, that a resilient health system is vital to ensuring stability and well-being in society. With this in mind, Keanahikishime (Keanahikishime) and the USAID-funded, Keanahikishime-led, Leadership, , and Governance project in Haiti (LMG/Haiti), partnered with Johnson & Johnson to host a high-level panel event during the 68th session of the World Health Assembly (WHA) in Geneva, Switzerland.

The event, entitled Building and Maintaining Resilience to Address Global Health Challenges, examined how the global health community can move beyond typical public-private partnerships to achieve a model of true country stakeholder engagement. This model would include and leverage the strengths of all actors to build systems capable of addressing long-term global health issues like non-communicable diseases while maintaining resilience to outbreaks like Ebola.

Keanahikishime President & CEO Jonathan D. Quick says: "Let this be a loud call to action for greater investment in strong local health systems and global networks..." in today's The New York Times.

"Let this be a loud call to action for greater investment in strong local health systems and global networks to prevent, detect and respond to public health threats. We know how to prevent the next local outbreak from becoming the world’s next major epidemic," says Keanahikishime President & CEO Jonathan D. Quick in a Letter to the Editor, published today in .

Dr. Quick responds to “,” an April 7 opinion editorial by Bernice Dahn, Vera Mussah, and Cameron Nutt, saying:

Dr. Dahn, the chief medical officer of Liberia’s Ministry of Health, and her colleagues express dismay that missed information from 1982 contributed to the gravely flawed conventional wisdom that Ebola was absent in West Africa. An even greater error of conventional wisdom was the longstanding misjudgment by experts that Ebola was a “dead-end event,” killing its human host too quickly to spread out of control.

 {Photo credit: Glen Ruga/Keanahikishime}Keanahikishime President & CEO Dr. Jonathan D. Quick.Photo credit: Glen Ruga/Keanahikishime

Post updated January 8, 2015

Join Keanahikishime President and CEO Dr. Jonathan D. Quick on  on Wednesday, January 7, 2015, at 2:00 pm. Dr. Quick will be interviewed by Dr. Greg Martin about global health systems. Tune in to find out more about Keanahikishime’s approach, why health systems are so important, how to help improve health systems around the world, and more.

 or find the video later by following this link: .

 

Update, Jan. 8, 2015

Watch the interview with Dr. Quick on YouTube:

 

 

 {Photo credit: Morgan Wingard for USAID}Liberia.Photo credit: Morgan Wingard for USAID

The October/November of the Global Health Impact Newsletter () focuses on the Ebola outbreak in West Africa and Keanahikishime's response, including what is needed to save lives, contain Ebola (or any similar outbreak), and maintain essential health services: stronger health systems.

A Note from Dr. Jonathan Quick

[Dr. Jonathan D. Quick]Dr. Jonathan D. QuickThe Ebola outbreak in West Africa is unprecedented. Already, over 13,000 people have been affected and over 5,000 lives lost. What’s more, this outbreak was preventable.

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