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Blog

Enhancing the capacity of national and local governments to drive quality improvements

Future Health Systems

Improving the effectiveness with which health services are delivered has continued to be a major concern especially in low- and middle-income countries. The ills from poor quality services have now exceeded those from non-utilization of services, with about five million deaths attributed to poor quality services. FHS Uganda Country Coordinator Elizabeth Ekirapa-Kiracho, blogs about the session that she attended at the Fifth Global Symposium on Health Systems Research in Liverpool, which focused on improving quality to promote equity and effectiveness in the SDG era.

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Community Delivery Center: the answer for safe delivery for women of the Indian Sundarbans?

Future Health Systems

Worldwide, 830 women die daily from preventable causes related to pregnancy and childbirth, and unfortunately one fifth of these women reside in India (UNICEF). Maternal death accounts for highest share of Disability-Adjusted Life Year (DALY) and is more prevalent in rural areas as compared to urban ones. This is demonstrated in areas such as the Sundarbans, where geographically inaccessible terrain makes maternal health service delivery challenging. In the near absence of formal delivery care at the grassroots level, Community Delivery Centers (CDCs) bring basic obstetric care to the doorsteps of hard-to-reach regions of Indian Sundarbans.

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Including marginalised people in ‘people centred health systems’

Future Health Systems

At the upcoming Global Symposium on Health Systems Research, we will be running a participatory session that builds on research from Uganda, Bangladesh and Nepal, entitled Amplifying Marginalised Voices: Towards Meaningful Inclusion in Social Accountability Mechanisms for Health. This session applies an intersectional lens to accountability mechanisms, asking about the inclusion of specific, marginalised categories within communities in mainstream accountability initiatives.

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Urbanization and the learning agenda for health systems research: insights from Future Health Systems

Future Health Systems

Projections about urbanization are staggering: 55% of the world’s population already live in urban areas, and by 2050 this is predicted to rise to 68% with almost 90% of the growth happening in Asia and Africa. The implications for health are huge, as is the learning agenda for health systems research.

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The 3rd Delay: Prominent and fatal in maternal delivery services, pleas from the frontline

Future Health Systems

Currently, thanks to the sustained campaign by the Ugandan government and development partners, more women deliver in facilities than ever before. However, without concerted efforts to ensure that facilities are well equipped to handle these increased numbers, more women will continue dying to give life.

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Tackling antimicrobial resistance (AMR) in pluralistic health systems

Future Health Systems

There is growing scientific evidence that infections that are resistant to antibiotics are a serious global health challenge. This has stimulated wide agreement on a Global Action Plan for Addressing AMR and many countries have produced National Action Plans. It is important that these action plans take into account the local context. This is especially important in countries with a pluralistic health system in which people seek health care from a wide variety of public and private providers of drugs and medical care. One lesson from the work of the Future Health Systems Consortium is the need to take a systems approach for tackling health challenges in these countries. This blog highlights some priority issues that this kind of approach needs to take into account.

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Team work key in implementation of Community Score Cards

Future Health Systems

If you watch soccer, you will agree with me that just like a football team working together to set up the perfect shot at goal, every team member has a specific role to play in accomplishing tasks on an initiative that requires joint effort. While it may look like one player scored the goal, that score was made possible by on and off pitch team members’ planning, coordination, and cooperation to get that scorer the ball.

That is what we have observed with the different stakeholders as we implement a study that is testing a community and facility score card for maternal and newborn health service delivery in Kibuku District in Eastern Uganda.

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Community Resilience in the context of the Ebola Virus Disease epidemic in Liberia

Future Health Systems

Sehwah Sonkarlay, LiCORMH, Liberia, and Future Health Systems, writes about reflections by key actors on Liberia’s experience in identifying and building resilience at the community level in the context of the recent Ebola epidemic, combined with its post-war and unique sociopolitical history.

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Not business as usual: make Ugandan health facilities friendly for women with walking disabilities

Future Health Systems

World Health Day has come and gone this year, but nevertheless, it is very important for us to continue to remember our commitments towards health care delivery, such as equitable health systems. Most efforts to improve Maternal and Newborn Health (MNH) outcomes in Uganda have focused on access and quality of care for women in general, paying no attention to special populations such as women with walking disabilities who have a high likelihood of poor MNH outcomes. 

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Accountability for health equity and the struggle to meet the most basic health needs

Future Health Systems

There are rare moments in the global health calendar when those with an eye on the past are given space to speak in the present. Over the last decade working in this field, I have mostly kept my historical leanings secret and worn my anthropologist ‘hat’ instead. Who wants to think about the detritus of the past when there is so much pressure to move as quickly as possible towards the ‘next big thing’? This year, however, the past is inescapable. We are on the eve of marking the anniversary of the Alma Ata “Health for All by 2000” declaration. We are in a period defined by a renewed global commitment to achieve Universal Health Coverage by 2030 and at IDS we have just launched the new IDS Bulletin Accountability for Health Equity: Galvanising a Movement for Universal Health Coverage. Given that inequities in health have stagnated, and in some cases worsened, over these last forty years, we need to think more critically about what UHC2030 means in light of past efforts and the nature of change over time.

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Propelling decision-makers to action! The (he)art of an issue brief

Future Health Systems

FHS partners from Ethiopia, Uganda, India and Liberia attended the recent FHS “Issue Briefs: A Knowledge translation tool for evidence-informed decision-making” workshop held at IIFPHC-E from March 26-29, 2018.

FHS partners alongside other researchers from Ethiopian research institutes and universities, and practitioners from the Federal Ministry of Health in Ethiopia gathered to take a deep dive into the art and science of writing an Issue Brief.

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Can Africans hold their leaders accountable to deliver the health services they need? Reflections from Kampala

Future Health Systems

For World Health Day 2018, Elizabeth Ekirapa-Kiracho, Makerere University School of Public Health, Uganda, calls on Africans to hold their politicians accountable for meeting the health care needs of their people, and delivering on the commitments they made in the Abuja Declaration 17 years ago.

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How can health systems research inform the development of ethics guidance for greater health equity and justice?

Future Health Systems

Helping improve health systems for disadvantaged and marginalised populations is an important value motivating health systems research in low and middle-income countries (LMICs). However, simply undertaking health systems research in LMICs does not necessarily generate the knowledge needed to achieve that goal.

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40 years since Alma Ata: It's back to the future for Health for All

Future Health Systems

Quite a lot has changed in the last 40 years, right? And yet, four decades since the 1978 signing of the international Alma Ata declaration in Almaty, Kazakhstan, meeting the essential health needs of people through primary health care has once again been highlighted as the key to the attainment of Health for All by a ‘new’ global movement.

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‘Health for All’ – Reaching the Remote in the Indian Sundarbans

Future Health Systems

Forty years after the well-intentioned Alma Ata Declaration (1978), ‘Health for All’ remains a distant goal. This is particularly so for populations living in vulnerable parts of the world – conflict areas, prone to natural disasters, or geographically remote and vulnerable areas such as the Sundarbans in India. How does one, in the era of the SDGs ensure that goal #3 is achieved for the most marginalized? This blog takes us to the riverine areas of the Sundarbans in India to understand better the contextual factors which inhibit the provision, and access to health services for the people living there.
 

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Validation workshop on SLURC’s scoping study on urban health in Sierra Leone

Future Health Systems

On 29th November 2017, Sierra Leone Urban Research Centre (SLURC) held a one day workshop to highlight some of the challenges, threats and drivers of health risks in urban Sierra Leone. The workshop  brought together stakeholders drawn from central government ministries and agencies, the Freetown City Council, health NGOs, CBOs and community federations to discuss pertinent issues from the on-going scoping study report and to identifying what needs to be prioritized for SLURC’s Future Health Systems (FHS) research agenda on urban health. 

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