Partnership Aims to Bolster Local Health Care Providers

Monday, September 28, 2015

Supported by one of the world’s leading philanthropies, a new partnership was announced Saturday during a United Nations development meeting aimed at improving health in poor and middle-income countries by helping to strengthen their primary care providers.

These providers, which are often neighborhood clinics, are the foundations of many health delivery systems but are often their weakest links of defense against disease. The partnership, a collaboration of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, the World Bank and the World Health Organization, will focus on strengthening the monitoring, tracking and sharing of performance measurements by primary health care providers.

Vast gaps exist, for example, in data on how often health workers are present at clinics and on the accuracy of their diagnoses. The absence of basic performance information contributed to the delayed responses that led to the Ebola epidemic in West Africa, which began in 2014 and has killed more than 11,300 people.

“We need good information,” Dr. Margaret Chan, director general of the World Health Organization, said at an event to announce the new partnership. “You cannot manage what you cannot measure.”

The event, hosted by Germany, Ghana and Norway, was held a few blocks from the United Nations, where a day earlier all 193 member states formally adopted a set of 17 goals for development over the next 15 years, including health care for all. Although significant advances have been made in recent years on increasing life expectancy and reducing common causes of death linked to child and maternal mortality, more than 400 million people worldwide lack access to basic health services.


Source: The New York Times (link opens in a new window)

Health Care