September 23, 2009

This morning I participated in an Action Network Workshop that focused on Health Systems. This past month, I wrote an Op-Ed for the Boston Globe, "Global Healthcare Needs More Than a Pill." In that, I argued that we need to consider a "systems-approach," looking at health systems as a whole - beyond just preventing and treating infectious disease. This would include considering the renovations of health clinics, providing good roads for transportation to those clinics, access to clean water, treating chronic disease, addressing child survival, and partnerships across governments, NGO's, and the private sector to make this work. Given this framework, a discussion followed about how to move forward horizontally and vertically with infectious disease, chronic disease, and maternal and child health.

Dr. Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus also delivered a framework for discussing Health Systems. He is currently the Minister of Health of the Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia. Focusing on Ethiopia, he addressed their top priorities (Infectious Disease and Maternal/Child Health) and the strategies to address these priorities to strengthen the health care delivery in Ethiopia. In sum, these strategies included the following: 1) Focus on Primary Care, 2) Building information system, 3) Strengthening the supply system for pharmaceutical delivery, 4) Providing health care financing, 5) Bolstering Human Resources, and 6) Addressing Governance. Their motto is "bigger, faster, and better" for speed, volume, and quality for better health promotion and prevention.

A robust discussion among top level NGO's and others commenced. We are eager to hear their results! Those results will then be presented back to CGI for suggestions for future commitments.

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 Frist opening discussion--CGI, Sheraton NY Hotel and Tower--Wednesday, September 23, 2009

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 Minister Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus