How Do You Transform Global Health?

At an International AIDS Conference focused on finding new ways forward in the HIV response, universal health coverage (UHC) has emerged as a promising path. Done right, UHC reforms can make health systems more fair, strengthen healthcare access for people living with HIV, and improve the sustainability of HIV financing. But strong activism is necessary to ensure that these reforms don’t just reinforce existing inequalities.

These were the messages from MSH’s panel session on UHC and HIV, cosponsored by the International HIV/AIDS Alliance and Global Youth Coalition on HIV/AIDS. The discussion, headlined by former Australian High Court justice and human rights advocate the Hon. Michael Kirby, demonstrated the key role of HIV activists—especially people living with HIV—in making UHC work at the national and global level.

The willingness of the HIV community to engage with UHC efforts continues to grow. The UHC community must respond in kind, taking on broad lessons from the HIV response. That’s what could make UHC a transformative global health agenda in the post-Millennium Development Goal era.

Here’s what the audience—in person and online—had to say about lessons from HIV for UHC:

Working toward an AIDS-free Generation: President Clinton Highlights Rwanda’s Successes

On Wednesday, July 23, I attended a special session of the 20th International AIDS Conference (AIDS 2014), called “Putting Patients First To Improve Outcomes and Programme Efficiency.”  This year, the theme of the one-week event, which gathers about 12,000 participants from across the globe, is “Stepping Up the Pace.” The objectives include indeed to find a cure and a vaccine for this terrible disease, which has already taken the lives of about 38 million people since its discovery in 1981.

This session was led by President Bill Clinton, 42th President of the United States, and founder of the Clinton Health Access Initiative (CHAI). Over the course of an hour, President Clinton talked about the progress and challenges made during the past years concerning the fight against HIV & AIDS.

First, he paid tribute to the AIDS delegates who lost their lives in the tragic accident of the plane, MH17. Then, he recapitulated the evolution in provision of AIDS medicines, and reminded us that, even though 13 million patients are getting treatment today, “the achievements shouldn’t be an excuse to slow down, …and an AIDS-free generation is within our reach.”

President Clinton also mentioned that international funding is decreasing, and therefore emphasized the importance of being more efficient.

Among other examples, he quoted the story of Rwanda, whose Ministry of Health (MOH): “offers the most remarkable in achieving efficiency in leadership”.

As a Rwandan delegate, I was glad to hear that.  Since his first visit in Rwanda in 1998, the country has made remarkable progress, and is moving toward the 2020 Vision, which is to be 100 percent free of external aid. “Rwanda has a great story,” he said, and, in collaboration with 25 US medical institutions, the government is training people to help others to stay alive.

The country has indeed achieved major results. Among them, thanks to the community based health insurance scheme (CBHI), the most vulnerable, who are about 25 percent of the population, are now getting free access to health care. Moreover, from 2010 to 2012, the performance based financing (PBF) system permitted the annual average number of HIV provider initiated testing to more than double, passing from 33,038 to 84,605, while the HIV voluntary counseling and testing (VCT) increased 21 percent (from 133,231 to 160,833).

And, as President Clinton said, even if “more has to be done”, this made me feel proud to be Rwandan.

MSH has been active in Rwanda since 1983, and is currently supporting the MOH through the USAID-funded Integrated Health Systems Strengthening Project (IHSSP) in five major health system areas.

Candide Tran Ngoc is a senior communications specialist for IHSSP in Rwanda.

Correction, August 5, 2014: This post was updated to fix two inadvertent errors: 1) MSH has been in Rwanda since 1983, not 1973. 2) By September 2012, over 90 percent of all eligible Rwandans were enrolled in CBHI. Since then, the percentage of eligible Rwandans has dropped to around 70 percent. For more information, download the Rwanda MOH’s “Annual Report: Community Based Health Insurance: October 2012″ (PDF).

Lessons from HIV for TB: Thursday, 18:30

Don’t miss the networking and drinks reception tonight, July 24, in room 101-102, with World Bank Group, USAID, Results International, MSH, and more.

Learning the Lessons from HIV for Improved TB Control and Beyond.

Learning the Lessons from HIV for Improved TB Control and Beyond.

THSA10 Learning the Lessons from HIV for Improved TB Control and Beyond: a Panel Discussion and Reception
Non-Commercial Satellite
Venue: Room 101-102
Time: 24.07.2014, 18:30 – 20:30

“Tap the potential” of the private sector tonight

Join us tonight in room 111-112 for “Tap the potential: The role of the private sector in stepping up the pace of supply of HIV/AIDS commodities.”

The Partnership for Supply Chain Management, Inc., to host satellite session Wednesday, July 23, 18:30-20:30.

The Partnership for Supply Chain Management, Inc., to host satellite session Wednesday, July 23, 18:30-20:30.

HIV Lessons for Universal Health Coverage (#Lessons4UHC)

Post updated, July 22, 18:30.

Tweet your questions and lessons for building universal health coverage on the AIDS response to @MSHHealthImpact with hashtag #Lessons4UHC.

Call to Action on Women, HIV & AIDS, and NCDs: Multimedia

Panelists at the July 21 satellite session on women, HIV & AIDS, and NCDs. {Photo credit: Rachel Hassinger/MSH.}

Panelists at the July 21 satellite session on women, HIV & AIDS, and NCDs. {Photo credits: Rachel Hassinger/MSH.}

MSH co-organized a satellite session on July 21, 2014, on women, HIV & AIDS, and non-communicable diseases (NCDs) with the American Cancer Society (ACS), Medtronic, and the Task Force on Non-communicable Diseases and Women’s Health. MSH President & CEO Jonathan D. Quick, MD, MPH, opened the session. Bob Chapman (American Cancer Society) introduced a new video series on people living with chronic diseases.

Sandy Thurman (US President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief [PEPFAR]) provided context on the current state of women, HIV & AIDS, and non-communicable diseases (NCDs). Thurman shared examples from Pink Ribbon/Red Ribbon, a partnership between the George W. Bush Institute (GWBI), PEPFAR, Susan G. Komen, the Joint United Nations Programme on HIV/AIDS (UNAIDS), as well as corporate and foundation members.

Living with HIV, Young Professionals, Implementers

Dr. Quick and panelists L’Orangelis Thomas Negron, HIV & AIDS activist; Kim Green, FHI360; Jordan Jarvis, Young Professionals Chronic Disease Network; and Katie Reichert, Building Local Capacity for Delivery of HIV Services in Southern Africa (MSH), discussed barriers to health for women in low-and middle-income countries living with HIV & AIDS and chronic non-communicable diseases.

A lively Q&A session included questions and ideas from colleagues working in Malawi, Kenya, and more.

A doctor from Malawi discusses challenges and hopes for integrating HIV and NCD services. {Photo credit: Rachel Hassinger/MSH.}

A doctor from Malawi discusses challenges and hopes for integrating HIV and NCD services.

Stay tuned for more from MSH and partners on stepping up the pace for women, HIV, and NCDs.


“Health for all requires access for all–and acceptance for all”: Dr. Quick Introduces Mann Lecturer Hon. Michael Kirby at Opening Plenary

Dr. Jonathan D. Quick introducing the Hon. Michael Kirby at AIDS 2014 opening plenary session (July 20, 2014). {Photo credit: Barbara Ayotte/MSH.}

Dr. Jonathan D. Quick introducing the Hon. Michael Kirby at AIDS 2014 opening plenary session (July 20, 2014). {Photo credit: Barbara Ayotte/MSH.}

MSH President & CEO Dr. Jonathan D. Quick introduced the Hon. Michael Kirby during the AIDS 2014 opening session on Sunday, July 20.

Watch Dr. Jonathan D. Quick and Hon. Michael Kirby

Watch video

Transcript of Quick’s remarks (as delivered)

Jonathan D. Quick, MD, MPH:

Distinguished dignitaries, colleagues, friends, ladies and gentlemen: Good evening.

This seems to be the “evening of the youth.” Let’s give another very warm thanks to Yhana Haule from Tanzania and to Ayu Oktariani from Indonesia.


It’s a pleasure being here on behalf of the Global Health Council to introduce the Honorable Michael Kirby, who will give tonight’s Jonathan Mann Memorial Lecture.

A few weeks ago, I had a wonderful conversation with Jonathan Mann’s daughter, Lydia. She described the joy and satisfaction he felt working with groups like TASO, Act-Up and other activist groups.

I asked Lydia what her father would say if he were here tonight:

“He would be so happy and proud of what, in the 15 years since his death, this community has achieved by working together.

“He would also share his disappointment at how much more is left to be done.”

The Jonathan Mann Memorial Lecture was established in 2000 to honor this outspoken & tireless advocate who put human rights at the forefront in fight against AIDS. Dr. Mann and his wife died tragically in a 1998 plane crash in route to an AIDS conference.

It’s devastating that the AIDS community has lost yet another outspoken pioneer in Joep Lange — and with him five others from our community. We honor them tonight as we honor Jonathan Mann, who we also lost prematurely.

Jonathan Mann fought vigorously for the voiceless, the vulnerable, the stigmatized. By making AIDS — and with it health — a human rights issue, Jonathan Mann inspired a generation of activists.

But his mission is not finished.

The proven power of human rights in the fight against HIV/AIDS has become a catalyst for defending human rights across the entire health agenda.

Human rights are at the very core of universal health coverage.

That’s why we at Management Sciences for Health, along with scores of NGOs and other organizations around the globe support countries that are pursuing the UHC vision of health for all.

Health for all requires access for all – and acceptance for all.

We cannot stand by and watch discriminatory laws against the LGBT community so audaciously violate human rights, as we have recently seen in several countries.

Dr. Mann believed that once you take away the rights of some, you’re on the path to erode the rights of all. This is why a courageous and passionate human rights champion like the Honorable Michael Kirby was chosen to give this year’s Jonathan Mann Memorial Lecture.

Michael Kirby is well known to many, perhaps most – in this audience. Michael Kirby was born and educated in Sydney, Australia. He discovered he was gay as an adolescent. With that discovery came the recognition that the law was not always kind — or correct.

Michael Kirby came to believe that the rule of law,if it means merely enforcing the law, is not enough. The practice of law must always respect human well-being and human dignity.

He practiced law before his appointment as a judge in 1975. He rose through several courts to the High Court of Australia, from which he retired in 2009 as Australia’s longest serving judge.

Throughout his career, Justice Kirby has defended victims of unjust regimes, and promoted the cause of international law and human rights, a practice that won him the title of the “Great Dissenter” for not hesitating to differ with his legal colleagues.

He has been a strong opponent of the oppression and imprisonment of men and women due to sexual orientation or gender identity. He has played keys roles on UNAIDS, Lancet, UNDP, and other international commissions on HIV/AIDS, the law, and human rights, including the Commission on HIV and the Law, which Michel Sidibe mentioned.

His work has impacted human rights law and practice in countries around the globe.

In short, Michael Kirby has lived the principles that Jonathan Mann stood for: human rights, dignity for all, and the courage to speak out and take action to defend these principles.

On behalf of the Global Health Council and everyone in this hall whose lives are longer or freer because of his work, I am proud to introduce the Honorable Michael Kirby.



Tuesday: Gather for Global Health Transformation Breakfast: HIV & AIDS #Lessons4UHC

Join the conversation online with hashtag #Lessons4UHC.

Join us Tuesday, July 22, from 7:00 to 8:30 am, in room 104, for a roundtable and open dialogue/interactive session on building universal health coverage (UHC) on the lessons of HIV & AIDS response. Breakfast provided.

Global Health Transformation: Tuesday, July 22, 7:00 AM, Room 104

Global Health Transformation Satellite Session: July 22, 7:00-8:30 am, Room 104.

Organized by MSH, the International HIV/AIDS Alliance, and the Global Youth Coalition on HIV/AIDS (GYCA), session speakers include: Hon. Michael Kirby, High Court of Australia (ret) (@HonMichaelKirby); Dr. Jonathan D. Quick, President and CEO of Management Sciences for Health (@JonoQuick, @MSHHealthImpact); Mike Podmore, International HIV/AIDS Alliance (@theaidsalliance); David Wilson, World Bank Group (@WorldBank); Patrick Bonales, GYCA (@patrickbonales, @_GYCA_); Morolake Odetoyinbo, Positive Action for Treatment Access; Jonathan Jay, MSH (@JonJayTweets, @UHCPost2015); and more.

The session will provide multiple opportunities for participants to discuss how the UHC movement can most meaningfully and effectively build upon the progress of the AIDS response.

Join the conversation online with hashtag #Lessons4UHC.

// Join the call for UHC post-2015 >>

Women, HIV, and NCDs: Tonight 18:30 in Plenary Room 3

Join the conversation on Twitter with #womenHIVNCDs.

[ MONDAY, JULY 21 | 18:30-20:30 in Plenary Room 3.]

Women, HIV/AIDS, and Non-Communicable Diseases: A Call to Action in Low- and Middle-Income Countries

MONDAY, JULY 21 | 18:30-20:30 in Plenary Room 3

Co-sponsored by MSH, The American Cancer Society, and Medtronic.
Join us to examine and discuss addressing HIV co-morbidities in AIDS and non-AIDS related events; the role of health systems in integrating non-communicable disease (NCD) care into HIV care models; lessons that can be leveraged and applied beyond 2015; and how primary health care models can be adapted in this context of an emerging global burden of chronic NCDs while ensuring sustainability, cost-effectiveness, and efficiency in lower and middle-income countries.
Refreshments will be served.


  • Dr. Jonathan Quick, President and CEO of Management Sciences for Health (@MSHHealthImpact)


  • Bob Chapman, Director of US Government and Multilateral Global Health Advocacy, American Cancer Society (@AmericanCancer)
  • Representative from FHI360 (@fhi360)
  • Sandy Thurman, Principal Deputy Coordinator for PEPFAR (@PEPFAR)
  • L’Orangelis Thomas Negron, HIV/AIDS Activist, Latin America Keynote Speaker
  • Jordan Jarvis, Executive Director, Young Professionals Chronic Disease Network (@NCDAction)
  • Katie Reichert, Associate Project Director of Country Programs, Building Local Capacity Project, MSH South Africa

Watch videos: Stepping up the pace for women, HIV & AIDS, and NCDs

Jordan Jarvis, Executive Director, Young Professionals Chronic Disease Network (@NCDAction)

Bob Chapman, Director of US Government and Multilateral Global Health Advocacy, American Cancer Society (@AmericanCancer)

Social media

Join the conversation on Twitter with hashtag #womenHIVNCDs.

Follow @MSHHealthImpact, @AmericanCancer, @PEPFAR, @NCDAction, @HIVShareSpace, @FHI360, @Medtronic.


Video: Step up the Pace for Women: Jordan Jarvis

Jordan Jarvis of the Young Professionals Chronic Disease Network (@NCDAction), speaks about why we need to step up the pace for women, HIV & AIDS, and noncommunicable diseases (NCDs). (Watch video.)

Join us Monday, July 21, 18:30-20:30, in plenary room 3.


Women, HIV & AIDS, and NCDs: A Call to Action for Low- and Middle-Income Countries. (Not in Melbourne? Join the conversation online with hashtag #womenHIVNCDs.)