The October edition of MSH’s Global Health Impact newsletter (subscribe), features stories of people, communities, and countries on the road toward universal health coverage (UHC).
The vital role of the essential package for health impact
“Universal health coverage has two fundamental goals: maximizing health impact and eliminating — or at least reducing — impoverishment and bankruptcy due to healthcare costs,” blogs MSH President Jonathan D. Quick.
“Rwanda is one of over 100 countries — over half of which are low- and middle-income countries — that have taken steps to provide universal health coverage (UHC). Ghana, India, Rwanda, Thailand, and Turkey are among those countries on the road to realizing the vision of universal health coverage. Each country faces a unique set of challenges demanding vital moral and practical choices. Each is developing different solutions. What they share is the basic goal of better health for their people through UHC.
Rwanda: Community-Based Health Insurance and Performance-Based Financing
The Rwandan Ministry of Health, with support from USAID’s Integrated Health Systems Strengthening Project (IHSSP), led by MSH, is improving access to quality health services for all Rwandans.
Eugénie is a widow living in the southern province of Rwanda who farms to provide for her three children. For many years, she suffered from a tumor — until recent reforms in Rwanda’s community-based health insurance covered 100% of her medical fees.
Dativa lives in eastern Rwanda, where performance-based financing is helping to support the efforts of community health workers. One community health worker encouraged her to deliver her second child at the health center. She took the advice; and the interventions likely saved Dativa’s and her baby’s lives.
Access to medicines
Dr. Douglas Keene, MSH vice president of the Center for Pharmaceutical Management, describes how pharmaceutical services fit into the universal health coverage framework, and MSH’s role in helping develop the framework, and improve access to medicines.
Health workers transported essential medicines, vaccines, and supplies to a Democratic Republic of the Congo health zone in Sud Kivu province, where there had been no delivery of medicines or supplies for more than six months.
MDS-3: Managing Access to Medicines and Health Technologies, available for free online, is the leading reference on how to manage essential medicines in developing countries.
Strategies for sustainability and success
Indonesia is developing a financial sustainability strategy for the National Tuberculosis Program, which includes implementing universal health coverage in 2014.
Lagos state, Nigeria, is successfully piloting community-based health insurance schemes in two local government areas — and sharing lessons learned with leaders from Akwa Ibom and Gombe states.
UHC campaign to support African nations
Funded by the Rockefeller Foundation and led by Management Sciences for Health (MSH), “Health for All: The Campaign for Universal Health Coverage in Africa” will support existing government initiatives towards universal health coverage and equitable health reform in four African nations: Ethiopia, Nigeria, Kenya, and Ghana.
MSH at Global Symposium on Health Systems Research in Beijing
Management Sciences for Health (MSH) delegates join 1,500+ colleagues at the Second Global Symposium on Health Systems Research in Beijing, China this week. The symposium is “dedicated to evaluating progress, sharing insights and recalibrating the agenda of science to accelerate UHC”.
Visit the MSH conference blog for details on satellite and concurrent sessions, poster presentations, and a special showing of an MSH film.