In areas affected by war and disasters the health care systems are often totally disrupted. As a result, health care services are almost impossible to implement due to the lack of medicines, facilities and experienced personnel. On the other hand, these situations offer the opportunity to revise, change and improve upon the old system possible.
A well functioning health system responds in a balanced way to a population’s needs and expectations by:
Models and strategies
Building effective health systems in fragile states includes much more than the direct service provision. Good governance is an essential element in any functioning health system, and in fragile states there may be no government at all, or a rigid authoritarian rule that does not care for public services. In both cases there are alternative solutions: one can install governance on the local levels, one can install governance within the population. There is the crucial role of civil society – which often needs to be repaired too. In most fragile states there is therefore a continuing dynamic between reducing immediate vulnerability; achieving specific health outcomes; building a more lasting and equitable health system; and building the capacity of civil society.
We support local authorities with the development of new models. HealthNet TPO uses its experience derived from other countries for knowledge transfer and strives to work in a participatory way with all stakeholders. Subsequently, local policy makers determine the most suitable strategy. Examples of this experience of HealthNet TPO are in Cambodia, Afghanistan, Rwanda, DR Congo, Burundi and Sudan. The support to health systems in these countries are at different stages of development, with varying roles of international organisations like HealthNet TPO. Health care systems are only sustainable if the local and regional authorities have ownership through input in making the choices which models suits their country and culture best.
The focus of HealthNet TPO is on capacity building without taking over ownership and service delivery. It often stimulates the quality control and improvement of information systems. The required technical expertise and support offered varies from management skills to the development of financing systems. Read more about our activities in capacity building.
HealthNet TPO adopted the definition that is used by the World Health Organization:
“A good health system delivers quality services to all people, when and where they need them. The exact configuration of services varies from country to country, but in all cases requires a robust financing mechanism; a well-trained and adequately paid workforce; reliable information on which to base decisions and policies; well maintained facilities and logistics to deliver quality medicines and technologies.”