Preventing AIDS Deaths Need Not Be a Fight: A Health Systems Approach

In the Washington Post article “Rage, panic in AIDS fight,” David Brown alleges that the goal of health systems strengthening is “hard-to-define.” In fact, it is not.

Whatever the disease or health sector priority—be it HIV/AIDS, malaria, family planning, labor and delivery, or pneumonia—six components of the health system must be functioning and integrated in order for health impacts to be maximized. These components are:

  • Service delivery
  • Medical products, vaccines, and technology
  • Financing
  • Health information systems
  • Leadership and governance
  • The health workforce—arguably most important of all.

Good News about Training More Health Workers—But Will They Be Absorbed?

Amid the continuing health workforce crisis, I think it’s important to acknowledge the positive steps that have occurred. In terms of donor support, one such area involves commitments to provide funding and support at the country level to train new health workers.

Training new health workers: two positive steps
For example, in 2008 the Japan International Cooperation Agency announced a major program to train some 100,000 local health workers to tackle one of Africa’s most serious problems, the unacceptably high mortality and sickness rate among pregnant women, new mothers, and their children. Read more »

Bottlenecks: Addressing the AIDS Epidemic through Increasing Human Resources for Health

This post was originally published on the IntraHealth International blog.

Nola Bower-SmithIn a world where over 33 million people are living with AIDS it is imperative to address the human resources for health (HRH) crisis. The critical questions and solutions generated by this discussion are a step towards a world without AIDS.

I had the opportunity to attend a panel at the International AIDS Conference in Vienna that focused on strategies for the HRH crisis. The panelists agreed that HRH is a critical problem, but one without an easy or quick solution. The lack of human resources, especially in areas most affected by HIV and AIDS, has made combating the disease a challenging and complex problem. Read more »

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