The right to health for every person. Health solutions rooted in communities. Resilient systems for care and prevention.
The Ebola epidemic has made clear the urgency of realizing these goals, which are central to MSH’s mission. Weak health systems in West Africa struggled to control Ebola. Steady investments in health systems, including epidemic preparedness, can stop local disease outbreaks from becoming major epidemics, while addressing the full range of health issues faced by communities.
MSH is dedicated to working with local leaders to build strong health systems that visibly improve health and well-being. In this report we offer a glimpse of youth leadership in Peru; healthy women and babies in DRC and Ethiopia; health systems strengthening in Rwanda; and movement toward universal health coverage (UHC) in Nigeria.
UHC requires strong health systems. The global health community has come to consensus on UHC— access for all to health care without financial hardship. By prioritizing the most vulnerable and improving access to health services, UHC improves health and slows disease spread. As we continue developing UHC principles in the post-2015 era, we must remember the lessons of Ebola: better governance, workforce development, pharmaceutical management, and other health systems components are as vital for preventing major epidemics as they are for primary care.
To keep us safe from health threats, countries must build essential public health functions such as surveillance, preparedness, and prevention as integral parts of their investment in health systems strengthening.
The current Ebola crisis has highlighted gaps; much remains to be done. We are deeply grateful to our diverse funding and implementing partners and to the local health leaders with whom we work shoulder to shoulder. Together, we remain vigilant in standing up to the health challenges of our time.
With warm regards,
Jonathan D. Quick, MD, MPH
President and Chief Executive Officer