On December 16, JCIE and the government of Japan held a conference on universal health coverage (UHC) and the new development agenda. The JCIE Global Health Special Series comprised four blogs that ran from December 12—also known as “UHC Day”—up until the start of the conference. This is the third of those blogs.
Last year, JCIE staff visited Global Fund–supported projects in Ethiopia and Burma to witness this in action, and we found the following:
Global Fund support has been used to build their acclaimed health extension program, helping train a cadre of over 38,000 community Health Extension Workers, which comes out to 2 stationed in every kebele [neighborhood] in the country. Ostensibly, nobody in Ethiopia is farther than 10km from a health post today.
Funding has also supported Ethiopia’s health system infrastructure through the construction of warehouses for pharmaceuticals and equipment, and through the development of the IT infrastructure and the managerial capacity of pharmaceutical supply chain staff.
Microscopes and other laboratory equipment with multiple uses have been procured through Global Fund grant programs as well.
Read more about JCIE’s Ethiopia case study.
Drop-in centers for commercial sex workers and men who have sex with men help draw these marginalized and stigmatized populations into the health system by offering basic prevention, diagnosis, and treatment services and providing referrals to those who can treat them without discrimination.
Generators purchased with Global Fund support keep critical equipment in laboratories running despite frequent power outages.
Financial management training sessions for officials administering Global Fund grants in-country and on-the-job training of public officials have broader benefits as the trainees take those skills with them when they move to other roles in government.
Read more about JCIE’s Burma case study.
The need to focus on synergies between the horizontal and the vertical was made clear in the aftermath of the Ebola outbreak, as the countries that experienced the most devastating death tolls and economic impact were those with weak systems incapable of handling emergency disease-specific interventions, even with external assistance. Vertical and horizontal approaches are not a zero-sum game. As we embark on a new development era defined by increasingly cross-cutting solutions to the global challenges we face, we have the chance to rewrite paradigms and redefine the terms of human development. In allocating resources for health it would behoove us to recognize that disease-specific programs, when designed appropriately, can contribute to UHC without diluting their core mission.
JCIE Global Health Special Series
Lessons from Japan on Universal Health Coverage, Susan Hubbard, JCIE/USA (December 12, 2015)
Viewing UHC through a Human Security Lens, Marcelo Korc (Pan American Health Organization) and Susan Hubbard (JCIE/USA) (December 13, 2015)
Lessons from Japan’s “T-Shaped” Approach to TB, Keizo Takemi, Member, House of Councillors of Japan (December 15, 2015)