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Pleas grow for health workers to join Ebola outbreak response

There are not enough health workers responding to the Ebola outbreak in West Africa. So far, Ebola has infected more than 4,000 people and killed 2,218 across Guinea, Sierra Leone, Liberia, Nigeria and Senegal. Most signs point to things getting worse before the countries and healthcare workers can get the outbreak under control in the

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A new era for the WHO health system building blocks? – Health Systems Global

Jeffrey V. Lazarus, Tim France | Health Systems Global | A health system consists of all the organizations, institutions, resources and people whose primary purpose is Read More

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Health Systems Complexity: A “Gardening” Metaphor

By Woldekidan Kifle Amde on September 12, 2014 | For over two weeks (since 18 August), members of Emerging Voices for Global Health 2014, with the help of Read More

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U.S. Military’s Ebola Aid Delivery Begins; Liberia President Thanks U.S., Calls On Other…

News outlets report on the rollout of U.S. assistance to Liberia to help curb the Ebola outbreak and Liberia President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf’s public appreciation of the aid and call for other leaders to follow suit. Reuters: U.S. to begin Ebola hospital equipment lift to Liberia “The first planeload of hospital equipment in the U.S.…More


U.N. Special Envoy Chambers Interviews U.N. Ebola Coordinator Nabarro

Huffington Post: In Conversation: David Nabarro, the Man on the Front Line of the Ebola Crisis Ray Chambers, U.N. special envoy for health financing and for malaria, interviews David Nabarro, senior U.N. system coordinator for Ebola virus disease, about the challenges of addressing Ebola and the outlook for funding the response (9/16).


Pleas grow for health workers to join Ebola outbreak response

africa-map-wiki-Author-Hristov

There are not enough health workers responding to the Ebola outbreak in West Africa. So far, Ebola has infected more than 4,000 people and killed 2,218 across Guinea, Sierra Leone, Liberia, Nigeria and Senegal. Most signs point to things getting worse before the countries and healthcare workers can get the outbreak under control in the


UN Security Council Open Debate on Children in Armed Conflict

This post originally appeared on the blog of the Safeguarding Health in Conflict coalition.Late last month, health workers at the Barzilai Medical Center in Ashkelon, Gaza, were forced to transfer premature newborns, infants, and mothers who recently underwent Caesarean sections to an underground bomb shelter.It was the only way to protect them from persistent rocket attacks.Political violence in Libya has undermined children’s accessibility to basic health services as the national health system faces a “total collapse” amidst fleeing health personnel and chronic supply shortages.In Pakistan, the Taliban’s attacks on health workers administering vaccinations in retaliation for US drone strikes has hindered progress in eradicating polio, one of the most common causes of under-five mortality.These and other attacks against health facilities and health workers in Syria, South Sudan, Libya, Pakistan, and Ukraine are but a few of the most recent illustrations of how armed conflict threatens children’s basic right to safe and secure access to health.On September 8, the United Nations Security Council and Member States convened at an Open Debate on Children and Armed Conflict, to address the devastating impact these violent settings have on the security and healthy development of children.During the debate, missions condemned attacks on hospitals as grave dangers for children. This occasion marked the second open debate on this issue, following the Secretary General’s July 1 Annual Report on Children and Armed Conflict, and sadly comes at a time when children have been forced to bear the brunt of some of the most severe ramifications of war and civil unrest.This debate follows the March 7 adoption of Resolution 2143 by the UN Security Council, where the importance of documenting attacks on schools and hospitals was emphasized as integral to ensuring that children in armed conflict are able to enjoy the highest attainable standard of health.In particular, paragraphs 16, 17, and 19 of this resolution emphasized the importance of children’s continued access to basic health services in conflict and post-conflict periods, urged all parties in conflict to refrain from any action that would infringe on accessibility to these services, and reiterated parties’ obligation to these measures as per international humanitarian law.During the debate, a number of missions condemned attacks on hospitals as grave dangers for children in armed conflict.Deputy Permanent Representative Olivier Nduhungirehe of the Permanent Mission of Rwanda to the UN reminded the council of the Rwandan children who were victims in the 1994 bombings of schools, hospitals, and churches, and expressed deep concern over the “increased targeting of schools and hospitals in armed conflicts, as well as the utilization of those facilities for military purposes.”The Permanent Representative of Sweden to the UN asserted that attacks on schools and hospitals deprived children of basic access to essential services during conflicts, and as such “amount to war crimes.”Several other missions, including Australia and Germany, also described the need to identify and hold accountable violators who fail to respect the neutrality of medical facilities during armed conflict.Numerous measures have already been initiated to accelerate progress in protecting children’s unimpeded access to health services in conflict.The UN Office of the Special Representative of the Secretary General for Children in Armed Conflict leads the “naming and shaming” of persistent violators, and designates attacks on hospitals as one of the four “triggers” for listing perpetrators.This list of perpetrators includes notorious political and military groups from all over the world, including the Armed Forces of the Democratic Republic of the Congo (FARDC), Kachin Independence Army in Myanmar, Sudan People’s Liberation Army, and many others.This mechanism of listing perpetrators has been important for the Special Representatives’ advocacy efforts and for applying pressure on the Security Council to adopt sanctions against leaders of these groups.The Special Representatives have also launched a Guidance Note on Attacks against Hospitals and Schools to engage the international community in monitoring and reporting these attacks. This report emphasizes the need for greater clarity when monitoring and reporting the “diversity of attacks against schools and hospitals,” which is essential for advocating an end to these attacks.International agencies, NGOs, governments, and observers are encouraged to use this guidance in mainstream monitoring and reporting of attacks and to raise awareness of the urgent need for prompt responses.Continued momentum in safeguarding health in conflict is paramount in ensuring that children in armed conflict have access to the essential services they need to survive these volatile environments.The UNSC Open Debate on Children in Armed Conflict should reinforce the need to strengthen protection and hold perpetrators to account. No children, including those in violent settings, should be deprived of their basic right to health.


A new era for the WHO health system building blocks? – Health Systems Global

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Jeffrey V. Lazarus, Tim France | Health Systems Global | A health system consists of all the organizations, institutions, resources and people whose primary purpose is Read More


Health Systems Complexity: A “Gardening” Metaphor

africa-map-wiki-Author-Hristov

By Woldekidan Kifle Amde on September 12, 2014 | For over two weeks (since 18 August), members of Emerging Voices for Global Health 2014, with the help of Read More


U.N. Humanitarian Chief Allocates $4M To Support Ebola Operations In West Africa

U.N. News Centre: Ebola: U.N. relief chief allocates $4 million to bolster aid deliveries in West Africa “To help offset disruptions in aid delivery caused by travel restrictions on Ebola-affected countries, the top United Nations relief official today approved an emergency allocation of nearly $4 million for the U.N. Humanitarian Air Service (UNHAS) to support…More


Three Illicit Flows Targets for the Post-2015 Framework

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There is broad consensus on the need for the post-2015 successor framework to the Millennium Development Goals to respond to the challenge of illicit financial flows (IFF). Typically IFF involve the hidden movement of profits, hidden transfers of ownership, or hidden income streams. The main motivations are tax evasion (corporate and individual); laundering the proceeds of crime (largely human trafficking and drug trafficking); and corruption (including the theft of state assets and the bribery of public officials).  Current proposals reflect the need for international action to counter IFF, since the damage done by IFF in one jurisdiction is typically dependent upon the financial secrecy provided by another. But they are framed only at the most general level in terms of reducing IFF (without saying who should do this, or how), or of “international support to improve domestic capacity for tax collection” (without outlining the international obstacles that prevent domestic progress).


In West Africa’s Ebola Crisis, a Mobile Phone-Based Hero for Health Workers

A few months ago, I traveled to Liberia for the DHIS 2 & iHRIS Interoperability Academy, where we worked with West African developers, Ministry of Health and Social Welfare officials, and human resources managers on using health information system data to improve family planning services.  I didn’t realize at the time that those technologies were going to play a key role in Liberia’s Ebola response.Today I can’t help but think about my colleagues there and the challenges they are facing amid the outbreak. The cracks in Liberia’s health system—especially the health workforce challenges—are becoming more evident as Ebola rapidly spreads throughout the country. Every day there are new stories of distress, and the headlines suggest the outbreak is going to get worse before it gets better. Using mobile phones is just one way to help fight the Ebola epidemic.  Last week I saw footage of health workers chasing an infected patient who had escaped from quarantine and was making his way through a crowded market. And I read about health workers who are protesting their working conditions, demanding protective gear and even higher compensation from the government. mHEROA more robust communications and data collection system between health workers and their supervisors is vital, particularly in light of the Ebola outbreak.


The Family Planning Health Workforce: Making an Impact

This post originally appeared on K4Health. Photo courtesy of Photoshare.In 2007, I visited the Centre de Sante in Mukono, Rwanda. Staff enthusiastically gave me a tour of the facility, which had recently undergone renovations to partitioned private rooms for family planning counseling.The facility also had a variety of family planning commodities available, including pills, condoms, and injectables. It was remarkable to see staff so motivated to serve their clients and even more so to see the waiting room filled with women and men waiting for family planning services.This sunny day seven years ago had a noteworthy impact on my career in global health. It highlighted the importance of providing comprehensive family planning services to clients, especially in rural areas, and of having a motivated and well-trained health workforce to deliver those services.The absence of data and a weak culture of data use create challenges. In the years since, I have committed to supporting countries in addressing health workforce challenges, and particularly to improving family planning services.HRH challengesHuman resources for health (HRH) is one of the six building blocks of the World Health Organization’s Health Systems Framework.


Who Should Contribute to Funding of Global Health R&D and How Much?

The international community recently gave WHO a mandate to advance global health R&D by creating a pooled international fund for a first set of four Demonstration Projects. Mari Grepstad, Suerie Moon and John-Arne Røttingen consider how it could be funded.…The post Who Should Contribute to Funding of Global Health R&D and How Much? appeared first on Speaking of Medicine.


NIH Experimental Ebola Vaccine Trial Begins; Other Vaccines, Treatments Under Development

News outlets report on various aspects of Ebola vaccine and treatment development and delivery. ABC News: Two Women Receive Experimental Ebola Vaccine in Fast-Tracked Trial “The first two doses of an experimental Ebola vaccine have been injected into human subjects in the National Institutes of Health’s fast-tracked clinical trial…” (Lupkin, 9/3). Associated Press: Could the…More


Rural outreach by specialist doctors in Australia: a national cross-sectional study of supply…

Background: Outreach has been endorsed as an important global strategy to promote universal access to health care but it depends on health workers who are willing to travel.


Dual practice by doctors working in South and East Asia: a review of its origins, scope and…

Health professionals often undertake private work whilst also employed by government.


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