Strong Health Systems Key to Eliminating Global Poverty

By EGPAF | March 27, 2014

Strong health systems are integral to eliminating global poverty

EGPAF/Zimbabwe

In a recent opinion piece, Ariel Pablos-Mendez, M.D., assistant administrator for global health at the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID), says bolstering a country’s health system and infrastructure can be a means to eliminate extreme poverty.

Dr. Pablos-Mendez argues that a healthy workforce  is the cornerstone of economic development and that prioritizing Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), such as creating an AIDS-free generation and ending preventable child and maternal deaths, ensures that future generations can overcome poverty.

But these goals are only possible if there are strong health systems in place.

“Protecting human life and health is one of the best ways to eliminate extreme poverty,” Dr. Pablos-Mendez writes. “As a global health community, we have the skills and know-how to accomplish these goals, but we must work together and recognize that the ‘secret ingredient’ that binds all of our collective knowledge, skills, and interventions is a strong health system.”

The Elizabeth Glaser Pediatric AIDS Foundation (EGPAF) recognizes that pediatric HIV/AIDS elimination cannot be achieved and sustained without strong health systems. Effective and locally-owned leadership at the national, sub-national, and community levels is critical to ensuring a viable and efficient health system that delivers high-quality services and improves the health of women, children, and their families.

Be sure to read the full opinion piece on Devex here.