The UN Platform on Social Determinants of Health is an informal mechanism to provide coordinated support to Member States with implementation of the Rio Political Declaration on Social Determinants of Health. The Platform also advocate s placing the social determinants of health highly on the global development agenda, and fostering coherent action on the social determinants of health. Currently, the platform involves staff from ILO, UNDP, UNFPA, UNICEF, WHO and UNAIDS.
Report on a Baseline Assessment of Maternal, Neonatal and Child Health and Nutrition (MNCH&N) Services in Seven Priority Sub-Districts in Four Provinces
The South African Department of Health, commonly referred to in South Africa as the National Department of Health (NDoH), has prioritised improvements in the health of mothers and children through strategic health programme interventions. To improve the capacity of health districts performing poorly with regard to mother and child health indicators and to meet the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) NDoH has identified and prioritised 18 health sub-districts across South Africa as districts that need interventions for improvement.
Research Snapshot: Public health and management competency requirements for Primary Health Care facility managers at sub-district level in the District Health System in South Africa
Facilitators: Reducing Maternal and Child Mortality through Strengthening Primary Health Care (RMCH) Programme
Health Systems Trust is a dynamic, not-for-profit organisation that supports the development of an equitable and comprehensive health system for the provision of quality health care in South and southern Africa.
Health Systems Trust wishes to appoint nine facilitators to facilitate improved access to and use of high quality Maternal, Neonatal and Child Health (MNCH) services at the district level. The incumbent will be appointed to work in the Reducing Maternal and Child Mortality through Strengthening Primary Health Care (RMCH) Programme. This programme focuses on mentoring and supporting district heath management teams to implement interventions for improved maternal and child health outcomes.
Optimizing health worker roles to improve access to key maternal and newborn health interventions through task shifting
The World Health Organization’s recommendations on optimizing the roles of health workers aim to help address critical health workforce shortages that slow down progress towards the health-related Millennium Development Goals (MDGs). A more rational distribution of tasks and responsibilities among cadres of health workers can significantly improve both access and cost-effectiveness – for example by training and enabling ‘mid-level’ and ‘lay’ health workers to perform specific interventions otherwise provided only by cadres with longer (and sometimes more specialized) training.
This note is by the World Health Organization (WHO) is intended as a discussion paper on the position of health in the post-2015 agenda. This paper focuses on content, identifying a series of issues that need to be addressed in framing future health goals and discussing ways in which Universal Health Coverage might be used as a way of bringing all programmatic interests under an inclusive umbrella and explaining its relationship to the achievement of gains in healthy life expectancy. The purpose of these papers is to provoke discussion rather than present definitive positions. They will be revised and updated as the process evolves.
The School of Public Health at the University of the Western Cape is a WHO Collaborating Centre, and has an international reputation as a leading research and teaching institution in Public Health. Its educational and research activities are wide-ranging, with a special focus on health systems research, primary health care, social determinants of health, priority conditions (including TB/HIV and chronic disease) and the implementation of district health systems. The School’s distance learning postgraduate programme, offered through a range of learning media, is unique in Southern Africa.
Health systems strengthening has become a top priority of many global and national health agendas as a way to improve health outcomes. With the global health context becoming increasingly complex, national health systems are beginning to move away from a focus on disease-specific health responses to comprehensive strengthening of health systems. The global community agrees that without a systems approach, population health outcomes will not further improve and health related development goals such as the United Nation’s Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) for 2015 will not be met.
The theme of this month's "Update" is greater integration of the public and private health sectors in South Africa. It explores ways in which convergence of public and private health care in South Africa can be used to increase people's access to health care, and to ensure both greater efficiency and equity in the provision of health care. Some of the suggested mechanisms are complex, controversial and may take time to implement. Other steps may be simpler and should be introduced now - if only to prevent the situation described above happening again.