In April 1992 a group of visionaries – most now leading figures in the country – saw the need for an organisation to support the transformation of South Africa’s health system in the new democracy ushered in by the non race-based elections in 1994. The resultant organisation, Health Systems Trust, has grown from strength to strength over the intervening two decades.
The years have, however, proved fruitful in strengthening health systems – both in the country and in southern Africa. Extensive health systems research (see the HST website), many innovative implementation programmes (including the early Initiative for Sub-district Support; District Strengthening and Community Development; SA SURE), relevant reporting and analysis (South African Health Review, District Health Barometer) and global collaborations advocating for equity (Global Equity Gauge - GEGA, early editions of Global Health Watch) bear witness to these claims. HST’s track record has contributed to its becoming a leading research, implementing and partner organisation, while following its vision of “Health systems supporting Health for All in southern Africa”.
Mindful of the debt the organisation owes to its supporters and communities, a 20-year celebration with a difference is planned. Developments in the South African health system over the past two decades will be explored in a one-day seminar. Then, acknowledging the involvement of the South African communities in sustaining the organisation HST staff, with some partners and dignitaries, will don overalls and participate in a social responsibility exercise in two clinics.
HST steps into the next 20 years with confidence and excitement. A deep commitment to the founding Trustees and to current clients and communities will continue to shape the nature and quality of HST’s current and future inputs.
For more information on our celebrations please click here.