Strengthening Health Systems @ #HSR2014

We have arrived in Cape Town, South Africa, ready to join in the conversation at the Third Global Symposium on Health Systems Research – on how we can best use existing knowledge and focus our collective efforts towards strengthening health systems in ways that reduce barriers to access and inequities in service provision.

In honor of this landmark event – held in the shadow of the accelerating Ebola epidemic in West Africa which has exposed the true fragility of health systems in the face of severe health threats – Strengthening Health Systems is today publishing two articles that speak to the central themes of the conference, and to key issues the health systems community continues to grapple with:

1. MSH President Jonathan Quick and colleagues write in an editorial that the “people-centered” approach, around which the conference is based, is inextricably linked to the movement towards universal health coverage, so that neither goal can be achieved without achievement of the other.

2. In an article that evaluates the accuracy of immunisation data on South Africa’s national health information system, Anne-Marie Jamin (University of Alberta, Canada) and colleagues from the Eastern Cape Department of Health, South Africa, find that database figures are up to 6 times higher than the corresponding figures in facility registers, signalling severe problems with data management in the province. The authors warn that without a data management system that can be relied upon to convey accurate data, policy makers and health managers are unable to make informed decisions about health programmes and priorities.

For the full text of these and other articles published in Strengthening Health Systems, please visit our website and online submission system – now live! www.shsjournal.org

Quick JD, Canavan CR, Jay J. People-centered health systems for UHC. Strengthen Health Sys 2014 epub ahead of print DOI:10.7196/SHS.9

Jamin A-M, Kaposhi B, Schopflocher D, Mqoqi N. Strengthening health systems through improved reliability of health information: An evaluation of the expanded programme on immunization data management in Eastern Cape, South Africa. Strengthen Health Sys 2014 epub ahead of print: DOI:10.7196/SHS.10

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