- Ngozi Erondu, Senior Scholar, O’Neill Institute, Georgetown University; Associate Fellow, Chatham House
- Arush Lal, Board Vice Chair, Women in Global Health; MPhil/PhD Candidate, Department of Health Policy, London School of Economics and Political Science
- Priscilla Ibekwe, Deputy Director of Special Duties, Nigeria Centre for Disease Control
- Kelly Saldana, Director of the Office of Health Systems, Bureau for Global Health, US Agency for International Development
- Amanda Glassman, Executive Vice President and Senior Fellow, Center for Global Development
Please join us for this seminar as we examine new research from Arush Lal, Ngozi Erondu and co-authors on how and where the global health security and universal health coverage agendas do and do not intersect, and how to make fragmented aid flows work better for partner countries.
The organization of global health assistance largely through disease-specific “vertical” programs has created siloes and fragmentation, hindering effectiveness. And while vertical initiatives have helped control specific infectious diseases, their focus is not on building robust health systems that are prepared to handle the full range of diseases and health threats, while maintaining essential services. Even support for health systems strengthening that is channeled through vertical programs has generally been small in size and narrowly focused on the specific intervention. As the COVID-19 pandemic has demonstrated once again, the way we provide global health assistance to date has not systematically built capacity to respond to large-scale outbreaks or to control spread. Health systems strengthening efforts have often left out preparedness and many aspects of public health. Elements of the global health security agenda have excluded important interventions via the health system, namely how to finance or implement policies and regulations. Simply lumping global health security and preparedness into health systems strengthening will not produce the results the world needs. Instead, we have to do both well.
How can we shift from a siloed approach to global health assistance to one that supports cross-cutting health systems functions—including data and surveillance systems, the health workforce, laboratory capacity, and supply chains—and provides dedicated financing for global health security, while preserving results and impact for existing global health programs? This discussion will look critically at what works, what does not, and what is the best way forward.