by Nana Mensah-Abrampah, Quality Improvement Fellow, and Sarah Whitmarsh, Communications Specialist
April 26, 2012
This week, University Research Co., LLC (URC) and the Salzburg Global Seminar assembled 60 global health leaders from 35 countries in Salzburg, Austria, for a high-level meeting on the topic, “Making Health Care Better in Low and Middle Income Economies: What are the next steps and how do we get there?” Salzburg Global Seminars convene imaginative thinkers from different cultures and institutions to solve problems of global concern. This seminar focuses on how to transform health systems in low- and middle-income countries to make them capable of continually improving.
People unable to attend the meeting can view and comment on discussions taking place April 22 to 27 on the website, Spotlight on Salzburg, through the ISQua Knowledge Portal. Session chairs will post daily meeting summaries; readers can contribute comments and ask questions. Dr Ezequiel Garcia Elorrio, ISQua Knowledge Research Convenor, is also posting daily reports on his blog, The Salzburg Diaries. Portal registration is free, and the discussion is open to all.
URC is hosting the seminar together with the Salzburg Global Seminar and partners from the US Agency for International Development (USAID), the World Health Organization (WHO), and the Institute for Healthcare Improvement. URC manages the USAID Health Care Improvement Project (HCI), which supports quality improvement efforts for child health, maternal and newborn care, reproductive health, and treatment for HIV/AIDS, TB, and malaria in 28 countries.
Outcomes from the meeting and online discussions will be featured in the final conference report and shared at the World Health Assembly in May 2012, ISQua’s 29th International Conference in Geneva next October, and ISQua’s regional conference in Accra, Ghana, in February 2013.
Improving the Delivery of Safe and Effective Health Care in Low- and Middle-income Countries
Dr. M. Rashad Massoud, Director of HCI; Ms. Nana Mensah-Abrampah, Quality Improvement Fellow at URC; and partners recently published an editorial in BMJ, the former British Medical Journal, to set the stage for the seminar. The editorial advocates improving the delivery of safe and effective health care in low- and middle-income countries. Sessions at the seminar also build on a framework paper and a prior online discussion that took place last month on the portal.
With only three years until the Millennium Development Goals’ target date, USAID, the WHO, and other international health organizations are looking for ways to sustain successful improvement efforts and strengthen health systems worldwide. The editorial argues:
“It is possible to improve the delivery of effective interventions in resource constrained settings.…What is needed is research into creating systems capabilities that will allow healthcare providers to continually adapt interventions so that they work for more patients in more contexts.”
Members of the Salzburg Global Seminar Committee for Making Health Care Better in Low and Middle Income Economies include Dr. Massoud; Dr. Pierre Barker, Institute for Healthcare Improvement; Prof. Sheila Leatherman, Gillings School of Public Health, University of North Carolina; Dr. Edward Kelley, WHO; Dr. Bruce Agins, HEALTHQUAL; Ms. Sylvia Sax, Heidelberg University; Dr. James Heiby, USAID; Mr. John Lotherington, Salzburg Global Seminar; and Ms. Mensah-Abrampah.