Strong Ministries for Strong Health Systems

Dr. Jo Ivey Boufford, Dr. Francis Omaswa
Date published
Jan, 2010
Last updated
25 Jan 2020


"The enjoyment of the highest attainable standard of health is one of the fundamental rights of every human being..." states the constitution of the World Health Organization (WHO). Beyond the individual right to health, the health of the population is recognized as an invaluable asset that is closely associated with social and economic development. Accordingly, progress in health is at the core of most of the United Nations (UN) Millennium Development Goals (MDGs). And yet, disparities in health persist worldwide. Morbidity and mortality due to preventable causes remain unacceptably high. Nowhere is this more apparent than in low-income countries in the developing world. The health of the people is directly related to effective health systems. Strengthening of health systems has emerged as a priority in global and national health policy and practice because a gap remains between knowing what can make a differRence in the health of individuals and populations, and taking action to achieve results. In order to close this implementation gap and achieve the prevention and treatment goals of traditional disease-specific programs, a comprehensive national health system that works for the entire population is needed.

STRONG MINISTRIES for STRONG HEALTH SYSTEMS, An overview of the study report:  “Supporting Ministerial Health Leadership: A Strategy for Health Systems Strengthening “, by Francis Omaswa, Executive Director, The African Center for Global Health and Social Transformation (ACHEST) and Jo Ivey Boufford, President The New York Academy of Medicine. With support from The Rockefeller Foundation, January 2010 provides the foundation for this session. In this session participants covered main components of health systems, and the characteristics that make them strong. Actual experiences and examples were shared.  Participants had an opportunity to discuss the components and relate how the systems function in their countries and how they could become stronger.

By the end of the session, participants were able to:     

  •  Recognize the impact of your agency’s relationship with other national and international partners    
  • Identify and prioritize obstacles to achieving program goals    
  • Develop strategies to overcome priority leadership challenges