Achieving the new global health targets – Local innovations and country ownership for sustainable development

Below are extracts from an editorial in the November 2015 issue of the WHO Bulletin. While it has a focus on Ethiopia, it raises questions that are relevant to other LMICs. Notable is the conclusion:  ‘Policies for attaining the sustainable development goals should emphasize country ownership, promotion of local innovations and independence from outside donors’.  

As we enter our last week on discussion of SDGs ahead of the Global Health Conference in Montreal, I would like to invite people to comment – do you agree with this conclusion, and if so how might this approach be promoted? As a personal comment, I would add the words ‘the progressive realisation of’ after ’emphasise’ – it is vital that outside donors *increase* rather than withdraw their support where needed, while at the same time aiming progressively *in the longer term* to achieve the independence that the authors call for.

‘During the past two decades, access to primary health care has been dramatically improved in Ethiopia as a result of a national health extension programme. More than 40 000 community health extension workers have been trained to deliver preventive and basic curative interventions in villages across the nation…

‘Ethiopia is establishing an International Primary Health Care Institute, in close collaboration with international partners. The institute will promote south–south collaboration through training and research, with an emphasis on community engagement…

‘Over the last two decades, a range of simple innovations have transformed global health…

‘Innovations that respond to the local context require support, understanding and acceptance by partner organizations and international donors. Policies for attaining the sustainable development goals should emphasize country ownership, promotion of local innovations and independence from outside donors. After all, health is a basic human right that the government has a responsibility to support.’

The full text is available here:

Local innovations and country ownership for sustainable development

Taye Balcha, Haileyesus Getahun & Kestebirhan Admasu

Bulletin of the World Health Organization 2015;93:742. doi: http://dx.doi.org/10.2471/BLT.15.164483

http://www.who.int/bulletin/volumes/93/11/15-164483/en/

Let’s build a future where people are no longer dying for lack of healthcare knowledge – Join HIFA: www.hifa2015.org

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