Strengthening health systems to address child health (pp. 283-288)
Authors: Anjali Singh, Sanjay Zodpey, Abhay M Gaidhane, and Quazi Syed Zahiruddin
Abstract: Maternal and child health is of paramount importance for healthy development of human beings. 68 developing countries account for 97% of maternal and child deaths worldwide. This paper aims to examine the child health issues in developing countries including India and the ways for strengthening health systems to improve the quality and utilisation of health services for new born and child health. WHO build block of health systems include the following as constituting health systems: Leadership and governance consist of management of health systems by political, economic and administrative authority at national, district and sub-district level. Financing arrangements include funding and incentive system at the national and district level. Service delivery includes conception and development of programmes and interventions at national level, district level programmes in line with national health agenda and services delivered effectively at sub-district and community level. Health workforce includes sufficient number of trained, productive and responsive workers aiming to achieve the best health outcomes. Medical products and technologies “equitable access, assured quality, safety, efficacy and cost-effectiveness”. Information and evidence in a functional health system ensures the “production, analysis and use of reliable and timely information on health determinants, health systems performance and health status”. A comprehensive and integrated approach to strengthening health systems can certainly contribute in reduction of maternal and child deaths thereby achieving millennium development goals 4 and 5.