Ten principles to strengthen global health

December 22, 2010, Yale University

(PhysOrg.com) -- Ten guiding principles to strengthen global health strategies and outcomes have been created by a Yale School of Public Health professor and other experts.

Health systems strengthening (HSS) is a broad-based approach that addresses underlying causes of , such as , and is an important aspect of the ’ Millennium Development Goals to improve outcomes. Despite the effectiveness of the HSS approach, there is a lack of commonly recognized principles and definitions among global health professionals, which hampers the effectiveness of health programs, policies and management.

The goal is for the guiding principles—put forth in a consensus statement by 11 global health leaders from six countries—to become the common language for future global health development and policy initiatives. The group’s principles are designed to meet the needs of diverse regions, cultures and economic conditions.

“Health system strengthening has become a catch-all, so having some guiding principles is important for directing these efforts,” said Elizabeth Bradley, a professor at Yale and one the authors of the paper that appears in PLoS Medicine. “Common principles and definitions can help the field coordinate these diverse efforts better and ultimately be more efficient with global health efforts.”

The ten guiding principles are:

1) Holism– Consider all systems components, processes, and relationships simultaneously.

2) Context– Consider global, national, regional, and local culture and politics.

3) Social mobilization–Mobilize and advocate for social and political change to strengthen health systems and address the social determinates of health.

4) Collaboration–Develop long-term, equal, and respectful partnerships between donors and recipients within the health sector and among other sectors.

5) Capacity enhancement– Enhance capacity and ownership at all levels, from individuals and households to ministries of health, including leadership, management, institutional strengthening and problem solving.

6) Efficiency– Minimize waste and allocate funds where they are needed most.

7) Evidence-informed action– Make decisions, whenever possible, based on evidence and ensure transparency and accountability.

8) Equity– Target those who are disenfranchised.

9) Financial protection–Ensure that funding streams are predictable.

10) Satisfaction–Respond to needs and concerns of all stakeholders.

At Yale, various initiatives are underway to improve global health outcomes, including the Global Health Leadership Institute, which convenes an annual conference and works directly with health professionals to build leadership, management, and problem solving activities directed at country priorities. “Our work is consistent with principle #5 in health system strengthening and is important for achieving health improvements,” said Michael Skonieczny, executive director of the Yale Global Health Leadership Institute.

In addition to Bradley, authors from Brigham Young University, The QED Group, Karolinska Institute, Health Systems Actions Network, the Ministry of Health in Ghana, the Institute for Maternal and Child Health in Italy, EntrePaducah, Health Systems Actions Network and the Institute of Population and Department of Epidemiology and Community Medicine of Ottawa contributed to the paper.

Related Stories

Recommended for you

Women run faster after taking newly developed supplement, study finds

January 19, 2018
A new study found that women who took a specially prepared blend of minerals and nutrients for a month saw their 3-mile run times drop by almost a minute.

Americans are getting more sleep

January 19, 2018
Although more than one in three Americans still don't get enough sleep, a new analysis shows first signs of success in the fight for more shut eye. According to data from 181,335 respondents aged 15 and older who participated ...

Wine is good for you—to a point

January 18, 2018
The Mediterranean diet has become synonymous with healthy eating, but there's one thing in it that stands out: It's cool to drink wine.

Sleep better, lose weight?

January 17, 2018
(HealthDay)—Sleeplessness could cost you when it's time to stand on your bathroom scale, a new British study suggests.

Who uses phone apps to track sleep habits? Mostly the healthy and wealthy in US

January 16, 2018
The profile of most Americans who use popular mobile phone apps that track sleep habits is that they are relatively affluent, claim to eat well, and say they are in good health, even if some of them tend to smoke.

Improvements in mortality rates are slowed by rise in obesity in the United States

January 15, 2018
With countless medical advances and efforts to curb smoking, one might expect that life expectancy in the United States would improve. Yet according to recent studies, there's been a reduction in the rate of improvement in ...


Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.