Even before the COVID-19 pandemic, formal and community health systems in many low- and middle-income countries were strained, facing shortages of skilled health care workers; costly and incomplete supply chains; inadequate data; poor integration of government, private sector and community health systems; siloed implementation of national disease control programs; and many other challenges. To end HIV, tuberculosis (TB) and malaria as epidemics and fight emerging threats like COVID-19, we need to strengthen the formal and community health systems and responses that make up resilient and sustainable systems for health (RSSH).
RSSH is not just about government health systems, but also about services provided by communities, the private sector and other providers, which together should ensure that individuals’ health needs are met wherever they seek care. These systems are essential for ending HIV, TB and malaria as public health threats, producing better health outcomes for all and delivering health services in a sustainable, equitable and effective way. RSSH is also the basis for preventing, preparing for and responding to future pandemics.
The whole world benefits when we build the strength and resilience of formal and community health systems everywhere. This year, with the Global Fund’s Seventh Replenishment conference, the world has an opportunity to invest more in stronger systems for health and build a healthier, more equitable world for everyone, everywhere.