Strengthening Primary Health Care and Immunization Post-2020

July 1st, 2019 | Viewpoint

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On April 30, JSI hosted a webinar on the importance of strong leadership to achieve universal health care (UHC), and how to generate such leadership post-2020. The webinar built on the recent African Leadership Meeting, Addis Declaration on Immunization.

Webinar host Folake Olayinka highlighted key messages from the discussion:

  1. Strong country leadership, management, and coordination, which are crucial for reaching immunization and UHC goals, are often lacking in countries that are not meeting their targets because these areas receive little attention and investment.

  2. Health leaders in Africa require new skills to be nimble in a fast-changing and increasingly complex environment. They must be economically and financially literate, and communicate vision and strategies effectively.

  3. Africa must build competencies of leaders and managers at national and subnational levels through pre-service education, blended approaches, and on-the-job coaching and mentoring, and establish functional systems support.

  4. Leadership approaches influence staff motivation and team spirit positively and negatively. The former can sabotage UHC goals and immunization targets.

  5. Subnational administrators influence demand and health outcomes because they are community and supply chain gatekeepers. Thus they determine the success of health-related efforts at the last mile.

  6. Transformative leadership should focus on desired outcomes and accountability. Progress in health leadership should be measured against well-defined local goals and targets such as GVAP 2020 and Sustainable Development Goals.

  7. Local ownership is crucial to sustaining program development. Include key experts (both technical and leadership) in strategy development and implementation to ensure local ownership and a workable approach early in the process.

  8. Innovation must be a continuous process and use appropriate technology to enhance leadership and governance functions. South-to-south exchange and learning from within a country are essential components.

  9. Identify and prepare young people and mid-level managers for leadership positions now.

The webinar panel included:

  • Dr. Muhammad Ali Pate, chief executive officer, Big Win Philanthropy and Adjunct Professor of Global Health, Duke University Global Health Institute.

  • Dr. Ranjana Kumar, senior specialist, Country Governance, Leadership Management & Coordination, Gavi.

  • Dr. Possy Mugyenyi, national technical director for MCSP/SS4RI Uganda, John Snow, Inc.

  • Moderator Dr. Folake Olayinka, senior technical immunization advisor/immunization team leader, Maternal and Child Survival Program, John Snow, Inc.

Watch the recording here.

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