Menu ENN Search

COVID-19 highlights the need for greater support for global health systems

View this article as a pdf

Research snapshot1

High-income countries with strong health systems have implemented public health responses to protect their populations from the outbreak of the COVID-19 coronavirus. Concern for countries with weaker systems led the World Health Organization to declare this outbreak a public health emergency of international concern to try to limit the virus from spreading to densely populated countries with weaker health systems. Since the first case of COVID-19 in Africa was confirmed in Egypt, many people in African countries are asking how health systems will cope if COVID-19 affects them.

The author argues that the effectiveness of a health system is complex and goes beyond a country’s financial resources. Although providing international funding and laboratory resources are essential, this will not immediately translate into an effective public health response. The global emergency response must equip those countries with weaker health systems with greater strategic guidance, which covers preparedness, implementation tools, and capacity-building in healthcare systems. Indonesia, for example, has to date not diagnosed any COVID-2019 infections, but commentators have questioned the likelihood of there being none, given Indonesia’s close proximity and travel connections to China. Indonesia’s current diagnostic capability may not be sufficient for a large and geographically diverse island nation.  

Low and middle-income settings with weaker healthcare systems will need more guidance. This applies to every level in the system. Other necessary measures include speeding up bureaucratic processes; increasing capacity of central hospitals with skilled responders; scaling up provision of personal protective equipment and education for healthcare staff so that they are prepared and have the resilience to act as immediate responders; and supporting access to, and best practice management and processing of, diagnostics, contact tracing, and quarantine capability. This outbreak marks a vital moment when countries with expertise need to work together and share information with countries that lack the means to respond effectively.

Read more...

Endnotes

1 Keerti Gedela. Covid-19 highlights the need for greater support for global health systems. The BMJ Opinion. Published online February 25, 2020. https://blogs.bmj.com/bmj/2020/02/25/keerti-gedela-coronavirus-outbreak-highlights-need-greater-support-global-health-systems/

More like this

Resource: International Perspectives Concerning Donor Milk Banking During the SARS-CoV-2 (COVID-19) Pandemic

Background On December 31, 2019 the first case of what is now known as severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARSCoV-2) was reported to the Chinese Center for...

Resource: Nutrition Information Management, Surveillance and Monitoring in the Context of COVID-19

Background & Introduction To support implementers on how to prepare for and respond to the COVID-19 pandemic, a series of evidence-based guidance briefs will be produced and...

COVID-19 and nutrition programming

Listen to a short conversation on ENNs support to practitioners on COVID 19 and nutrition through our role in the Global Technical Assistance Mechanism on Nutrition. This...

en-net: IYCF-E and Covid 19: questions from the field

Dear all, in support to the initial exercise supported by Mija, Save the Children is engaging country offices to understand what are the questions and concerns around...

FEX: Looming threat of COVID-19 infection in Africa: act collectively, and fast

View this article as a pdf Research snapshot1 Because of the high volume of air traffic and trade between China and Africa, Africa is at high risk of the introduction and...

en-net: What can we do to ensure food security in the context of COVID-19?

Question submitted to the prevention workstream of the Wasting and Risk TWG. What can we do to ensure food security in the context of COVID-19? Is there research from other...

Resource: Infant and Young Child Feeding in Emergencies (IYCF-E). Programming in The Context Of COVID-19: Considerations for Adaptations

Introduction The COVID-19 pandemic is an unprecedented global emergency with 216 countries affected, more than 19 million confirmed cases and more than 900,000 deaths as of...

en-net: Multi lingual brief presentations on COVID and breastfeeding

Dear All - Just want to share that CHEERing has a large number of short presentations in English, Arabic, French, Farsi, and Greek aimed at answering questions for pregnant and...

FEX: South Asia and child wasting – unravelling the conundrum

This is a summary of a Field Exchange field article that was included in issue 63 - a special edition on child wasting in South Asia. The original article was authored by...

FEX: Editorial

View this article as a pdf Lisez cet article en français ici A warm welcome to our 63rd edition of Field Exchange, focused on child wasting in South Asia. The idea for...

FEX: COVID-19 pandemic and mitigation strategies: implications for maternal and child health and nutrition

Research Snapshot1 The adverse global impact of COVID-19 on poverty, the coverage of essential support services and access to nutritious foods is likely to lead to an increase...

FEX: Expanding CMAM Surge beyond nutrition – towards a broader Health Surge approach

View this article as a pdf By Erin McCloskey, Kate Golden and Amanda Yourchuck Erin McCloskey is a Public Health Nutritionist and independent consultant currently working for...

en-net: Need to understand the meaning of "balanced diet" to face the pandemic COVID-19 situation.

This question appears strange like my other questions, but I think it's really important to again guide the people about the balanced diet regarding this situation. We all know...

FEX: Prevention of child wasting in Asia: Possible role for multiple micronutrient supplementation in pregnancy

View this article as a pdf Lisez cet article en français ici By Kristen M. Hurley, Endang L Achadi, Clayton Ajello, Sufia Askari, Madhavika Bajoria, Kalpana...

en-net: COVID-19 and Safety of Breast Milk and/or Breastfeeding -Please send all your questions

Dear colleagues Gradually I am getting more questions on the safety of breast milk, breastfeeding etc. in the context of COVID-19. I know that you as health/nutrition...

en-net: CMAM mitigation strategies in light of COVID-19

Hi global nutrition colleagues, IRC is developing mitigation strategies for our programming in light of COVID-19 including guidance for CMAM programs. I'm reaching out...

FEX: Misalignment of global COVID-19 breastfeeding and newborn care guidelines with World Health Organization recommendations

Research snapshot1 Interruption of exclusive and continued breastfeeding is responsible for nearly 700,000 maternal and child deaths annually. There are concerns that the...

en-net: Behaviour Change Communication Images/Tools

Dear all, I have seen La Leche League and Safely Fed Canada images that can help with communicating messages for nutrition/IYCF and COVID-19. I wonder whether others have...

en-net: Information Management

Hello All, How can we strengthen the information system to make a better preperation and response of this Covid-19? Thank you Please note that GTAM, GNC and UNICEF...

FEX: Remote Integrated Phase Classification during the COVID-19 pandemic: experiences from Madagascar

By Smaila Gnegne, Moussa Moctar, Andrianianja Raonivelo, Desire Rwodzi, Mara Nyawo and Douglas Jayakasekaran Smaila Gnegne is a health statistician with over nine years'...

Close

Reference this page

COVID-19 highlights the need for greater support for global health systems. Field Exchange 62, April 2020. p49. www.ennonline.net/fex/62/covid19globalhealthsystems

(ENN_6590)

Close

Download to a citation manager

The below files can be imported into your preferred reference management tool, most tools will allow you to manually import the RIS file. Endnote may required a specific filter file to be used.