IFRC


68th World Health Assembly: IFRC’s plenary statement, agenda item 3: General discussion

Published: 21 May 2015

Building Resilient Health Systems

Statement by Gabriel Pictet, Head of Department ad interim, IFRC Health department

Ms Chair, Excellences, distinguished delegates, ladies and gentlemen,

We in the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC) are honoured to contribute to this 68th World Health Assembly. Ladies and gentlemen, The Red Cross and Red Crescent National Societies are auxiliary to their governments, and mobilize a network of millions of volunteers that work within health system transcending local communities and health care facilities. Health care systems are complex and we view resilience as a property of the full system rather than a single dimension. Through the years IFRC has affirmed commitment to support governments in achieving universal health coverage. However, this can only be achieved by strengthening health response in both developmental and humanitarian contexts by investing in stronger, more resilient healthcare systems overall.

Lessons from West Africa Ebola Virus Disease outbreak 2014–2015 show how devastating disruption of public health systems a large scale outbreak can cause. Situations of state fragility present some of the most significant challenges in safeguarding the health and well-being of affected populations. While many fragile states are supported by international humanitarian agencies, there has been limited success in supporting locally-led responses and building long-term capacity.

We call on all Governments to invest in building resilient health systems that are robust enough to buffer shocks in crisis and can transit from one context into the other. We believe it to be achievable. We put our commitment into action through our 189 Red Cross Red Crescent National Societies and their millions of volunteers, bringing health to the most vulnerable people around the world in both developmental and humanitarian contexts. Today, we are calling on the Member States:

  1. To provide a supportive environment for multi-sectoral engagement of national and local actors such as ministries of health and education as well as local communities to prioritise and better situate humanitarian plans, priorities and processes with sustainable development frameworks.
  2. Develop capacity of health systems to have flexible and adaptable financing and service delivery, trained and available staff, priority medicines available when needed, reliable information systems and leadership and governance that takes into account emergency risk.
  3. Include communities in the planning and design of resilient health systems by leveraging capacity of community health workers and volunteers to sustain primary health care services.

We in the IFRC with our members are ready to support this global effort with our millions of volunteers at the community level, bringing government efforts to the most vulnerable people.

Thank you.

 

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The International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC) is the world's largest humanitarian organization, with 190 member National Societies. As part of the International Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement, our work is guided by seven fundamental principles; humanity, impartiality, neutrality, independence, voluntary service, unity and universality. About this site & copyright