The Lancet Reports on MSH Partnership with Gabon
The Lancet reports today on the recent partnership of MSH and the Government of Gabon to help reform Gabon’s health sector, with a particular focus on improving maternal and child health outcomes.
From reporter Andrew Green's article, "Gabon hopes new plan will plug health-care gaps" (registration required):
“Gabon must ensure equal access to health care for all”, said First Deputy Prime Minister Paul Biyoghé Mba at the launch. “This is why the ministry is launching this plan, which aims to bring about an improvement in the range of health-care services in Gabon.”
Paul Auxila, the executive vice president of Management Sciences for Health (MSH), which is providing technical support to the programme, said the first 4 years would focus specifically on improving maternal and child health. Gabon’s indicators—56 deaths for every 1,000 children younger than 5 years and 240 maternal deaths for every 100,000 livebirths, according to the World Health Organization—are better than their neighbours. But the Sustainable Development Goals call for the near elimination of maternal deaths and the end of preventable deaths of children younger than 5 years by 2030.
The new strategy “essentially means balancing a focus that has traditionally been more intensely directed on the hospital level”, Auxila said, and will require better communication with both community leaders and potential patients. More than just talking about services, however, the health system will have to actually deliver, with improved treatment and ready supplies of essential medicines. This may require changes to governance structures, especially of hospitals, Auxila said, but also rethinking how health centre staff are paid for their work.
MSH is discussing a results-based finance scheme that “concentrates on outputs instead of inputs or investment”. He said the MSH team would work with the World Bank and the Ministry of Health to develop an approach that would be appropriate in Gabon.
Gabon’s National Health Insurance and Social Welfare Fund (Caisse Nationale d’Assurance Maladie et de Garantie Sociale) has achieved high enrollment of its country’s population. But, ensuring financial viability of the social health insurance scheme over the long term is still a major challenge. MSH will support the vast reform of the national health system including the support of the National Health Insurance and Social Welfare Fund’s long term financial sustainability.
Content updated: May 27, 2016