Session Date: April 23, 2021
Session Description: COVID-19 highlights once again the critical need for robust and resilient health systems. Many nations are currently facing the consequences of the ongoing neglect of their healthcare systems, notably the persistent weak link between providing essential health care services and carrying out public health efforts at the sub-national level. This problem calls for countries to take a more unified approach in pursuit of health security and universal health coverage goals. The roll-out of an effective COVID-19 vaccine provides a useful opportunity to revitalize the health systems of low-to-middle-income countries by addressing chronic structural and administrative weaknesses. Efforts toward health system strengthening (HSS) should focus on the integration of public health initiatives designed to prevent future pandemics with those that foster improved health outcomes. Drawing upon lesson learned from past and current experiences, USAID partner countries and technical experts will discuss strategies to establish better synergy between HSS and GHS. Panelists will also consider how the COVID-19 pandemic can be leveraged as an opportunity to integrate efforts across existing programming, with a focus on the sub-national level. Lastly, panelists will explore what must change in how we work and program to advance our USAID partner countries efforts in realizing GHS and UHC goals and ensuring their health systems are strong and resilient.