A strong health system delivers quality services, when and where they are needed. The exact structure and function of health systems vary from country to country, but to deliver quality healthcare these systems require well-maintained facilities, adequate medical supplies and efficient logistics. Such systems also need a well-trained and adequately compensated workforce, reliable information on which to base decisions and policies, and a robust financing mechanism.
Our goals at International Medical Corps include:
- improving overall quality of healthcare services delivered throughout the continuum of care, from the community, to district hospital- and tertiary-level facilities;
- promoting accountability for healthcare delivery at the consumer and provider levels—which requires support for community, district and national health committees;
- Strengthening district-level health service management, including planning, monitoring and supervising support for logistics, as well as administrative issues such as health information management and pharmaceutical supply chains;
- Supporting ministries of health as they make the transition from emergency to development, through measures such as conducting gap analysis; and
- facilities construction.
Our response to building a strong health system is anchored in our commitment to strengthening the skills and knowledge of those who staff the system at every level. We do this by drawing on our organization’s extensive experience in training. We partner with local community leaders to build confidence and develop solutions that best fit local conditions. For example, our response to the Ebola outbreak in Sierra Leone in 2014-2015 included operating Ebola Treatment Centers fully equipped with staff and supplies while our community-based health program reached out to influential traditional healers—their support in convincing relatives to avoid touching the remains of a loved one during funeral rituals significantly contributed to halting the spread of the virus. Our integrated strategy also draws on the expertise we have in our technical specialties, including water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH); nutrition; mental health and psychosocial support (MHPSS); and family and community health.
In South Sudan, we support 22 teachers—nine international midwifery tutors and 13 national midwifery trainers—in the country’s three midwifery and nursing schools.
International Medical Corps has decades of experience working on the front lines of the global response against HIV/AIDS, in more than 20 countries.
We strengthen global polio eradication efforts in several countries, most notably in northern Nigeria—one of only three countries in the world where, until recently, polio still remained a threat.