Funding for global health systems essential in era of pandemics | New
Speakers at Nursing Leadership Event Cite Need for Strategic Investment in Global Public Health Systems and Empowerment of Nurses
November 4, 2021 â For a stronger and better equipped global public health system for the next pandemic, we must proactively invest and empower nurses and nursing leaders, says Harvard TH Chan School of Public Health Dean , Michelle Williams.
Providing nurses with strategies, skills and tools to strengthen health systems, manage population health and reform policies will create a more resilient global public health system in an era of deep demand, Williams said in the opening speech at an event on October 28, 2021, âHealth financing in times of pandemicâ.
The webinar, sponsored by the Burdett Trust for Nursing and the Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation, featured a keynote address on financing global health by Christoph Kurowski, Global Head of Health Financing at the World Bank Group. It also included a panel on the topic and a discussion of a certificate program launched by the Harvard Global Nursing Leadership Program, which is designed to provide nurses with targeted skills and tools. The program is a joint effort of Harvard Chan School, Harvard Kennedy School, Harvard Graduate School of Education, and the African Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (Africa CDC).
“With sufficient stature, tools and training, nurses and midwives can and will make a transformational improvement in the global health security agenda,” said Williams, citing a need for strategic investment in health systems. which was also recommended in a recent G20 report. . She called for leadership training for nurses to enable this essential global workforce to develop and implement agile national, regional and global health systems.
During his opening speech, Kurowski described a three-pronged approach to trigger the recovery of global health amid the current pandemic. First, he said, we need to deploy vaccines globally to end the pandemic; second, we need to strengthen health security to prevent future health crises; and third, we must regain coverage losses for essential health services unrelated to the COVID-19 crisis.
The recovery in global health, however, is under threat due to growing gaps in health spending, said Kurowski, a reality described by the World Bank Group in its work on the impacts of the COVID-19 crisis. Many countries will struggle to grow their economies and invest in public health as the economic contraction brought on by global pandemic lockdowns in 2020 wreaks havoc in the long term.
While countries can expect, on average, 2.1% growth in their GDP per capita in 2021, it will take several years for most to return to the same rate of economic growth as before COVID-19 . For a more resilient group of 126 countries, investments in public health are expected to exceed pre-pandemic levels by 2026, he said. A similar rate of economic recovery is not, however, expected for 52 countries, which is likely to lead to severe estimated cuts in health spending. For full health and economic recovery, he said, the world’s high-income countries must invest in global health and close these widening gaps.
For example, Africa needs strong global financing mechanisms, said Peggy Vidot, Minister of Health for Seychelles, a small island nation off the east coast of Africa, during a panel discussion moderated by Stephanie Ferguson, Visiting Fellow in the Department of Health Policy and Management. and director of the Harvard Global Nursing Leadership Program.
âWe have struggled during the pandemic,â Vidot said. Seychelles depends on tourism and has suffered significant financial losses during the pandemic. âSecuring global financing for health is important, and this is especially true for small island states with many vulnerabilities. “
Meanwhile, the global ranks of nurses need an updated workforce model that enables colleagues around the world to deliver services in new ways to address complex population health challenges, said panelist David Benton, executive director of the National Council of State Boards of Nursing. He highlighted the positive health impacts that are possible when nurses are given the freedom to work to the fullest extent of their abilities and practice, which has happened in many countries during the pandemic, for example, with the increased use of telemedicine.
The workshop also included a panel on the launch of a new certificate program offered by the Harvard Global Nursing Leadership Program, including details on the design of the study program. African nurses and midwives have been formally invited to apply for the program, which offers leadership skills and applied experience in global public health and population health management. More information about the Harvard Global Public Health for Nurse Leaders Certificate Program, including financial aid information, is available and you can apply here.