Improving Local Health Services
Efficient, well-organised and well-supported health services can be life-saving and life-changing. More than 3 million children under 5 years of age and more than 300,000 pregnant women who die each year globally from preventable deaths could be saved by access to well-equipped, well-trained and motivated health care professionals.
International Medical Corps supports local health authorities provide primary and secondary health care services including referral services from rural community-level clinics to large regional and national level hospitals. We work hand in hand with both national governments and local community leaders to ensure basic healthcare is available and affordable for all – whether they are residents of remote villages or large urban centres; whether they are internally displaced people, asylum seekers, migrants or refugees.
Training and education are central to our support of health services. We train and mentor health service providers, managers and community representatives to strengthen their capacity to deliver, manage and monitor their local health services.
We also help rehabilitate health facilities and supply them with essential drugs and medical supplies. Where necessary, we recruit trained medical professionals to fill gaps in the health service system. International Medical Corps works with the local health authorities to advocate the benefits of improving health services.
- About 44% of WHO member states have less than 1 physician per 1,000 people. In Sub-Saharan Africa, the figure is 0.2 physician per 1,000 people.
- Globally, there are 3.3 nurses and midwives per 1,000 people. In Sub-Saharan Africa, there is less than half that number: 1.2
- We have implemented Health Services Support programs in more than 50 countries on five continents.
Areas of Focus
A strong health system delivers quality services to all people, when and where they need them. The exact structure and function of health systems vary from country to country, but in all cases, these systems require well-maintained facilities, adequate medical supplies and efficient logistics to deliver quality health care, a well-trained and adequately compensated workforce, reliable information on which to base decisions and policies, and a robust financing mechanism.
- Globally, two-thirds (38 million) of 56 million annual deaths are not registered.
- Almost half of the world’s children go unregistered at birth.
- Many barriers prevent people from registering births and deaths.
Health Resilience is the ability of a community to use its assets to strengthen public health and health care systems and improve the community’s physical, behavioural and social health to withstand, adapt to and recover from adversity.
- About 400,000 deaths occur each year due to the impact of climate change.
- The direct impact of natural disasters and climate change are 14 times more likely to cause suffering among women and children than men.
- Resilient health systems are comprised of resilient individuals and organisations that are able to solve problems and make informed decisions, both during a crisis and in more stable times.
Reliable data on the health status of individuals and communities as well as on the performance of service delivery is essential for planning, operating, monitoring and evaluating health programs in every country. Accurate data is needed on individual health, health facility performance, population health and community health surveillance.
- A robust health information system is vital for improving the health outcomes of communities it serves.
- An open-source software platform, known as DHIS 2 is being used in more than 40 countries in Africa, Asia and Latin America for health data analysis, reporting and dissemination.
- Strong health information systems can contribute to greater transparency and accountability by increasing access to data.