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Sunday: ‘Health care delivery: health care where it’s needed’

Published: Monday, February 25, 2013

Updated: Monday, February 25, 2013 09:02

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Oliver Porter / The Tufts Daily

 

Expert panelists from across the globe gathered Sunday afternoon for the “Health Care Delivery Systems: Bringing Care Where It’s Needed Most” panel to discuss the possibility of sustainable health care systems in developing countries.

The panel was moderated by EPIIC Colloquium member Jessica Muganza, a freshman. The Dr. Jean Mayer Global Citizenship Award was presented to Anne Goldfeld, professor of medicine at Harvard Medical School and co-founder of the Cambodian and Global Health Committees, to begin the event.

Goldfeld discussed her work on expanding access to HIV and tuberculosis care in Cambodia.

“We began the work with the philosophy that everybody wants to be well, no matter what their economic level, and that with access to medicines and the proper support, you can complete a difficult therapy,” she said. “We’ve used the strategy with tuberculosis and HIV with great success.”

Former Minister of Health in Ecuador and former President of the Health Council of the Union of South American Nations David Chiriboga presented on  the topic of Western health care for the indigenous people of a town in Ecuador called Zumbahua.

“The most important aspect of our work there was the respect for the people,” he said. “It was because of the trust that we built between each other that western medicine was able to work there.”

Bhaswati Goswami, a communications officer and program management unit for boat clinics at the Centre for North East Studies and Policy Research (C-NES), discussed how the success of her boat clinic which services the northeastern region of India, relies on common goals and a relationship with the government.

“C-NES owns the boats. The rest of it is the government,” she said. “Moreover, we are working toward the same goal of reducing infant mortality rates, maternal mortality rates and increasing the overall development of the community.”

Lecturer in the Department of Health Policy and Management at Peking University Zheng Xie emphasized that people should re-evaluate the relationship between development and health.

“In developing countries, we had emphasized for a long time that health contributed to development, but recently we have thought that health should benefit from development,” Xie said. “When one experiences rapid development, as China has, one should think about how to incorporate health in the development agenda.”

Jean Kagubare, principal technical advisor of management sciences for health and former director of the Health Planning Institute in Rwanda, insisted on the importance of non-governmental organization (NGO) goals for successful global health projects.

“The key lies not simply in just proper funding, but in the goals the NGOs set,” Kagubare said.

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