October 24, 2009

Probing Health Ministries

John Donnelly

As published in Global Health Magazine, October 24, 2009.

FREETOWN, Sierra Leone – Inside the fifth-floor conference room at the Ministry of Health and Sanitation, Minister Sheiku T. Koroma faced a team of visiting financial auditors, and laid open his troubles.

"We have a budget of nearly $11 million, and here we are in the seventh, eighth month of the year, and we've spent just $3 million," he told them. "Something is wrong. There is money. But how do we spend it? We don't know. The system is broken and we want you to help us.''

If the auditors were startled, they didn’t show it. They simply nodded and scribbled notes. They were at the meeting as part of a project by the Ministerial Leadership Initiative for Global Health (MLI), a four-year initiative funded by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and the David and Lucile Packard Foundation to help strengthen the capacities of five health ministries in the developing world.

October 22, 2009

MLI Voice: Mali

Allison Gamble Kelley

I have recently returned from Bamako, Mali where MLI co-sponsored the kick-off workshop of a recently launched process by Mali’s Ministry of Social Development, Solidarity, and the Elderly (MDSSPA) to develop and implement a strategy to expand mutuelles de santé nationwide to provide financial access to health care for 80% of its population currently not covered by any form of health insurance. The workshop, titled “National diagnostic and discussion toward scaling up mutuelles de santé in Mali,” was held the 24-26 of September 2009 in Bamako . This event drew approximately 76 people from all regions of Mali to share experiences and reach a common understanding of the state of development of mutuelles today in Mali, as well as the goals and plans of the Government to increase its commitment to a more rapid and systematic expansion of mutuelles beginning in 2010. Participants represented civil society, locally elected leaders, and health and social development technicians and decision makers.

August 13, 2009

MLI Voice: Senegal

Ndack Ly

My work with MLI began this past March as the Country Lead for Senegal. In this role, I coordinate all MLI activities in Senegal in close collaboration with Moussa Mbaye, Secretary General of the Ministry of Health. Following the launch of MLI in Senegal, the Ministry convened a Task Force, composed of senior Ministry officials and development partners to meet regularly to discuss all MLI activities. I serve as a liaison between the Task Force and MLI headquarters in Washington to communicate Task Force priorities and to advance the implementation of technical assistance priorities.

August 10, 2009

MLI Voice: Nepal

Gabriele Mallapaty

The leadership of the Ministry of Health and Population (MoHP) in Nepal prepared its proposal to the Ministerial Leadership Initiative for Global Health (MLI) around the same time that my family and I had decided to move back to Nepal in early 2008. Given that Nepal has recently emerged from a decade-long civil conflict and the country is in the midst of creating a "New Nepal", it seemed an opportune time to join MLI. The MoHP wanted to improve access to and use of essential health care services by the poor and marginalized population, and ensure sustainability of theses services throughout the country.

August 10, 2009

MLI Voice: Sierra Leone

Hortenzia Beciu

Even though I have worked in Sierra Leone in the past, the role of MLI Country Lead has given me the opportunity to build upon these previous experiences and to work closely with members of the Ministry of Health and Sanitation (MOHS), to support the implementation of health policies and reforms that they have prioritized. In collaboration with the Ministry of Health and key development partners, we are working to build capacity within the senior levels of the Ministry while simultaneously working to provide specific technical assistance: health financing and health insurance, donor coordination, human resources for health, and reproductive and child health.