During his opening remarks at the 71st World Health Assembly (#WHA71) on Monday, WHO Director General Dr. Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus highlighted the importance of partnership in the pursuit of universal health coverage.
“By leveraging the experience, the skills, resources and networks of our partners, our impact can be exponentially larger than if we were acting alone,” he stated, espousing a belief that is fundamental to the HVO mission and model.
As I explained in my recent article for PYXERA Global, building partnerships with local institutions is essential to increasing the quality and availability of needed health services in resource-scarce countries. The collaborating institutions that HVO works with at each of our project sites help establish goals and objectives that meet the needs of local providers and the communities they serve. These institutions also provide support and insight as we seek to evolve project goals and objectives over time. As Dr. Tedros explained:
“Every country’s journey towards universal health coverage is unique. But in all countries, the key is primary care that delivers the services that people say they need, rather than the services someone else decides they should have.”
Our collaborating institutions form a bridge between HVO staff and volunteers and those we serve, guiding each individual to where their skills and expertise are most needed. Of course, these institutions are not the only partners we rely on. Our sponsor organizations also play an integral role in our mission by promoting our work within their professional communities, connecting us to prospective volunteers, and providing funding and resources to sustain our programs. Our corporate and organizational partners and donors also provide essential financial support, ensuring we can meet the needs of our overseas partners, recruit skilled volunteers, and keep the lights on as our staff works to place volunteers, establish projects, and monitor and evaluate the impact of our programs.
Support from our partners underlies each success that HVO has achieved during more than 30 years in the global health sector. We are delighted that Dr. Tedros has identified partnership as a key component of international efforts to achieve universal health coverage. We will continue to incorporate partnership in all aspects of the work that we do, and we look forward to supporting other members of the global health community as they strive to do the same.