Health Crisis and Health System Strengthening

The 2014 Ebola virus outbreak has demonstrated in a tragic way the failure of existing international mechanisms in managing health crises. Thus the newly established platform at GHP embeds its work in the international public health approach and the Sustainable Development Goal 3 on health to strengthen health system resilience, implementing the lessons learned from Ebola.

16th December 2015, Platform “From Ebola towards Strengthening Health System Resilience”

The newly established platform “From Ebola towards Strengthening Health System Resilience” at GHP embeds its work in the following focus areas:

  • Elaboration of a systematic collaboration between the public and private sector in health emergencies such as Ebola
  • Close collaboration between the German private healthcare sector with newly established national as well as international public-sector programmes focused on health system resilience

The UN Secretary General’s High Level Panel on the Global Response to Health Crises focuses on the strengthening of health systems, as they lay the foundation for the early detection and effective containment of epidemics, and for meeting communities’ essential and ongoing health needs. The German government supports this new international effort with ‘The Roadmap: Healthy Systems – Healthy Lives’ and a special programme on “Health in Africa”. The GHP platform “From Ebola towards Strengthening Health System Resilience” will keep you posted on results on the above-mentioned focus areas and further developments regarding the international programmes.

15th July 2015, Ms Diana Peters: New (wo)manpower for the GHP team

GHP has employed a new team member, Ms Diana Peters. Starting with the example of the Ebola epidemic, Ms Diana Peters will deal with patterns of epidemics, structures of humanitarian help, and needs of severely affected health systems. Ms Peters will be in charge of all related issues. The aim is to improve preparedness of health systems, understand and limit the drivers of epidemic outbreaks, and apply knowledge of how to strengthen weak health systems before and after epidemic crises. The initial steps of the work include mapping, gathering, bundling and synchronising all activities, solutions and contributions of German players within the international response.

At the peak of the Ebola epidemic in late summer 2014, the German Healthcare Partnership (GHP) and the German African Business Association have launched an action plan against Ebola at the request of the Federal Foreign Office. In this context an “Action Group against Ebola” was established - over 30 players of the German healthcare sector met and discussed with ambassadors of the affected countries how to fight this deadly disease. A single point of contact was installed, where demand and supply could be matched and donations where tracked. Six months after the heavy crisis the Action Group met again for exchanging knowledge and ideas on the current situation and on steps to be taken in order to re-establish healthcare provision in the most affected countries and prevent new outbreaks of the epidemic. GHP now further fosters and extends the Ebola work with the implementation of the “Coordination Office Epidemics” within the GHP team, financed by the Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development.

16th February 2015, 2nd Meeting of the Action Group against Ebola

On February 16th 2015, the Action Group against Ebola met for the second time in Berlin. As the African Ambassadors of the three most affected countries reported, cases have reduced drastically and countries are starting to go back to normal, the general tenor was positive. However, as cases are still fluctuating a lot and the population has not only been hit in terms of health, but also psychologically and socially as well as economically, the systems are still very fragile. There is no need to re-establish the treatment centres and expand the infrastructure further at this moment. Instead, the focus should be on the empowerment and capacity building of healthcare workers.

10th December 2014, Workshop “Together against Ebola” of the African Ambassadors, Egyptian Embassy Berlin

On December 10th 2014, the Workshop “Together against Ebola”, hosted by the African Ambassadors, was held at the Egyptian Embassy in Berlin. After the welcome note by the host, S. E. S. E. Mr. Mohamed Abdelhamid Ibrahim Higazy, the opening by the Dean of the African Ambassador HE Jean-Claude Bouyobart and a keynote of the Ebola Special Representative of the Federal Government, Ambassador Walter Lindner, who reported on the current situation on the ground, discussions on ongoing activities, challenges and necessary next steps in the fight against the Ebola epidemic took place.

In the panel “Perceptions, Social Implications and Corporate Responsibility” Roland Göhde, GHP Chairman of the Board introduced the GHP and its approach to cover the entire value chain of the German healthcare industry as well as the action group against Ebola and the systemic approach of the GHP to sustainably strengthen healthcare systems.

At the closing of the event, a representative of the African Ambassadors read out the common final declaration of the African ambassadors, the German-African Business Association and the GHP, determining that future efforts and activities and appropriate follow-up events shall be carried out in cooperation.

20th October 2014, Special Session on Ebola at the World Health Summit

At the invitation of the World Health Summit and the Federal Foreign Office, Roland Göhde, GHP Chairman of the Board, participated at the Special Plenary Session on Ebola. The Federal Foreign Office declared that Ambassador Walter J. Lindner has been announced special envoy for the coordination against Ebola and presented an action plan consisting of three steps: 1) stop the transmission, 2) rebuild medical services and 3) prevent a new outbreak. All participants declared their possible ways to contribute, i.e. medical device, laboratory equipment, expertise or financial support. At the same time, regulatory issues being barriers to short-term aid were discussed.

30th September 2014, 1st Meeting of the Action Group against Ebola

The Ambassadors of Sierra-Leone, Liberia and Guinea made an urgent appeal to support the fight against Ebola with the biggest challenges being infrastructure and equipment, logistics and capacity of healthcare workers.