Our country programs help governments build stronger public-sector health systems, from capacity building and growing a strong health workforce and management capacity, to improving lab, pharmacy and health information systems, to standing in solidarity with our government partners to ensure health access and equity for all.
But there are global forces beyond the control of ministries of health that can prevent services from being effective and people from accessing quality health services.
There may be a lack of qualified staff due to few training spots at universities or due to larger forces that lure health workers away from the communities that need them most. After decades of structural adjustment policies, governments may have limited budgets for salaries, leaving staff overworked and underpaid. This can also lead to a lack of funds to improve roads and transport, build water and sanitation systems, or provide education – all of which impact a community’s ability to access health services. All of the countries in which HAI works are in the midst of emerging and rebuilding from armed conflicts that left national health infrastructure destroyed. And we recognize that there is much to be done to advance health and social justice in Seattle and in the United States, where our headquarters office is based.
HAI advocates on these issues because we believe they are the key to real and lasting improvement in the health of the world’s poor and vulnerable. We have four areas of focus:
- Strengthening public-sector health systems and the health workforce
- Advocating for macroeconomic justice for healthy communities, including fair, healthy trade agreements
- Using public health solutions to end war and using data to measure the harmful effects of conflict
- Movement building for racial, social and health justice in our country programs and the Seattle community