265080 Building health system capacity in a post-conflict country: The Liberian experience

Monday, October 29, 2012 : 1:30 PM - 1:50 PM

Vamsi Vasireddy, MD, MPH, DrPH , Rebuilding Basic Health Services, JSI Research and Training Institute, Inc, Monrovia, Liberia
Theo Lippeveld, MD, MPH , Rebuilding Basic Health Services (RBHS), JSI Research and Training Institute, Monrovia, Liberia
Rose Macauley, MD, MPH , Rebuilding Basic Health Services (RBHS), Rebuilding Basic Health Services (RBHS), Monrovia, Liberia
Background: After a 14-year conflict that destroyed most of the country's infrastructure, Liberia is gradually recovering. In order to ensure basic health services to all its citizens, the Ministry of Health and Social Welfare (MOHSW) developed the National Health and Social Welfare Policy Plan (NSWPP). Rebuilding Basic Health Services (RBHS) is a United States Agency for International Development (USAID) funded initiative supporting MOHSW towards rebuilding Liberian health system. This presentation addresses one of the three strategies of RBHS - capacity building and health systems strengthening.

Strategy and methods: Building capacity is a vital component of strengthening a health system. RBHS is building capacity of MOHSW at three levels individual, organization, and system to promote country ownership and decentralization of health services. We will undertake a capacity assessment based on the six building block framework for strengthening health systems developed by World Health Organization (WHO). We will use a mixed methods approach to develop indicators that measure baseline capacity of MOHSW and track improvement in capacity over a period of two years.

Results: Capacity assessment at different levels of MOHSW will be conducted in March 2012. Based on the findings we will assist the MOHSW in developing a capacity building strategy and plan.

Implications: Liberia has the potential to serve as an example for rebuilding health systems in post-conflict countries. The strategy and tools used to build capacity of Liberian health system have the potential to be adapted to other post-conflict countries using the WHO six building blocks framework.

Learning Areas:
Administration, management, leadership
Provision of health care to the public
Public health or related laws, regulations, standards, or guidelines
Public health or related public policy
Systems thinking models (conceptual and theoretical models), applications related to public health

Learning Objectives:
1. Define capacity building in a post-conflict setting 2. Explain purpose of capacity building as a strategy to strengthen health system 3. Discuss capacity assessment and strategy building 4. Demonstrate capacity assessment instruments 5. Explain and discuss the potential of RBHS capacity building strategy in similar post-conflict countries

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: As a Capacity Building Advisor with the RBHS project in Liberia, I initiated the capacity building strategy. I am currently developing the capacity assessment instruments and strategy with the input from various partners. I have taken the lead on all the work presented in the abstract.
Any relevant financial relationships? No

I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.