Kate Hawkins, 24 June 2014

To coincide with the UK International Development Committee inquiry into health system strengthening the Guardian newspaper is running a live Q&A on the 26 June (13.00 - 15.00 BST) entitled 'Making health systems work in poor countries'. They explain,

"According to WHO, the lack of strong healthcare infrastructure in parts of the developing world is currently one of the biggest barriers to increasing essential healthcare access. Of the millennium development goals, the health-related goals are the least likely to be met, and despite a growing availability of drugs, vaccines and health-related tools, there is a disconnect between innovation and the strength of global health systems to deliver them.

So how can we help close this gap? As all health systems are context-specific, there is no single set of rules that can be put forward to improve performance. But research shows that health systems with the highest health outcomes have certain shared characteristics. To start, they have procurement and distribution systems that actually deliver interventions to those in need. Their health workers have the right skills and motivation, and they operate within financial processes that are sustainable, inclusive, and fair."

We are delighted that Sally Theobald will represent REACHOUT on their expert panel. We are sure that she will raise many crucial issues about the role of close-to-community providers. But it would be great if others working on community health worker research could join in and make this a meaningful dialogue on the future of research, policy and programming.

Details of how to join

1. Create a Guardian account

2. Leave your questions and points for discussion in the comments box

It is as simple as that!

You can also follow discussions on Twitter by searching for the #globaldev and #globaldevlive hashtags. We will also be live Tweeting.

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