The Rockefeller Foundation has unveiled
a 100-million dollar initiative to make health care much more accessible in
"Transforming Health Systems" project aims to help countries in Africa and Asia
that lack the latest treatments and technology; and where many people are
forced to pay their medical bills out of pocket.
Foundation President Judith Rodin spoke to VOA from Nairobi where the
initiative was launched Wednesday.
health spending has increased dramatically around the world, what is very clear
is that access to affordable quality health services has not. And that that's
particularly true in developing countries," she says.
says, "In many places, financial support, cures, treatments can't reach the
people who need them the most because the delivery mechanisms are clogged.
They're congested and confusing."
Health care often too costly
World Health Organization says about 125 million people spend nearly half their
annual incomes on health care due to inadequate health systems. It also says
"catastrophic health expenditures" push 25 million families back into poverty
recognize that if health systems themselves are not improved, the health
services are not going to reach the people who are most desperate for
them. Or, it will just be so costly that
people won't even try to seek care,' she says.
Three tier strategy
to equip governments with the technology, the training, the talent, the tools
to improve their health systems…. Second, to broker partnerships between the
public sector and non-profits, NGOs, religious groups and the private health
service providers…. Third, and absolutely crucial, is really expanding the use
of e-Health," she says.
Rockefeller Foundation efforts to enhance e-Health involve improving
information technologies "including mobile phones, health records and
integrated health information systems."
are many countries around the world that haven't yet invested in technology,"
Investing during economic crisis
"Obviously, our resources have shrunk
as others have as well, but we are passionately committed to this issue….
Supporting some of these very significant efforts even during the hardest of
times, maybe especially during the hardest of times," she says.