Health care system is generally aimed improving an individual’s health care. It comprises of institutions organizations and also resources devoted to producing actions (Frigo 2006).
National health care systems mostly include private, public, informal and even traditional sectors. Their most essential functions to health system are; provision of services, generation or resources, financing and stewardship (Elefalke 2005).
In developed and developing nations, there had been historical changes in structures and patterns of mobility and mortality (Eagleson, Waldersee 2006). These vital structural shifts in patters of health indicators are influenced by several factors acting at different levels – individual, societal, family, national and international level.
Some of the factors may include; changing environments dietary changes, social integration and disintegration, changes in the living standards. Public health international changes in domestic and international economic and political conditions, in addition to varying formal and non-formal health systems (Eagleson, Waldersee 2006).
The health sector has had either micro or macro changes. These changes are attributed to the commitment by global nations especially those that signed the millennium development goals. United Nations Millennium Declaration came up with goals in year 2000 that were to be attained by 2015(Dearden 1999. Despite varying inequalities that exist between countries there are several examples of success. The health related goals are numbered 4, 5 and 6.
This paper will focus on the progress of these changes as part of the changes felt in the health sector globally. The goal number 4 of the millennium declaration is aimed at reducing child mortality rate (Dixon, Vollman 2004). There has been progress in the rate at which child mortality is reducing especially in developing world.
Many countries, naming but a few Eritrea, Ethiopia, Malawi, Bangladesh, Nepal, Tanzania and Kenya have shown a significant decline in the under -five years mortality rate at least in the recent years (Dearden 1999.
The slow pace in reducing child mortality rate is seen in nations with high prevalence of HIV or war torn zones. The coverage of services like immunization, insecticide – related bed nets, and Vitamin A has recorded a progressive and an encouraging trend.
Additionally the early and exclusive breastfeeding rate is positive. The measles vaccination coverage trends have an estimate of 68% worldwide and 90% in sub-Saharan Africa. Despite these encouraging trends, interventions requiring a functional health system like treating neonatal disorders, pneumonia and malaria are having less impact (Frigo 2006)
The goal number 5 of millennium development is aimed at improving maternal health. It is in records that at lease 500,000 women died in 2005 or causes related to maternity. Nearly half of the deaths came from sub-Saharan Africa. Due to a well functioning health system the reduction rate has been credible (Dixon, Vollman 2004).
The goal number 6 was aimed at combating HIV/AIDS, malaria and other diseases. The progress especially in accessing antiretroviral treatment in poor and developing countries has been dramatic. The number of patients taking the antiretroviral drugs was slightly above 240,000 in year 2001 and shot to 2 million in mid year 2006(Frigo 2006).
There has been also an increase in the number of children accessing these drugs though lower by far as compared to the adults. HIV positive women who receive antiretroviral treatment globally are as low as 11%.
HIV infection has reduced significantly and perhaps this can be attributed to behavioral change (Dixon, Vollman 2004) The measurements used in assessing the success of these changes could be involvement of various countries’ ministry of health in collaboration with UN statistics division. Other bodies involved include, UNICEF, WHO, and UNAIDS.
The success of the health sector is largely or partially attributed to the commitment of each nation to improve the health status of the citizens (Eagleson, Waldersee 2006)
Dearden, J. (1999), “micro changes in health system”, Harvard Business Review, Vol. 47 No.3, pp.124-67.
Dixon, J.R., Nanni, A.J., Vollman, T.E. (2004), the New Performance Challenge: Dow Jones-Irwin pub. Homewood, pp 78-99
Eagleson, G.K., Waldersee, R. (2006), achievements in public health in developing nations, Proceedings of the 3rd International Conference on achievements and Management, Cambridge, pp23-46
Frigo, M. (2006), “contemporary trends in performance measurement in health systems”, Cambridge, pp 56-99