Empowering healthcare providers to save lives

The international community is committed to:

  • Reduce child deaths worldwide by two-thirds
  • Reduce maternal deaths worldwide by three-quarters
  • Reverse the spread of HIV/AIDS, malaria and other major diseases, and provide universal access to treatment for HIV/AIDS.

These Millennium Development Goals (MDGs 4, 5 and 6) will only be achieved if healthcare providers are better supported to deliver safe, effective care.

“The only route to reaching the health MDGs is through the health worker – there are no short cuts.”
Joint Learning Initiative, 2004

SEISMIC shift is needed

Healthcare providers can only function effectively if their own basic professional needs are met. These needs may be summarised as:

• Skills
• Equipment
• Information
• Structural support
• Medicines
• Incentives
• Communication facilities.

This spells the acronym SEISMIC - a seismic shift is needed to address the needs of front-line healthcare providers in low-income countries. For too long their needs have been ignored.

The HIFA campaign focuses on the Information needs of healthcare providers, but clearly the full range of needs must be met to ensure high quality care. HIFA is continually seeking to promote and strengthen links with initiatives that address these needs, as well as those that address broader issues of health, human rights and international development.

HIFA and the MDGs are ambitious goals, but they can be achieved if all stakeholders work together.

“We must not fail the billions who look to the international community to fulfil the promise of the Millennium Declaration for a better world… Our world possesses the knowledge and resources to achieve the MDGs… falling short of the Goals woul be an unacceptable failure, moral and practical.”
Ban Ki Moon, UN Secretary-General, March 2010