Research for stronger health systems during and after crisis

Fixing broken health systems in the aftermath of conflict

Monday, 24 Nov 2014

Professor Barbara McPake of ReBUILD has written an article in The Conversation on the importance of understanding and improving health systems in conflict-affected states. Some of the poorest and most vulnerable people are disproportionately represented in conflict-affected regions. Conflict causes chronic poverty and poverty itself can cause conflict. Conflict can arise where health systems have long been dysfunctional, and make the systems worse, as in Sierra Leone, now struggling to tackle the Ebola outbreak. But it can also devastate previously functional health systems, as in Syria.

The post-conflict period presents huge challenges for often weak governments. But getting investments right in this complex rebuilding period post-conflict may set the direction of the system for some time. This is the area that ReBUILD research is contributing to. And as Professor McPake argues, the post-2015 development agenda will not tackle the issues affecting the world’s poorest and most vulnerable if it neglects conflict-affected states.

Full Article