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in_focus - Healthy Lives for Vulnerable Women and Children: Applying Health Systems Research

Sue Godt, Irene Agyepong, Walter Flores, and Gita Sen

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Tremendous challenges remain to ensure that the most vulnerable populations, including women, children, and adolescents, are able to enjoy the healthy lives and well-being promised in the Sustainable Development Goals. Much of their poor health is caused by poverty, gender, lack of education, and social marginalization as well as inaccessible healthcare services. Strong, equitable, and well-governed health systems can contribute to sustainably improving their lives.

But building strong health systems is challenging. This book draws on 15 years of IDRC-funded health systems research undertaken by researchers working closely with communities and decision-makers. They have generated contextually relevant evidence at local, national, regional, and global levels to tackle these entrenched health systems challenges. Six lessons have been distilled to inform and inspire a new generation of health leaders and researchers while some critical reflections on the remaining challenges are shared with others in the global health community, including funding organizations.

The authors

  • Sue Godt is Senior Program Officer with the Maternal and Child Health program at IDRC.
  • Irene Agyepong is a Public Health Specialist with the Research and Development Division, Ghana Health Service.
  • Walter Flores is Director at Centro de Estudios para la Equidad y Gobernanza en Sistemas de Salud in Guatemala.
  • Gita Sen is Distinguished Professor and Director of the Ramalingaswami Centre on Equity and Social Determinants of Health, Public Health Foundation of India.

Leer el libro en español

Fighting for maternal rights through Uganda’s legal system

Moses Mulumba, health lawyer and Executive Director of the Center for Health, Human Rights and Development, has made important contributions to laws and public policies that promote and protect maternal and child health.

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