Experience shows us that the absence of adequate resourcing, in any service, leads to a shift in focus from quality to elements such as basic access, cost-cutting, task-shifting and other measures to ‘make do’ with the limited resources. According to the WHO Quality Health Services: a planning guide [ https://www.who.int/publications/i/item/9789240011632 ] “operational planning (for quality) needs to consider resourcing requirements. While quality improvement efforts across a health system can be expected to result in more cost-effective care and less waste of resources, there will clearly be initial resource implications as activities are commenced”. In the last 13 years of supporting more than 14 countries in sub-Saharan institute national QI programs, resourcing at the national level has been one of the biggest gaps. If the steps outlined in the planning guide are undertaken, there will be positive changes in the right direction. We must use the momentum and spotlight that COVID-19 has unfortunately placed on health care to lobby the highest levels of government to take quality health care more seriously by committing the necessary resources. The pandemic has shown us this is no longer a nice-to-have but rather a matter of saving lives and ensuring the best health outcomes.
HIFA profile: Ivan Teri is Associate Director of Program Optimization EGPAF, United States. He is a certified Quality Management/Improvement leader with 15 years international experience in the health and social development sector, particularly in sub-Saharan Africa. Ivan is passionate about working to transform Africa’s healthcare systems to better serve current and future populations with quality, safe and client-centered services. Professional interest: Organizational Excellence, Quality Improvement, Data Analytics & Digital Health. He is a member of the Catalyst Group for the WHO/HIFA project on Learning for quality health systems. https://www.hifa.org/projects/learning-quality-health-services Email: iteri AT pedaids.org