Health systems strengthening: improving district health service delivery and community ownership and participation
Abstract1. The World Health Organization defines a health system as all organizations, people andactions whose primary intent is to promote, restore and maintain health. It has six interrelatedbuilding blocks, namely, service delivery; health workforce; information; medical products,vaccines and technologies including infrastructure; financing; and leadership or governance.Improvements in service delivery require simultaneous improvements in the other building blocksat all levels of implementation including the district.2. A district is defined as “a clearly defined administrative area covering a population at whichsome form of local government or administration takes over many responsibilities from centralgovernment departments”.2 It translates central government aspirations, policies, strategicdirections and road maps into district-level action and forges a mutually accountable partnershipbetween people and government. A health district is the part of local government that takes overthe responsibilities of the central ministry of health. It is large enough to justify the investmentand management costs and small enough to be familiar with the relevant demographic andsocioeconomic factors. It is normally equal to the administrative district and serves approximately50 000 to 300 000 people.33. The effectiveness of the organization and management of service delivery in the districtdepends, among others, on the competence and number of members of the district healthmanagement team as well as relevant management teams in health centres, health posts andcommunities. These teams coordinate the planning, implementation, monitoring and evaluation ofhealth service delivery.
Regional Committee for Africa, 60. (2011). Health systems strengthening: improving district health service delivery and community ownership and participation. https://apps.who.int/iris/handle/10665/1683