Elsewhere online
September 28, 2015

Gates Foundation Backs Program to Strengthen Primary Care

The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation is teaming with the World Health Organization and the World Bank on an effort to bolster the provision of primary health care in poor and middle-income countries, The New York Times reports. The Primary Health Care Performance Initiative, announced Saturday during the United Nations' summit on global development goals, aims to improve monitoring, tracking, and sharing of performance data from neighborhood clinics and other local facilities.

While such providers are at the front line in delivering health care, there are large gaps in available information about the quality of their staff and the accuracy of their diagnoses, circumstances that contributed to the delayed response to last year's Ebola outbreak in West Africa. "While many countries have identified primary health care as an urgent priority, they lack the data needed to pinpoint weaknesses, understand their causes and drive improvements," the initiative partners said in a statement.