Health systems strengthening has become a top priority of many global and national health agendas as a way to improve health outcomes. With the global health context becoming increasingly complex, national health systems are beginning to move away from a focus on disease-specific health responses to comprehensive strengthening of health systems. This paper will discuss the unique role of health data in strengthening the other five building blocks of health systems; define specific interventions to strengthen the use of data in decision making; and provide a framework for developing, monitoring, and evaluating interventions to improve the use of and demand for data.
Country health officials and donors have increasingly realized that resources allocated to health will not achieve their intended results without attention to governance. Particularly as global programs inject huge amounts of funding targeting specific diseases, weaknesses in health system governance threaten to undermine the effective utilization of the funds. Corruption is perhaps the most dramatic governance-related threat, but in addition poor accountability and transparency, weak incentives for responsiveness and performance, and limited engagement of citizens in health affairs contribute to low levels of system effectiveness as well.
Serosurveys that measure tetanus antitoxin can complement immunization coverage surveys to allow evaluation of immunization services in developing countries. Measurement of IgG tetanus antitoxin in oral fluid was investigated as a practical and noninvasive alternative to and correlate of serum antibodies.