The Ebola Crisis and Health Systems Development

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By Alexandra Kaasch

The Ebola outbreak has led numerous global policy actors to call for strengthening health systems. This article discusses these developments employing a global social policy approach. The article shows the contributions by major global social policy actors to tackle the Ebola disease and discusses these in the context of insights of, and strategies to, strengthening health systems in a development context. The article concludes that the Ebola crisis showed some of the consequences of weak health systems. The emerging ‘renewed’ global awareness that health systems matter, can draw on substantial global knowledge and ideas about health systems, and should be approached by multi-level policy making. Nevertheless, recent data suggests that the Ebola crisis could not be successfully used for the purpose of real commitments to the strengthening of health systems, or only to a limited extent.