In a recent blog post, Bill Gates describes his visit to Ghana, where he hoped to learn more about the country’s health delivery systems. Ghana has had great success in combating disease control and elimination and recently launched two new vaccines against common sources of childhood disease. He noted that efforts to improve global health, it is important to study strong immunization systems that are crucial for protecting communities and providing communities with better health services and vaccines.

Based off his findings, Gates found that Ghana follows a structure of rigorous data gathering and analysis, accountability at a district level and community outreach that help build a collaborative effort to achieve public health initiatives. Ghana’s effective framework offers perspective on improving global organizational trends that would improve health care standards. As stated in his annual letter, Gates hopes to continue to cultivate health care services by taking time to understand the mechanics of operational services as well as developmental research.

Ghana’s immunization system exemplifies several of the strategic objectives described in the recently released Global Vaccine Action Plan (GVAP), notably country ownership and integration with other health services. The GVAP was developed as a plan to implement the vision of the Decade of Vaccines, which is to extend the benefits of immunization to all people regardless of where they live. Ghana offers many lessons learned that will help others in the region attain similar success. We look forward to other posts by Bill Gates which will explore these opportunities further.

Photo by Jessica Stuart