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PR No. 253
PUBLIC HEALTH EXPERTS IN PAKISTAN INTRODUCED TO SYSTEMS THINKING
Islamabad: September 26, 2021

The 11th Annual Public Health Conference took place in Islamabad on the 23rd and 24th of September. Held in Health Services Academy, the national hub of public health education and policy advice, its theme this year was ‘Contemporary medicines, Health technologies and Vaccines for emerging public health risks’. The conference gathered health experts from national public and private and international organizations that showcased their work, providing evidence-based policy recommendations. In it, Child Advocacy International (CAI), a non-profit based in the capital, in collaboration with two District Health teams and the Swiss Tropical and Public Health Institute and the Alliance for Health Policy and Systems Research, presented its embedded research on Systems Thinking. This work is a part of an international initiative being piloted in three countries in the world. Its objective is to introduce the use of System Thinking tools to District Health Teams to enhance their decision making and troubleshooting capacities within their often limited decision space. In Islamabad, the team worked with the district health management to map the COVID-19 contact tracing system and extracted important lessons from this success story of rapid health system development. In Rajanpur district, CAI explored the multiple contextual factors behind District Health Information System’s (DHIS) data quality and utilization with their district health team. These two were presented by CAI’s researchers to a panel of experts attending the conference. They sparked insightful discussions on the scope of use of System tools at the district level and how they may be used in other decision-making processes and, in other districts.

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