Strengthening health systems through linking research evidence to health policy in sub-Saharan Africa
Background: Getting research evidence into policy in many countries in sub-Saharan Africa remains a very challenging task and huge gaps still exist between health policy makers and researchers.The health systems performance in these countries has been described as grossly sub-optimal due to increased burden of underdevelopment, political instability, weak institutions, inadequately developed social sectors, scarcity of resources and marked social inequalities.
Methods: Via broad criteria the authors made the review as inclusive as possible and online search engines and databases including EMBASE, Google Scholar, Medline, SCIRUS and PUBMED were searched over a period of three months. Key words used to generate articles that fit the review topic included Evidence,Sub-Saharan Africa,Health Policy,and Health Systems.
Results: All the included studies revealed the need to link evidence to health policy in order to enhance the performance of health systems in the sub-Saharan African region.
Conclusion: Current efforts geared towards strengthening health systems in order to achieve universal and equitable access to health care and improve the quality of health care delivery across the region can only come to bear if health care resources are used wisely through decisions and actions from evidenced-informed policies. Accordingly, a critical way of addressing these challenges facing health systems in the region is through the linking of health research findings to policy.
Keywords: Evidence; Sub-Saharan Africa; Health Policy; Health Systems