A health system can include doctors, nurses, hospitals and clinics, as well as occupational health services, health insurance, safety legislation, rehabilitation services and campaigns to reduce disease or encourage healthy behaviour.
To function properly, the system needs trained workers, a solid infrastructure, a reliable supply of medicine and equipment, and adequate funding. These services need to be available close to where people live, and must be accessible for all.
Yet the World Health Organization estimates that at least half of people in the world do not receive the health services they need, because services are either inaccessible, unavailable, unaffordable or of poor quality.
Sightsavers believes everyone should be able to receive quality, affordable health care when they need it, and should be given the information they need to maintain their health. This is why we work with partners to improve health services in the countries where we work. This is known as health systems strengthening.
We work alongside our partners to ensure that all of our programmes have a lasting impact to improve health services in the countries where they operate.