People-centred health systems: building more resilient health systems in the wake of the Ebola crisis

Int Health. 2016 Sep;8(5):307-9. doi: 10.1093/inthealth/ihw029. Epub 2016 Sep 12.


The 2014-2016 West African Ebola outbreak demonstrated the extent to which local social and political dynamics shape health system responses to crises such as epidemics. Many post-Ebola health system strengthening programmes are framed around a notion of health system 'resilience' that focuses on global rather than local priorities and fails to account for key local social dynamics that shape crisis responses. Post-crisis health system strengthening efforts require a shift towards a more 'people-centred' understanding of resilience that attends to the people, relationships and local contexts that constitute health systems and the practices that produce crisis responses.

Keywords: Ebola; Health system resilience; Pandemic preparedness; People-centred health systems.

MeSH terms

  • Delivery of Health Care / organization & administration*
  • Disaster Planning / organization & administration*
  • Disease Outbreaks / prevention & control*
  • Epidemics / prevention & control*
  • Government Programs / organization & administration*
  • Hemorrhagic Fever, Ebola / epidemiology*
  • Humans
  • Patient-Centered Care / organization & administration*