Publications

    Wachter K, Talbot JR, Weintraub R. Partners In Health in Neno District, Malawi. Harvard Business Publishing. 2013.Abstract

    Set in Neno District, Malawi from 2007–2012, the case focuses on the economic impact of investing in health care infrastructure. It examines management decisions that leaders of Abwenzi Pa Za Umoyo (APZU) and its founding organization—Partners In Health (PIH)—made as they supported the Government of Malawi in building a hospital and scaling up the delivery of APZU clinical and social programs across Neno district. The case highlights how a non-governmental organization can navigate the politics and local culture to improve Malawi’s health care system in close partnership with a strong, protocol-driven government. The case begins with Ophelia Dahl, co-founder and executive director of Partners In Health, reflecting on her December 2011 trip to Neno, nearly four years after her first visit. She observed signs of progress unrelated to health—bank branches had opened in town, a new road had been built, and the market had expanded dramatically. Ultimately, the case explores what this demonstrates about the value of her organization’s investments in health.

    Teaching Note available through Harvard Business Publishing.

    Neno rural hospital
    In the foreground: One-story original structures of Neno Rural Hospital used for outpatient and maternity services. In back: Two-story building constructed by APZU and partners used for inpatient wards, meetings, computer use, laboratory work, and government offices. Source: Keri Wachter, 2012.

    Learning Objectives: To understand the challenges of hiring and retaining local and expat staff, the complexity of an international NGO partnering with the government to improve health care, how leadership acumen and approaches impact scaling up and sustaining health care delivery, the relationship between the district hospital and the local economy, and how to assess impact beyond health measures.

    Keywords: Global health, social equality, project management, business and government relations, partnerships, strategy, economic development, health care policy, health care delivery, public health, human resource management, developing countries, innovation

    ole-MoiYoi K, Talbot JR, Weintraub R. Roll-Out of Rapid Diagnostic Tests for Malaria in Swaziland. Harvard Business Publishing. 2012.Abstract

    After outlining the history of malaria in Swaziland, this focused case study examines the implementation of rapid diagnostic tests (RDTs) for malaria in Swaziland to improve case management and to strengthen the national malaria surveillance system as the National Malaria Control Program (NMCP) aims to implement a national elimination strategy. In addition to information on RDT selection, the case details Swaziland's quality assurance program-the first of its kind in the region, the public health benefits of the immediate disease notification system for active case detection, and Simon Kunene's leadership qualities as the manager of the NMCP for 24 years. The case addresses the necessary increases in financing and human resources to support the strategy and evaluates the impact of RDTs on the strategy. Challenges the NMCP faces in achieving malaria elimination include sustaining political will, interest, and financial commitments from donors and strengthening health workforce training and RDT procurement and distribution.

    Teaching Note available through Harvard Business Publishing.

    Milestones toward Malaria Elimination
    Milestones toward Malaria Elimination. Source: The Global Malaria Action Plan: For a malaria-free world. Roll Back Malaria Partnership, 2008. (Exhibit 4 from "Roll-Out of Rapid Diagnostic Tests for Malaria in Swaziland" case.

    Learning Objectives: To understand the role of diagnostics in a malaria elimination strategy, what it takes to effectively integrate a new diagnostic into care delivery, how leaders generate social and political capital over time, and the intricacies of managing a national disease program.

    Keywords: National strategy, supply chain management, diagnostic testing strategies, malaria eradication and control

    Talbot JR, Cole C, May M, Weintraub R. Voluntary Medical Male Circumcision in Nyanza Province, Kenya. Harvard Business Publishing. 2012.Abstract

    This case traces the development of the voluntary medical male circumcision (VMMC) campaign in Nyanza Province, Kenya as it transformed from the subject of a randomized clinical trial into national policy. After providing some background on the cultural, political, and scientific context surrounding male circumcision, the case traces the PEPFAR-funded implementers' advances in delivering male circumcision in Nyanza. It examines the various delivery models used in Nyanza and the evolution of the relationship between implementers as well as on the development of the national strategic plan for VMMC released in 2009. The case ends with the implementers having come together successfully for two rapid, aggressive, 30-day implementation campaigns and the head of Kenya's National AIDS and Sexually Transmitted Infections Control Programme wrestling with how to make such campaigns sustainable and what lessons from the campaign to pass on to the national program.

    Teaching Note available through Harvard Business Publishing.

    Mobile Service Delivery Model
    (A) Group counseling on male circumcision; (B) mobile circumcision counseling site; and (C) circumcision being conducted in tented delivery site. Source: Nyanza Reproductive Health Society.

    Learning Objectives: To understand how a randomized controlled trial may be translated into a large-scale public health program; how a surgical campaign was designed and implemented for rapid impact; the role of national and international collaboration in large-scale health delivery; and the ethical tradeoffs that arise in large-scale public health programs.

    Supporting Content: There is a shorter version of this case titled Voluntary Medical Male Circumcision in Nyanza Province, Kenya (Condensed Version).

    Keywords: Project management, AIDS, policy, supply and demand, partnerships, strategy, innovation

    Redditt V, ole-MoiYoi K, Rodriguez W, Talbot JR, Weintraub R. Malaria Control in Zambia. Harvard Business Publishing. 2012.Abstract

    This case reviews the changes in national policy and the subsequent interventions used to reduce the incidence of malaria in Zambia from 2005 to 2010. After providing contextual information on Zambia-including historical, demographic, social, and health information-the case delves into the history of malaria control efforts worldwide and in Zambia. Though Zambia was at the forefront of malaria control-changing policy, adopting new treatment, and aggressively pursuing comprehensive malaria control efforts-in the early 2000s, by 2005 the Zambian government was still falling short of its targets. The National Malaria Control Center (NMCC) resolved to intensify its efforts by developing one national plan to improve coordination, data collection, and partner involvement, and ultimately, to scale up interventions rapidly in order to meet the national malaria targets. The new NMCC director, Dr. Elizabeth Chizema, guided the program toward success through several key interventions described in the case. With basic improvements in monitoring and evaluation, Chizema could demonstrate progress in malaria control. Nonetheless, she worried that partners might lose interest in helping Zambia given the decreasing burden even though the program still had many challenges to overcome.

    Teaching Note available through Harvard Business Publishing.

    Plasmodium Falciparum life cycle
    Plasmodium Falciparum life cycle. Source: United Nations Integrated Regional Information Networks. Killer Number One: The Fight against Malaria. 2006; 47.

    Learning Objectives: To understand the development of a successful malaria control program over time and the components that led to its success, including the value of setting bold national goals, the merits of a health system with centralized governance and decentralized implementation, the importance of multiple coordinated interventions as opposed to a "silver bullet" approach for malaria control, and the use of data as an outcome measure, planning tool, and fundraising tool.

    Supporting Content: There is a shorter version of this case titled Malaria Control in Zambia (Condensed Version).

    Keywords: National strategy, supply chain management, malaria eradication and control, leadership

    ole‐MoiYoi K, Rodriguez W. Building Local Capacity for Health Commodity Manufacturing: A to Z Textile Mills Ltd. Harvard Business Publishing. 2011.Abstract

    This case focuses on the establishment of the Olyset® Consortium—a public-private partnership that was created to facilitate the manufacture of long-lasting insecticidal bed nets to prevent malaria infection in sub-Saharan Africa—and A to Z Textile Mills (“A to Z”), the manufacturer of the nets in Arusha, Tanzania. The case examines how the public-private partnership was developed, its use of an incentive-based supply chain, A to Z’s business model and impact, and the sustainability of the venture. The case reveals that despite significant success in attaining objectives, the misaligned incentives of the many partners presented major obstacles to the overall sustainability of A to Z’s Olyset® production line.

    Teaching Note available through Harvard Business Publishing.

    Long Lasting Insecticide Nets and Olyset Production Process
    Long Lasting Insecticide Nets and Olyset Production Process. Source: A to Z Textile Mills Ltd., Arusha, Tanzania (Case Exhibit 9).

    Learning Objectives: To understand the potential for public-private partnerships to leverage innovation and scalability from the private sector and quality and equitable access from the public sector and to examine the costs and benefits of local manufacturing of technologically complex global health commodities in resource-limited settings.

    Keywords: Public-private partnerships, incentive-based supply chain, global health commodity manufacturing, malaria prevention

    Bitton A, Talbot JR, Clarke L. Tobacco Control in South Africa. Harvard Business Publishing. 2011.Abstract

    This case reviews the policy changes in tobacco control in post-apartheid South Africa from 1994 to 1996 under the leadership of Minister of Health Dr. Nkosazana Zuma. After providing contextual information on South Africa, including historical, demographic, social, and health information, the case delves into the history of tobacco and of global tobacco control efforts. The case then details the history of tobacco in South Africa, including data collection, epidemiology, early control efforts, and the policy efforts of the mid-1990s. The case describes the African National Congress (ANC)’s policy victories under Zuma’s leadership. Knowing that tobacco disproportionately affected certain racial and minority groups, Zuma made tobacco control a top priority. With the support of the President, local tobacco experts, and anti-tobacco advocates, Zuma worked hard to break previous connections between the government and the tobacco industry and to reduce smoking. The case ends in 1996 when smoking prevalence had declined to 32% from 34% in 1995, but South Africa still had one of the highest levels in the developing world. As the ANC was preparing to enact the new Constitution that reinforced health promotion, Zuma had to determine what her next move would be for tobacco control and how she would prioritize it with the other health needs of the country.

    Teaching Note available through Harvard Business Publishing.

    Tobacco Control as Health Promotion
    Tobacco Control as Health Promotion. Source: Reddy, SP and Swart D. Unraveling Health Promotion: A Framework for Action: Tobacco Control. MRC: 1998. (Exhibit 8 in "Tobacco Control in South Africa" case.)

    Learning Objectives: To understand the political and economic forces that impact tobacco control legislation in a country undergoing an epidemiological shift, the role of research and data, and the value of health communication, chronic disease prevention, and advocacy in health care delivery.

    Supporting Content: This case has a supplementary summary of history and next steps, titled Tobacco Control in South Africa: Next Steps.

    Keywords: Chronic disease prevention, advocacy, health policy, tobacco control

     

    Bitton A, Taranto L, Talbot JR, Kadar E. Tobacco Control in South Africa: Next Steps. Harvard Business Publishing. 2011.Abstract

    This case is a supplement to Tobacco Control in South Africa, which reviews the policy changes in tobacco control in post-apartheid South Africa from 1994 to 1996 under the leadership of Minister of Health Dr. Nkosazana Zuma. This case explains what happened after 1996, the steps Zuma took to continue her fight against tobacco (including expanding research capacity, getting increases in excise taxes passed, and pushing national legislation through) and what happened after her departure in 1999.

    Teaching Note available through Harvard Business Publishing.

    Relationship between Excise Tax Rate and Cigarette Consumption in South Africa
    Relationship between Excise Tax Rate and Cigarette Consumption in South Africa. Source: van Walbeek C, WHO. Tobacco Excise Taxation in South Africa. (Exhibit 2 in "Tobacco Control in South Africa: Next Steps" case.)

    Learning Objectives: To understand the political and economic forces and the role of research and data in implementing tobacco control legislation in a country undergoing an epidemiological shift, and the value of health communication, chronic disease prevention, and advocacy in health care delivery.

    Supporting Content: This case is the supplement to Tobacco Control in South Africa.

    Keywords: Chronic disease prevention, advocacy, health policy, tobacco control