Publications

    Rosenberg J, Ahmad I, Weintraub R. Smallpox Eradication: A Blueprint for Future Public Health Strategy. 2022.Abstract

    In this teaching case, Dr. William Foege - the former director of the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention who many credit with eradicating smallpox - helps readers understand what it took to eradicate it. The case gives background information on the disease, as well as earlier immunization efforts, and describes how the social, political, and economic complexities of India impacted public health initiatives. As international endeavors to fight smallpox expanded in the 1960s, India continued to account for a disproportionate percentage of new cases. Cases remained high until a more organized and targeted strategy in the 1970s increased staffing, improved reporting, boosted vaccination rates, and expanded national and international resources. Specific national and local strategies, a coordinated and centralized decision making structure, and an understanding of and clear communication with the population were crucial to the nation’s success. The state of Bihar was the most challenging state to address, with cases remaining stubbornly high. A final campaign intensified surveillance, containment, and vaccination efforts in Bihar, and the Global Commission for the Certification of Smallpox Eradication declared India smallpox-free in 1977. The case ends with Dr. Foege wondering what lessons from smallpox eradication in India can be applied to the COVID-19 pandemic, as well as future threats.

    Learning Objectives:

    This case documents the eradication of smallpox in India. A productive class discussion will allow students to appreciate the following:

    • The role of power dynamics in global health
    • The role of data and the importance of measuring the right outcome to inform program management 
    • Human resource management and its relationship to stakeholder management
    • The relationship between disease presentation and public health strategy and decision-making
    • How to build on what is known in confronting new contexts, diseases, and environments

    Exhibit 5a Decade in Which Smallpox Ceased to be Endemic by Country

    Keywords: India, public health, pandemic response, vaccine delivery, workforce management, collaboration, multilateral engagement

     

    Wachter K, Rosenberg J, 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

    Pabo E, Rhatigan J, Ellner A, Lyon E. HIV Voluntary Counseling and Testing in Hinche, Haiti. Harvard Business Publishing. 2011.Abstract

    This case examines the potential for a non-governmental organization, Zanmi Lasante/Partners in Health (ZL/PIH), to aid in improving voluntary counseling and testing (VCT) services for HIV at a government hospital in Hinche, Haiti. The events of the case begin when the local government official who oversees the hospital invites ZL/PIH to work with the government to improve the hospital’s VCT services. After providing background information on the history of Haiti, on Hinche, and on the state of the current VCT program, the case describes ZL/PIH’s health care delivery model including its management systems, its use of community health workers, and its social programs. It explains how ZL/PIH adapted its mod

    Teaching Note available through Harvard Business Publishing.

    Rainy season on the roads, Central Plateau, Haiti
    Rainy season on the roads, Central Plateau, Haiti; Credit: Evan Lyon

    Learning Objectives: To understand how social, economic and political factors influence health care delivery and to examine effective strategies to address these factors in the design of health care programs.

    Supporting Content: This case has a supplementary summary of history and next steps, titled Two Years in Hinche.

    Keywords: Community-based organizations, HIV prevention, government-NGO partnerships