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Making Maya cry: Why health systems matter

Cristian Baeza's picture

Welcome to our new World Bank blog on health and development! Our global health team here at the Bank is passionate about strengthening health systems to save lives and eradicate poverty. We see this blog as a space to foster a dynamic conversation about our work to promote healthy development. We will be sharing what we are learning and doing in the 99 countries where we work in health, and we want to learn from others who share our passion.
So to start the conversation, please take just 2 minutes to watch this video (French/Spanish) and meet our brand new baby Maya. Maya shows us that it takes lots of things for a baby to be born healthy and thrive. It takes a health system, which includes investments in all of the different sectors that impact health (education, infrastructure, clean water, and roads, to name just a few). I hope you like the video. Let me know what you think.


I would like to start by saying that it sure is worth it to make Maya, and millions of babies like her cry! Such a brilliant video with an apt description of the most profound reproductive and child health message! Working in RCH with tribal populations, I realize the value of this cry every day. Gross inaccessibility and unavailability of even the most basic healthcare is something that we witness and fight against daily. Hope this message of strong health systems spreads and makes many Mayas cry across the world!

Excellent work! Maybe a second film could show how overcoming demand-side barriers also help to make Maya cry. Maya's mother may need have health insurance, or cash support, so that she can get care during pregnancy and birth without hurting her ability to pay for food and other family needs. Systems for improving demand also need systems to reduce barriers to access. Many types of folks at all levels are needed to ensure social protection plans provide benefits on time; that no one is turned away due to cultural, gender or other reasons; and that moms know how to keep Maya healthy, well-fed and protected all the way through her school years.

Submitted by Carey Couzelis on
I appreciated the level in which Maya's story is told. While improvements must also happen at a system-wide level to support the infrastructural necessities, it is nice to see this story told at the village and clinic level. Not only is that more comprehensible, it is also how community health happens! The length and animation were just right, nicely done!

Submitted by Sukanya on
A very simple and effective message. Good work.

Submitted by Joe Kutzin on
I've heard about this from many others and finally got around to taking a look. As the others here have written, this is great, and I want to add my congratulations. Communicating "health systems" has been a real challenge, and you've done a great service here by providing something concrete and understandable.

Submitted by Charu Garg on
I have seen this several times and every time I love it more. Its really a powerful message said so simply. I keep forwarding to several people and each one has come back saying this is fantastic communication. Well done.

Submitted by ESTHER AIGBOMIAN on
Interesting video, it takes alot for a Health system to be effective, my study of Public Health has made me ask myself Why just like ''MAYA'' children in nigeria cry everyday, There are health centres almost everywhere but the effectiveness of these facilities is still very low, I strongly advocate for Health Education in every aspect of life.

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