Senegal’s Global Health Example in the Fight to Achieve the Sustainable Development Goals
In a time when the entire world is experiencing the importance of global health, Senegal has been highly praised for the effectiveness of its COVID-19 response despite being a low-resource country in West Africa. Senegal’s COVID-19 response displays the central pillars of the country’s community-based public health programming that has made it so successful in decreasing malaria transmission and improving maternal health. This study combines qualitative data with personal experiences during a faculty-led study abroad program to Senegal to examine Senegalese public health campaigns, evaluate the reasons for their success, and ultimately learn from a leader in the global fight to eliminate malaria and improve maternal health. My analysis shows that Senegal achieved substantial public health success using momentum from civil society, an active national government, and private sector partners. The Senegalese national government set ambitious goals for eliminating malaria and improving maternal health, secured generous funding from private sector partners, and fostered a sense of community ownership. Senegal has created a sustainable model for achieving public health objectives using community-health campaigns. The country’s public health success highlights the coordination and partnership aspects of the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals. In this critical moment when countries worldwide are facing complex problems in health, economics, and development, innovative minds from around the globe must collaborate to develop groundbreaking, equitable solutions that work across all contexts. Senegal’s success should serve as a model for the global health community in the challenge to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals.