Health – A prerequisite for development

The SDC's engagement in the area of health

© sdc

The SDC's engagement in the area of health revolves around three issues: the strengthening of health systems; the fight against communicable and noncommunicable diseases; and the improvement of sexual, reproductive, maternal, neonatal and child health. The SDC is active in low and middle-income countries (in both stable and fragile contexts), as well as in transition countries.

Strengthening health systems

Key constraints related to service delivery, health workforce, health financing, governance and management, availability and quality of infrastructure, equipment, medical products and technologies.

Sexual and reproductive health

Improving the health of mothers, newborns and children, and promoting reproductive and sexual health and rights that includes access to health services for all.

Diseases

Promoting healthy lifestyles via a community-based approach for noncommunicable diseases; providing financial support for preventive care, treatment and the development of new medicines and diagnostic tools for communicable diseases, such as HIV/AIDS, malaria, tuberculosis, diarrhea and acute respiratory infections as well as neglected tropical diseases.

Documents

Current projects

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Fighting diseases of poverty: Drugs for Neglected Diseases Initiative (DNDi)

01.01.2021 - 31.12.2024

Neglected tropical diseases mainly affect poor and marginalised populations in low and middle-income countries who have no purchasing power. This is the main reason why there is no incentive for the private sector to develop appropriate treatments for these diseases. The private-public partnership Drug for Neglected Disease initiative based in Geneva develops and provides worldwide access to new and improved treatments. Swiss research contributes to these efforts.  


Foundation for Innovative New Diagnostics (FIND)

01.01.2021 - 31.12.2024

Quality, timely diagnosis is an essential enabler of health for all. Basic diagnostic capacity is available in just 1% of primary health care clinics in low- and middle-income countries (LMICs). The Geneva-based Foundation for Innovative New Diagnostics (FIND) has substantially contributed to game-changing diagnostic solutions for major infectious and non-communicable diseases over the past two decades. Its new strategy focuses on ensuring essential health services and early response to epidemic and pandemic threats.


Community-Based Chronic disease Care Lesotho (ComBaCaL)

01.12.2020 - 31.12.2025

Non-communicable chronic diseases (NCDs) are the number one cause of death globally. There is a lack of scientifically validated prevention and care models in low- and middle-income countries. This research project, combining research excellency from Switzerland and Lesotho, will develop, test, validate, improve and up-scale an innovative eHealth NCD prevention and care model in health facilities and communities in Lesotho and beyond.


Innovations for efficient quality health systems

01.11.2020 - 31.12.2026

Despite enormous progress in access to healthcare in low and middle-income countries, nearly 9 million people still die every year in these countries because of poor quality of care. SDC supports the establishment of a global design lab for the development of innovative tools to enhance quality measurements that form the base for cost-effective investments into quality improvements. The lab will benefit from Swiss research knowhow.


COVID-19 Therapeutics Accelerator

01.10.2020 - 30.09.2023

The COVID-19 pandemic affects people worldwide, also in low and middle-income countries where health systems are even less prepared to respond to health shocks. In order to save lives, reduce the need for hospitalization and hence to relieve health systems, safe and efficacious preventive and curative treatments are needed. Switzerland supports research and development of and access to COVID-19 treatments – an area where Swiss science and pharma are strongly engaged.


Governing Health Futures 2030 Youth Network

01.10.2020 - 30.06.2023

Stronger governance of digital technology, data and artificial intelligence is required to maximise the benefits – and mitigate the risks – of health in a digital age for the next generation. To date, young people’s needs and perspectives have been largely overlooked in the design, application and governance of digital health and data. Through this proposal, Switzerland will support greater youth involvement in governing health futures.


The Global Vaccine Alliance Gavi

01.10.2020 - 31.12.2025

People in low and lower- middle-income countries are particularly vulnerable to the COVID-19 pandemic as they often rely on fragile health systems to fight it. Because of the pandemic, routine immunization campaigns have been stopped or massively scaled-down, which in turn will severely impact the health of millions in these countries. Switzerland supports the Geneva-based Vaccine Alliance Gavi to provide equitable access to vaccines, including a future COVID-19 vaccine.


O3+ Our Rights, Our Lives, Our Future

01.10.2020 - 14.09.2025

This project uses targeted interventions in post-secondary educational institutions in Zambia and Zimbabwe to improve access to sexual and reproductive health and rights (SRHR) among 18-24 year-olds. Working with UNESCO and Ministries of Higher and Tertiary Education, the project brings Switzerland’s lengthy experience in the HIV/SRHR field to bear by targeting an often neglected cohort of young people with tailored interventions to reduce HIV infections, unintended pregnancies, and gender-based violence. 


Open source Health Insurance Management Information System (OpenIMIS)

01.09.2020 - 31.08.2023

Health related costs often represent a massive financial burden for poor households. Lack or inexistence of social protection mechanisms imply that ill and injured people have no choice but to pay out-of-pocket for services and care. Health insurance schemes potentially prevent households from falling into a poverty trap. SDC and BMZ have developed the only open-source software for fully managing a social health protection scheme. This tool will be further promoted and implemented in LMICs.


Fighting COVID-19 and strengthening the health infrastructure with sustainable energy

01.09.2020 - 30.06.2022

The electrification of healthcare facilities is an important enabler of the quality and functioning of essential health services, including for the diagnosis and management of COVID-19 patients. At the same time, survival of the mini-grid and offgrid industry is key for providing everyone with sustainable energy access. In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, Switzerland supports a joint initiative by the World Bank, Gavi and the World Health Organisation to accelerate electrification of health care facilities and provide liquidity to financially suffering mini-grid and offgrid companies.


Access to COVID-19 Diagnostics

01.09.2020 - 31.12.2023

Testing the right people, at the right moment and with the right tool is essential for the Covid-19 pandemic management. Both the Swiss international cooperation and the Swiss pharmaceutical sector have a long-standing experience and interest in supporting R&D, access and manufacturing of diagnostics.. The Foundation for Innovative New Diagnostics (FIND) is leading the global effort (ACT-A Dx Partnership) in the development of affordable COVID-19 diagnostics and local manufacturing capacity for and in LMICs.  


Contribution to WHO and UNICEF for the COVID-19 response in Mozambique

01.09.2020 - 31.03.2022

With this complementary contributions to the World Health Organization (WHO) and United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF), Switzerland supports the Government of Mozambique to reduce morbidity and mortality due to the COVID-19  pandemic. The program envisages a comprehensive approach with health and Water Sanitation Hygiene components, and aims to develop local long term pandemic preparedness and response capacities for future public health emergencies.   

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