Strengthening health systems – Health coverage for all

Children under five and women living in remote regions benefit from better access to medical treatment thanks to Switzerland's efforts in the realm of family medicine. © SDC

Good governance and the efficient management of resources are key factors in a well-functioning health sector. The SDC promotes the strengthening of health care systems in developing and transition countries. Switzerland strives to promote universal health coverage through its activities both to establish social protection mechanisms and to advocate for access to quality health care for the most vulnerable. 

SDC focus

Financing health

The SDC's support for health sector reforms in its partner countries is based on a thorough analysis of the prevailing political, economic and social contexts. Its aim: to guarantee access to quality health services for the poorest.

A combination of research and action enables the SDC to encourage the development of innovative financing and payment mechanisms for health services. Its interventions are always aligned with national policies and priorities, and implemented in direct cooperation with its governmental, non-governmental and private partners in the health sector. This approach seeks to develop a form of social protection capable of preventing the most vulnerable members of society from plunging into poverty as a result of their expenditure on health-related problems. SDC projects focus on the public sector and providing support to public-private partnerships. 

Governance and participation

The SDC promotes efforts to establish better governance in the health sector and supports both governmental and non-governmental actors in this objective as they strive to develop a culture of accountability, wage war on corruption and achieve transparency in the allocation and utilisation of resources.

At the community level, the SDC supports health promotion initiatives which involve marginalised and disadvantaged population groups. All users are encouraged to participate in the management and follow-up of health services as this helps reduce access barriers to care and leads to better health outcomes. This process of social empowerment enables users to know and assert their rights, and allows health care professionals to better respond to the needs of the population by offering quality care.

Determinants of health

The health of individuals and communities depends on a multitude of economic, social, cultural and environmental factors. SDC projects give priority to cooperation and coordination between different sectors (water, agriculture, education, etc.) in order to influence the various factors that constitute "determinants of health". Its activities also aim to encourage behavioural change and ensure that the poorest of the poor can exercise their right to health.

The SDC cooperates with other federal departments and offices such as the Human Security Division (HSD) and the FDFA's Sectoral Foreign Policies Division, the Federal Office of Public Health (FOPH) and the State Secretariat for Economic Affairs (SECO).

Context

Faced with growing populations in the low-income countries and the ageing of the global population, establishing efficient and equitable health systems is a priority. However, health care systems in a large number of countries suffer from a lack of investment and poor management of the available resources, with services relying too heavily on external funding. As a result, infrastructure, technologies and equipment are lacking, and there is an acute shortage of qualified health workers. Furthermore, the absence of social protection mechanisms forces patients to cover a large part of the costs themselves, thereby exacerbating the inequalities in access to care. At the end of the day, the economic consequences of a poor health care system are hindering development in the countries concerned.

In its position on health for the post-2015 agenda, Switzerland aspires to maximise health for all in all life stages. The long-term objective is to achieve universal health coverage and take coordinated action on the social, economic, cultural and environmental determinants of health. After all, the conditions in which people are born, raised and work have an impact on their state of health. Adopting an approach to health that involves other sectors such as water, sanitation, education and food security is therefore absolutely essential to overcoming inequalities.

Documents

Swiss Contributions to Human Resources for Health Development in Low- and Middle-Income Countries, complete study (PDF, 102 Pages, 934.0 kB, English)

Swiss Contributions to Human Resources for Health Development in Low- and Middle-Income Countries, summary (PDF, 6 Pages, 3.3 MB, English)

Qualitative research on foreign health personnel in Switzerland and their recruitment (PDF, 635.5 kB, German)

WHO Global Strategy and Plan of Action on Public Health, Innovation and Intellectual Property: the Contribution of Switzerland (PDF, 1.1 MB)

Human Resources for Health Development in Low- and Middle- Income Countries Health Brief (PDF, 4 Pages, 274.3 kB, English)

Health despite poverty: a SDC-Sponsored project changes people's perspective Central Asia Project Briefing (PDF, 4 Pages, 898.0 kB)


Healthcare for remote regions: an SDC project in Kyrgyzstan sets the standard Central Asia Project Briefing (PDF, 4 Pages, 809.4 kB)

Article on family doctors in Bosnia and Herzegovina (PDF, 1 Page, 54.7 kB, German)


Lessons learned from evaluations on community participation and civil society involvement in health (PDF, 291.8 kB, English)

Current projects

Object 49 – 60 of 1284

UNHCR – Solution Strategies for Education and Livelihood of Afghan Refugees in Pakistan

01.06.2022 - 31.05.2026

As part of Switzerland’s commitment to financing sustainable solutions for Afghan refugees, the contribution to UNHCR in Pakistan aims at improving the education and livelihoods prospects of around 60’000 Afghan refugee youths in three provinces of Pakistan. It strengthens Switzerland’s pledge at the Global Refugee Forum 2019 scaling up its support to the inclusion of refugee children in education in line with “SDC’s Education Strategy.


Tanzania Cultural Programme Phase 1

Nafasi Art Space

01.05.2022 - 31.12.2025

Switzerland supports Nafasi Art Space to foster cultural expressions, stimulate public engagement and enhance outreach of cultural productions. Young cultural managers are capacitated to improve the quality of cultural initiatives and micro grants are provided to amplify outreach. Furthermore, capacities of emerging cultural spaces, particularly in underserved regions, are strengthened to contribute to an accessible and inclusive cultural scene.


Empowering Youth for Sustainable Development through the Youth Advisory Board

01.05.2022 - 30.04.2025

The Youth Advisory Board (YAB) gives young people the opportunity to include the voices of youth in the Swiss Cooperation Programme in Bosnia and Herzegovina. Interventions will better reflect and address the needs and challenges of young people, increasing their impact and relevance. At the same time, YAB members improve their critical thinking, develop ways of articulating important messages to decision makers and influencing policies. They become empowered to actively engage in the development processes in the country and shape their society.


Market Alliances for Rural Development

01.05.2022 - 30.04.2026

A majority of rural inhabitants in Georgia rely on incomes from agriculture and the use of natural resources. The project where Switzerland contributes will strengthen their access to markets (sale, inputs). It will enable rural producers to enhance the quality and scale of production, improve resilience to changing climate, and access domestic and export markets, which will contribute to raising incomes, increasing inclusion and the quality of the living environment in rural areas.


Swiss Hosting 2022 Effective Development Cooperation Summit (GPEDC High-Level Meeting)

01.05.2022 - 31.12.2022

Switzerland will host the 2022 Effective Development Cooperation Summit, to be held in Geneva and hybrid, on the 12-14 December 2022. It is an opportunity to focus on the “how” of development cooperation, it will take stock of the implementation of the principles of effective development cooperation since 2011. The Summit will define the Partnership’s contribution to the Decade of Action to deliver on the SDGs and recovery from COVID19 pandemic. 


Potable Water Management Programme (PWMP) in Upper Egypt Phase 2

01.05.2022 - 31.12.2025

Egypt has critical needs in better managing water resources and reducing water losses as well as consumption, especially in Upper Egypt (climate change impact, lack of infrastructure, high poverty level). Switzerland provides innovative solutions for improved potable water management and service provision to the vulnerable population. The mixed approach based on strengthening capacities of the water company, improving the infrastructure for potable water provision and on engaging the communities will serve as model for nationwide replication.


Strengthening Systems of Secondary Cities

01.05.2022 - 30.04.2026

Rooted in the Swiss principle of subsidiarity the programme will enable local government authorities in secondary cities affected by migration and forced displacement to engage with key stakeholders, including the private sector, to consolidate their urban planning and management skills while securing access to financial and technical resources. It will further strengthen cities’ advocacy capacities to make their voices heard in national, regional and multilateral dialogues with a view to disseminate and learn about best practices on migrants’ integration. 


Appui à la transition au Tchad

01.05.2022 - 30.04.2024

Forte de sa crédibilité en matière de gouvernance et de promotion de l’état de droit, la Suisse s’engage au côté des partenaires du Tchad pour l’appuyer dans une transition politique pacifique et inclusive vers un nouveau cadre constitutionnel propice au développement grâce à l’établissement d’institutions représentatives, responsables et redevables par le financement d’actions concertées. Elle appuie des initiatives spécifiques à l’objectif suisse de promotion de l’équilibre entre sécurité et développement.


Support to Dealing with the Past Roadmap implementation in Nepal

01.04.2022 - 31.03.2026

Switzerland contributes to peace and stability in Nepal by addressing the root causes of the conflict. A Dealing with Past Roadmap ensures that actors and institutions fulfill their responsibilities towards the four pillars of Transitional Justice- truth, justice, reparations and non-recurrence. The conflict victims will participate in the process and benefit from the delivery of needed services within the federal state structure.


Empowering Municipal Councils

01.04.2022 - 31.03.2027

Municipal Councils have, according to the legislation, a very important role to play in local governance. However, councillors often lack the necessary knowledge to fulfil their responsibilities. Through the project, capacities of councillors will be enhanced, citizen participation in decision making promoted and legal framework adjusted, enabling councillors to fulfil their role and to become more independent from the executive branch.


Community based early recovery and resilience in Afghanistan (Pillar II of the Aga Khan Foundation Emergency Appeal)

01.04.2022 - 30.11.2023

Trough Aga Khan Foundation emergency appeal for Afghanistan, SDC contributes to the economic and social recovery of 8 mountainous provinces and approx. 3,5 Milo. vulnerable women and men. Together with two other projects of the same organisation which provide humanitarian aid and livelihood and food security to the same communities, Switzerland is among the few donors supporting remote regions.


KENYA - Strengthening Livestock Sector in Arid and Semi-Arid Lands (ASAL) Counties

01.04.2022 - 31.03.2026

60% of the population in northern Kenya depends on livestock production in an environment of recurrent droughts and natural resource-based conflicts. The programme will contribute to poverty reduction, improved resilience to shocks and enhanced socio-economic inclusion of pastoralist and agro-pastoralist men and women by supporting climate-smart livestock production, improving rangelands management and promoting peaceful coexistence of communities.

Object 49 – 60 of 1284