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 37 – 48 of 1035

Economic Policy for Inclusive Growth

01.09.2022 - 31.12.2029

The planned intervention aims at supporting inclusive growth that improves the living standards for the Mozambicans, in particular women and youth. It will be pursued through increased analytical capacity and better informed policy making, by means of focussed support to economic analysis and discussion in and between government and non-government institutions. Emphasis on non-government institutions will enhance the demand for and accountability for effective policy making for inclusive growth


Research for action

01.08.2022 - 31.12.2030

The 2017 Joint Monitoring Report, published in July, states that serious efforts have been made since the Millennium Development Goals to improve access to safe water and sanitation around the world. However, disparities remain, particularly in sub-Saharan Africa and for the rural poor, more drastic for sanitation. This project aims to reduce this gap, by supporting applied research, transformative innovations, capacity development and networking, which will answer to the needs and requirements of the targeted population.


Research for action: Water, Behavior Change and Envi-ronmental Sanitation: Sustainable Solutions to Research, Knowledge and Professionalization (WABES)

01.08.2022 - 31.12.2026

Equitable access to safe water and sanitation facilities and services is by far not achieved and a stronger push on multiple levels will be necessary over the next decade to reach SDG 6.  This includes developing and using innovative technologies, based on applied research, to foster affordable and sustainable solutions for increased access to safe water and adequate sanitation. To this aim, the SDC continues its fruitful collaboration with the Swiss Research Institute Eawag.


Support to the UNDS Reform 2022-2025

01.08.2022 - 31.05.2025

Switzerland has been a champion of the UN Development System (UNDS) Reform since its inception. In 2020, Member States confirmed the reform’s direction and provided new impetus. This intervention will strengthen the oversight of Members States over the progress of the reform, support system-wide evaluations and institutional learning and provide funding for joint action to deliver collective results across the UNDS at country level to accelerate the 2030 Agenda implementation.


Phase 1 Solidarit'Eau Suisse 2022-2027

16.07.2022 - 15.07.2027

Access to safe water and sanitation affordable for all by 2030 according to the Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) 6 is substantially off track. The so-called SDG 6 Acceleration Framework adopted in 2020 by the UN, calls for fast results through increased efforts at all levels and by all relevant actors. Solidarit’Eau Suisse helps in mobilizing support from Swiss municipalities and other water-related public actors to implement Swiss projects in the water sector of the Global South.


Soutien au Dispositif National de Sécurité Alimentaire -PRESA-

01.07.2022 - 31.12.2025

Malgré l’excédent céréalier enregistré durant ces deux dernières décennies, l’insécurité alimentaire touche près du ¼ de la population du Mali. La DDC veut renforcer les capacités institutionnelles et organisationnelles du dispositif national de sécurité alimentaire en vue d’améliorer la prévention et la gestion des crises conjoncturelles et accroître la résilience des populations vulnérables à l’insécurité alimentaire et nutritionnelle.


Effective management and prevention of Non-Communicable Diseases

01.07.2022 - 30.06.2026

Kyrgyzstan faces an increasing prevalence of non-communicable diseases and there are significant gaps in the health system to manage them. The Primary Health Care system should deliver equitable care and prevent hospitalizations with non-communicable diseases’ complications. The project contributes to Improve health and quality of life of the rural population through replicating the model of primary health care strengthening and promoting healthy behaviour among people in southern regions and two big cities.


Global Water Security and Sanitation Partnership (GWSP)

01.07.2022 - 30.06.2026

The Global Water Security and Sanitation Partnership (GWSP) of the World Bank Water Global Practice is a global partnership on water and sanitation security as set out in the global water goal (SDG 6). This SDC support will advance innovative global knowledge production and exchange as well as building capacity through country-level support with a focus on the population excluded most from water investments and services.


RECAP Prom. healthy diet & physical act.

01.07.2022 - 31.12.2025

Switzerland plays a critical role in moving the agenda for non-communicable diseases (NCDs) and fighting all forms of malnutrition forward in low- and middle-income countries and at global level. NCDs constitute a major global health challenge with critical economic consequences. Unhealthy diets and physical inactivity are the main causes of obesity and NCDs. Switzerland aims at strengthening individual and institutional capacity and enabling environments for legal and regulatory measures to promote healthy diets and physical activity.


Working for Health (W4H)

01.06.2022 - 31.05.2027

More health workers with the right skills are needed to achieve the SDGs, particularly in low income countries. Switzerland contributes to a joint WHO, ILO and OECD program providing catalytic support to governments, social partners and other key stakeholders to develop, finance and implement national health workforce strategies and investment plans. This will improve the supply and employment of health workers, maximise their performance, create decent jobs and accelerate progress towards UHC.   


«Bai Alai» Small Business and Income Creation in Alai and Chon-Alai

01.06.2022 - 31.05.2024

Alai and Chon Alai are two of the poorest regions in Kyrgyzstan. The project aims at increasing economic inclusion of producing households through increased income and employment, with the focus on women and youth. During this exit phase (III) the project capitalizes and disseminates good practices in apiculture and cattle, and continues activities handicraft and tourism value chains, until phasing out in May 2024.


Small Project Credit for the Swiss Cooperation Office in Moldova

01.06.2022 - 31.05.2025

This credit line provides the Swiss Cooperation Office in Moldova with a flexible instrument to provide direct support for local partners to help them respond to the changing context and to build social cohesion, affected by multiple crises. It contributes to further strengthening civil society in both rural and urban areas of Moldova. The support, provided to interested applicants through an open competition of small grants, has a countrywide coverage and includes the Transnistrian region.

Object 37 – 48 of 1035