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 61 – 72 of 1035

Safe Drinking Water and Sanitation Management

01.03.2022 - 28.02.2026

The project will allow people to use safe and affordable drinking water as well as equitable sanitation and hygiene thereby progressing towards the achievement of Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) 6 in Tajikistan. An integrated planning approach supports the building of the local and national capacities and strengthen the policy frameworks to enable sustainable Water Sanitation and Hygiene WASH services to the population of Eastern Khatlon and Gorno-Badakshan Autonomous Oblast (GBAO).


RNI, Phase unique

01.03.2022 - 29.02.2024

Reconnue pour ses actions de promotion de la paix, la Suisse souhaite contribuer à la prévention de la violence dans la région du Lac Tchad. En appuyant la Radio Ndarason Internationale (RNI), la Suisse favorise l’accès à des informations fiables et contribue à offrir un espace d’expression et de dialogue aux habitants de la région. Elle leur permet ainsi une meilleure compréhension des enjeux, socle pour bâtir des solutions locales aux problèmes de gouvernance, de violence et de développement.


Gender Mainstreaming 2022-2025 Phase 7

01.03.2022 - 28.02.2025

In collaboration with selected strategic partners, the SDC will promote gender equality and women’s rights in 3 priority areas that correspond to the SDC’s strategic interests and where it can promote innovative approaches: Peace building and crisis response, data driven advocacy and policy influence, and mobilising quality investments for gender transformative change. This will contribute to accelerate the implementation of the SDG 5 and to reduce its current funding gap.


Civil society resilience strengthening

18.02.2022 - 17.02.2027

This project, in delegated cooperation with USAID, supports democratic development in Serbia by fostering an enabling environment for civil society and strengthening its resilience. It improves capacities of civil society to perform its monitoring and advocacy roles, to facilitate citizen’s engagement and to engage in constructive dialogue with the government. Ultimately, this leads towards a more resilient, inclusive and pluralistic society.


Fair and ethical recruitment of migrant workers

01.02.2022 - 31.12.2024

Approximately 105 million people are currently working outside their country of origin. Many of these migrant workers have profited from international labour recruitment intermediaries. Millions, however, have become victims of abusive and exploitative practices by unethical recruiters. Working together with different actors, SDC will support initiatives to ensure fair and ethical recruitment. Migrants and their families will be better protected and thereby better enabled to contribute to the development of their countries of origin and destination.


Appui à la mise en œuvre de la politique agricole de l’Afrique de l’Ouest (ECOWAP)

01.02.2022 - 31.12.2026

En Afrique de l’Ouest, plus de 64 % de la population a moins de 24 ans. La faiblesse des chaînes de valeur agricoles ne permet pas à ces jeunes d’accéder à des emplois décents. La Suisse soutient la création d’emplois rémunérateurs dans la filière lait local au profit des jeunes. Elle compte sur l’effet levier de son action pour contribuer à réduire l'exode rural et l'émigration non contrôlée et offrir aux jeunes des alternatives à l'adhésion aux groupes violents.


Support to Village Councils – Area C Infrastructure

01.02.2022 - 31.12.2024

Switzerland fosters the resilience of marginalised communities in Area C of the West Bank by enhancing planning capacities of local authorities and improving the access to basic infrastructure in partnership with UNHABITAT and the Municipal Development and Lending Fund MDLF. SDC’s contribution is part of a wider donor engagement in Area C to Leave No One Behind. A stronger accent is put in this third and final phase on active participation of women and youth in the selection and social auditing of infrastructure projects.


FfD Financing for Development 2022-2024

01.02.2022 - 31.12.2024

The United Nations (UN) estimate the financing gap for the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) at $2.5 trillion per year with an additional shortfall for 2020 of $1.7 trillion due to Covid-19. Financing for Development (FfD) is therefore a core issue for the UN. This credit proposal contributes to make the intergovernmental process of FfD more evidence-based, inclusive and participatory, with a focus on Switzerland’s priority themes: private sector engagement and multi-stakeholder partnerships.


Partnership Fund for a Resilient Ukraine

01.02.2022 - 31.03.2024

With a contribution to the Partnership Fund for a Resilient Ukraine (PFRU), Switzerland aims at strengthening communities and at enhancing government legitimacy in Eastern Ukraine through improved services, economic recovery and empowered civil society. The PFRU is an innovative multi-donor financing tool which focuses on supporting the implementation of reforms in the conflict-affected areas of the country through an integrated approach (humanitarian-development-peace nexus). The PFRU unites five development partners (UK, US, Canada, Sweden, Switzerland) and it is co-owned by the Government of Ukraine.


Building Regional and National capacities for improved Migration Governance in the IGAD Region

01.01.2022 - 31.08.2027

The Horn of Africa is of high interest for Switzerland in terms of migration policy. Swiss support to the Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD) and its Member States will contribute to improve their migration governance capacities so as to enable the organisation to effectively implement regional, continental and global regulatory standards for the protection of refugees and vulnerable migrants in the region.


Festival del Film Locarno 2022-2024

01.01.2022 - 31.12.2024

As part of sustainable development, the promotion of cultural diversity is rooted in the Swiss Constitution. Switzerland’s support for artists from Africa, Latin America, Asia, and Eastern Europe is promoting the diversity of analysis of social issues, thereby ensuring the fundamental values ​​of the democratic system. The partnership between SDC and the Locarno Film Festival supports independent film production through the special section Open Doors. Participants from Latin America gain visibility, network, knowledge and opportunities for filmmaking.


Promoting physical activity and healthy diet through regulatory measures (ProPDR)

01.01.2022 - 31.12.2023

Non-communicable diseases constitute one of the major global health challenges today. Unhealthy diet and physical inactivity are the main causes of obesity and related morbidities. The adaptation of national regulatory and legislative frameworks is critical for the prevention and control of Non-communicable diseases. This initiative strives to strengthen capacity and expertise of low- and middle income countries to implement legal and regulatory measures.

Object 61 – 72 of 1035