Health – An universally recognized human right

Health is a human right beyond the reach of one hundred million people. Besides being unacceptable, the inequalities that currently prevail in this regard are a violation of human rights. For SDC, public health issues therefore take precedence in political debates over preserving intellectual property rights and pursuing commercial strategies.

SDC focus

SDC's sees the rampant inequalities in health matters as unacceptable violations of basic human rights so concentrates its efforts on the needs of the poorest, who are also the most vulnerable.

Linking direct to the Millennium Development Goals as defined by the United Nations, which aim to halve extreme poverty by 2015, SDC regards health as a decisive factor in economic and social development. As such, it is an essential instrument for increasing social justice, reducing inequalities and promoting sustainable development. This dictates the emphasis that SDC places upon governance, empowering communities and health-service users, and developing targeted structures.

  • Strengthening health systems and health services
  • Controlling the main transmittable diseases (HIV/AIDS, malaria, tuberculosis and building the fight against HIV/AIDS into international cooperation
  • Improving sexual and reproductive health, including child and reproductive health

Background

Health and health services are not a matter for governments alone but also for communities. SDC focuses its efforts on improving governance as an essential factor in gearing resource management as closely as possible to users' health needs and welfare.

Despite some encouraging results, we should not turn a blind eye to some bleak realities. The gap between the health of the rich and the poor is widening steadily. In many countries, public health has now deteriorated into a parlous state. The lifeblood of some countries has been sapped by diseases such as AIDS, malaria or tuberculosis, and nearly one hundred million people – the poorest of the poor – are still being deprived of fundamental rights such as enough food as well as access to safe water, healthcare and sanitary facilities.

Documents

Links

  • SDC Health website for professionals
    SDC employees, partners and interested parties will find key documents and additional information regarding health on this platform.
    http://www.sdc-health.ch

Current projects

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Switzerland donates ambulances to Syria's suffering population

Switzerland is financing twelve new ambulances to improve the situation of people suffering from the consequences of the war in Syria. © FDFA

20.02.2016 - 31.10.2017

The SDC has delivered twelve new ambulances to the Syrian Arab Red Crescent (SARC). A Swiss delegation accompanied the delivery in the Syrian capital Damascus. The ambulances are urgently needed in Syria because the country's health system has too few ambulances to cope with the enormous number of victims caused by the war, including attacks against hospitals.

Country/region Topic Period Budget
Syria
Humanitarian Assistance
Health
Health system strengthening
Primary health care
Emergency and relief

20.02.2016 - 31.10.2017


CHF 900'000



Healthy people and animals in Ethiopia thanks to an interdisciplinary project: Jigjiga University One Health Initiative

African farmer ploughing a field with an ox.

01.01.2015 - 30.09.2020

Nomadic pastoralist communities, which constitute one tenth of Ethiopia’s population, have little access to health services. In the Jigjiga University One Health Initiative, the SDC is helping to establish local healthcare services by supporting an interdisciplinary centre of excellence at Jigjiga University in eastern Ethiopia.

Country/region Topic Period Budget
Ethiopia
Health system strengthening
Primary health care

01.01.2015 - 30.09.2020


CHF 2'100'000



Increasing the quality of health services for all

15.10.2013 - 31.12.2018


Albania has the lowest public health spending in the region. Many patients bypass primary health care and overcrowd hospitals, especially in larger cities. In addition, non-communicable diseases are increasing at an alarming rate. Therefore health promotion, prevention of diseases and improved primary health care services are a top priority for the country.

Country/region Topic Period Budget
Albania
Health
Health system strengthening
Non-communicable diseases, incl. Mental health
Primary health care
Non-communicable diseases, incl. Mental health
Primary health care

15.10.2013 - 31.12.2018


CHF 10'000'000



Regeneration of neglected villages in south-east Myanmar

A nurse receives patients at the entrance to a health centre.

01.09.2013 - 14.08.2017

In Myanmar, the villages close to the Thai border have seen more than six decades of conflict. Geographically isolated, and in some cases under the control of armed indigenous ethnic groups, these villages are beyond the reach of central government authority. Their inhabitants must do with infrastructures that are in a perilous state. Working alongside the affected communities and other partners, the SDC is committed to restoring basic services, with the particular involvement of the young people in the region.

Country/region Topic Period Budget
Myanmar
Conflict prevention and transformation
Health
Education
Civilian peace-building and conflict resolution
Formal basic education (primary and lower secondary)
Primary health care

01.09.2013 - 14.08.2017


CHF 5'091'000



Tajikistan: access to primary healthcare for people in rural areas

Three women in white coats use posters to present information on breastfeeding to a group of women.

01.04.2013 - 31.03.2017

This public health project in Tajikistan aims to improve access to healthcare for rural communities by promoting primary healthcare and family medicine. Specifically, it is building and renovating health centres, training medical and administrative staff, and setting up groups of villagers to promote health in their communities.

Country/region Topic Period Budget
Tajikistan
Health
Primary health care
Health system strengthening

01.04.2013 - 31.03.2017


CHF 4'800'000



Healthcare in the Great Lakes region: taking healthcare to the people

A baby being weighed in a consultation room.

01.02.2013 - 31.12.2017

Despite the political and humanitarian crisis Burundi is experiencing, the SDC remains committed to providing help directly to the people. In the health sector it aims to strengthen treatment capacity in health centres and district hospitals so that these can provide accessible, good-quality care. The SDC programme covers both Burundi and Rwanda.

Country/region Topic Period Budget
The Great Lakes Region
Health
Water
Health system strengthening
Primary health care
Drinking water and basic sanitation (WASH - Water for people)
Primary health care
Sexual and reproductive health (including mother and child health, family planning)

01.02.2013 - 31.12.2017


CHF 9'970'000



WHO: World Health Organisation – Core Contribution 2013–2015

01.01.2013 - 31.12.2017

The World Health Organisation (WHO) is the directing and coordinating authority for health within the United Nations system. The WHO works in close collaboration with governments, a host of agencies, private foundations and non-governmental organisations as well as with private sector representatives to address health matters worldwide.

Topic Period Budget
Health
Communicable diseases
Health system strengthening
Sexual and reproductive health (including mother and child health, family planning)
Health system strengthening
Primary health care
Communicable diseases

01.01.2013 - 31.12.2017


CHF 20'030'000



MdM-France: Integrating Sexual and Reproductive Health Services in Bosaso Basic Health Care System

01.01.2017 - 31.12.2021

This 6-year programme aims at improving health service delivery in Bosaso town (Puntland, Somalia) by integrating quality sexual and reproductive health (SRH) services into primary health care delivery packages. This intervention will also contribute to strengthen the emerging public health system by building the capacities of the Bosaso-based Ministry of Health and local health providers to sustain, in the long term, access to quality health services for the most vulnerable, especially women.


Kantha Bopha Hospitals Cambodia

01.09.2016 - 31.12.2018

Founded by Dr. Beat Richner in 1992, the five Kantha Bopha Hospitals (KBH) provide in 2016 free of charge health services for children and expecting mothers, and cover around 60–85 % of all sick children in Cambodia. Given their broad coverage and their status as Governmental University hospitals, KBH are a crucial actor in the Cambodian health sector. While their long term financial sustainability is a concern, it is SDC’s objective through this proposal to address the matter.


Tahaddi Community Empowerment Programme

01.08.2016 - 30.09.2019

The shantytowns in southern Beirut, Hay Al-Gharbeh and Sabra Al Horsh, are home to more than 10'000 marginalized people, amongst them also Syrians, who fled their country. In the absence of public services, the local NGO Tahaddi seeks to alleviate the dire conditions for the inhabitants through social services , psychological support, health and education programs. Besides supporting the ongoing program, the SDC contribution also strengthens Tahaddi's organisational development.


Protection of Orphans and Vulnerable children in Zimbabwe

01.07.2016 - 31.12.2020

The project aims at consolidating social protection in Zimbabwe in order to reduce widespread household poverty, provide basic needs, care and support to the most vulnerable children, especially those affected and infected by HIV/AIDS. In the context of continued political instability and economic collapse in Zimbabwe, SDC will continue to engage through the multi-donor trust fund “Child Protection Fund” managed by UNICEF.


Vegetables Go to School (VGtS)

01.07.2016 - 30.06.2017

School vegetable garden programs are established in Bhutan, Burkina Faso, Indonesia, Nepal and Philippines. They aim at improving children’s knowledge and awareness about the importance of vegetable consumption for a healthy diet and of sanitation and hygienic measures for their healthy development. Scientific evidence on the influence of such school vegetable garden programs on the children is gathered and used for policy discussions on how to effectively improve school children’s nutritional status.

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