Health – a human right and a requirement for development

Health is a human right, but one that is still not guaranteed for more than a billion people. The health inequalities that persist today hinder social, economic and sustainable development. That is why the SDC works to improve the health situation of people in low and middle income countries. To do so, it deploys Swiss expertise wherever possible to build and develop good-quality and effective health systems.

The SDC's focus

Switzerland views essential healthcare as a key requirement for economic and social development. It also considers the inequities in the provision of essential healthcare to be an unacceptable violation of fundamental human rights. That is why the SDC focuses its efforts to improve health on the needs of the poorest people.

Improving the health of the world's poorest has a direct link to the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, which applies to all countries. In goal 3 of the agenda, the international community, including Switzerland, has promised to ensure healthy lives and promote well-being for all.  The health sector has a key role to play here. In order to reduce social inequalities and foster sustainable development, access to a well-functioning health system is essential. That is why in the area of health the SDC focuses on good governance, strengthening the role and ownership of communities and health service users, and developing effective structures:

  • strengthening health systems with the aim of providing essential healthcare for all
  • controlling communicable and non-communicable diseases
  • improving sexual and reproductive health and rights as well as mother and child health
  • mainstreaming the fight against HIV/AIDS in non-health related sectors

Context

Healthcare is the responsibility of both governments and the communities affected. Strengthening good governance helps significantly in ensuring that the available resources are used efficiently and for the health needs of the people.

Switzerland has a great deal of expertise in the health sector. This know-how already plays a key role for many of its partner countries which are building and developing their health systems today. Through its strategic partnerships with Swiss NGOs, research institutes and the private sector, the SDC uses this knowledge to provide targeted expertise, products and services for its partner countries. It promotes innovative approaches tailored to the local context and sustainable practices that lead to improvements in health in its partner countries.

Nonetheless, major progress in this one area should not detract from other existing challenges that remain. Although absolute poverty is decreasing, the health gap between the rich and the poor is growing. For almost one billion people, the world's poorest of the poor, access to clean water, sanitation, enough food, a balanced diet and healthcare is still not a reality.

Documents

Current projects

Object 13 – 24 of 54

Improving access to good-quality healthcare services in Kosovo

01.01.2020 - 31.12.2023

AQH strengthens clinical capacity and managerial competence in partner municipalities towards increasing quality of services provided as well as enhancing the system’s understanding and response to the needs of communities, in particular vulnerable groups. At the community end, AQH generates demand for quality services, by improving health literacy and involving people in shaping the services, thus leading to an increased and rational utilization of all health services and ultimately improved health status of the population.


ESTHER Switzerland (Ensemble pour une Solidarité Thérapeutique Hospitalière En Réseau)

01.12.2019 - 30.11.2024

ESTHER Switzerland provides a mechanism for systematic mobilisation and use of Swiss healthcare expertise to strengthen human resource capacities for health and consequently the quality of service delivery in low and middle-income countries. ESTHER promotes institutional partnerships between Swiss hospitals or research entities with institutions of the same kind in partner countries so as to address priority needs in terms of service delivery.


Dynamic electronic decision trees for managing childhood illness (DYNAMIC)

15.11.2019 - 31.12.2022

Every year, more than five million children die before the age of five due to preventable or treatable causes, most of them in developing countries. New technologies combined with rapid tests can improve diagnosis and management of sick children and reduce health costs. This collaborative research project makes use of Switzerland’s knowledge in digital technologies to improve the health of children and reduce unnecessary antibiotic prescriptions in low resource settings.


Improving Access to Essential Medicines and Basic Technologies for Non-communicable Diseases

01.11.2019 - 31.12.2031

Access to medicines and technologies for non-communicable diseases is poor in low and middle-income countries. Building on the Swiss comparative advantage (broader access engagement as a country with a big pharma sector), the program addresses all components of the comprehensive framework for access to drugs, ranging from research and innovation to dispensing and use. It will also set up a dedicated global collaborative network for advocacy, information and innovation.


“Mental Health for Universal Health Coverage” (MH4UHC)

01.11.2019 - 31.10.2024

In low resource settings, less than 20% of people with mental disorders have access to mental health services. Building on best practices and experience from Swiss supported programs at country level, the Special Initiative for Mental Health aims to increase access to care for people with mental disorders in low- and middle-income countries. Priority areas are advocacy for investments in mental health, evidence-based policy formulation, and integration of mental health services at primary healthcare level.


WHO’s Expanded Special Project for Elimination of Neglected Tropical Diseases (ESPEN)

01.08.2019 - 31.07.2025

The Expanded Special Project for Elimination of Neglected Tropical Diseases strives to eliminate the five most prevalent neglected tropical diseases in Africa, by providing preventive treatment against e.g. river blindness for free to 600 million people. This continental initiative is carried out by a public-private partnership including pharmaceutical companies. The Swiss contribution makes it possible to accelerate the elimination of the diseases by expanding to more countries and people.


Budget Support to the health SWAp in the Kyrgyz Republic

01.05.2019 - 30.04.2022

Health sector reform is a priority of the Kyrgyz Government. Considerable improvements of the health status of the population were achieved in the last years. Yet, additional efforts have to be done to improve cost-effectiveness of the health system. The Kyrgyz Government approved its Health Strategy 2030, in view to strengthen primary health care, improve the quality of services and promote public health. The project will support the implementation of the Health Strategy by providing funding and technical assistance to the Government. 


Health for All Programme (HAP)

01.04.2019 - 31.03.2023

The Government of Albania is undertaking a reform to increase the quality and efficiency of public health services to respond to the increasing burden of non-communicable diseases (NCDs). The project will support the elaboration of a primary health care strategy, health workforce management and quality improvement measures of service delivery for a better management of NCDs at primary health care. The aim is a higher satisfaction of users and a better health status of people covered.


OVCI - Improving nutritional condition of most vulnerable groups in Juba

01.03.2019 - 30.04.2021

Malnutrition among children and other vulnerable groups remains worse as a result of the prevailing food insecurity situation in South Sudan. According to the 2019 Humanitarian Response Plan (HRP) for South Sudan, some 1.8 million people – the majority of which are children under five years - face malnutrition. Through this project, Volunteers Organization for International Co-operation (OVCI) intends to address malnutrition of vulnerable children, pregnant and lactating mothers and other destitute persons in Juba County by improving their dietary intake.


One Health Units for Humans, Environment, Animals and Livelihoods (HEAL)

01.03.2019 - 31.10.2024

Transmission of diseases between humans and animals are frequent in pastoralist societies of

Somalia, Ethiopia and Northern Kenya and related to environmental conditions. The HEAL project

promotes sustainable rangeland management and access to integrated human/livestock health

services. Thereby, it contributes to improved health, to reduced vulnerability among pastoralist

communities and to prevention of their displacement/migration, which is in the interest of Switzerland.


Fondation Kantha Bopha – Dr med. Beat Richner

01.01.2019 - 31.12.2021

25 years of Dr Richner’s tireless efforts resulted in millions of children receiving free quality medical care at Kantha Bopha Hospitals. Despite his retirement early 2017, the five hospitals are operating smoothly with the management model he set up and the commitment of the Royal Government of Cambodia to maintain it. SDC’s financial support remains crucial until a sustainable Cambodian financing is found.


Primary Health Care (PHC)

01.01.2019 - 31.12.2022

The Primary Health Care project uses a convergent approach to improve the health status of vulnerable people in four conflict-affected townships in Kayin State. It contributes to peace, and brings together the Ministry of Health and Sports and Ethnic Health Organizations. Basic health services are strengthened through better coordination, training, supervision and supplies. Communities are empowered to achieve better health and feedback mechanisms are introduced. 

Object 13 – 24 of 54