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, Number of pages 102, 934.0 kB, English)

Swiss Contributions to Human Resources for Health Development in Low- and Middle-Income Countries, summary (PDF, Number of pages 6, 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, Number of pages 4, 274.3 kB, English)

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


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

Article on family doctors in Bosnia and Herzegovina (PDF, Page 1, 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 85 – 96 of 934

Contribution to the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria (GF)

01.01.2020 - 31.12.2022

Health is a precondition, an indicator and a result of sustainable development. The Global Fund (GF) follows the vision of a world free of HIV/AIDS, tuberculosis and malaria. It collects and channels a big share of the international funds dedicated to end these epidemics that disproportionately affect the poorest and most vulnerable people. Its support to country programmes has saved 27 million lives since 2002. In the coming years, the challenge is to maintain this progress and step up the fight to ending the epidemics. 


Mine Action for Human Development in Cambodia 2017- 2025

01.01.2020 - 31.12.2025

Over the past 20 years Cambodia has made significant progress in clearing landmines and other explosive remnants of war (ERW). Nevertheless 1,640 km2 of land remain contaminated as suspected minefields at this moment. SDC plans supporting national and regional mine action initiatives to ensure that development of poor rural communities is no longer impeded by disablement and restricted access to land, forests and water resources due to landmines and ERW.


Solar Irrigation for Agriculture Resilience (SoLAR)

01.01.2020 - 31.07.2027

To adapt to climate change farmers rely increasingly on irrigation, ultimately depleting groundwater resources and raising energy demand. The project aims to address these challenges by promoting solar irrigation, water efficient agriculture and groundwater governance. The project will harness Swiss expertise on hydrogeology and technical innovations to contribute to climate resilient agriculture and facilitate knowledge sharing in South Asia and at the global level.


From Education to Employment (E2E)

01.01.2020 - 31.12.2023

The E2E program supports direct labor market measures in 5 locations in Serbia, through Career Guidance and Counselling and an Opportunity Fund for companies and training providers targeting 12'000 young women and men, of whom 20% vulnerable. Based on Work Based Learning (WBL) that will generate a minimum of 625 decent jobs for young people, the program will contribute to the re-design of inclusive and innovative youth employment measures and policies.

 

 


PARIS21 Partnership in Statistics for Development in the 21st Century - Contribution 2020-2022

01.01.2020 - 31.12.2022

The Partnership in Statistics for Development in the 21st Century (PARIS21) is a global partnership of national, regional and international statisticians, development professionals and policy makers seeking to improve evidence-based decision making mainly in low-income developing countries. The main accent of PARIS21’s activities is to stimulate the dialogue between data producers and users and act as a knowledge hub in the field of statistical capacity building.


Junior Professional Officer Programme

01.01.2020 - 31.12.2025

The Junior Professional Officer (JPO) programme aims at contributing to a qualified and diverse United Nations workforce by financing Swiss JPOs within Switzerland’s priority UN development organisations and the UN Secretariat. This provides Swiss graduates with an opportunity to start a career in the United Nations while at the same time strengthens the United Nations towards implementing the 2030 Agenda and the UNDS Reform.


Programme d’appui à l’Education Non Formelle (PENF)

01.01.2020 - 31.12.2022

Dans un contexte de crise multiforme ce programme offre des alternatives d’éducation et de formation professionnelle aux enfants et aux adultes sortie du système éducatif national. Avec la participation des acteurs locaux et des services techniques des régions de Mopti, Tombouctou et Sikasso, cette phase finale du programme permettra à 6’000 enfants de retourner à l’école et à 4’000 jeunes d’apprendre un métier. La Suisse contribue ainsi au développement et à la stabilité du pays en offrant des perspectives.


Small Irrigation Programme (SIP)

01.01.2020 - 31.12.2024

Swiss engagement through this project assists farmers in doubling their agricultural income through year-round irrigation and better access to markets. Doubling of agriculture income will contribute to poverty reduction and reduce poor farmer’s need to migrate. In addition, Swiss pioneering work in operationalizing federalism, through this project at local level will address issues related to historic over-centralization and social exclusion and will contribute to peace and stability in the country.


Global solutions for migration related challenges

01.01.2020 - 31.03.2023

The challenges and opportunities linked to migration require a coordinated response from the international community that goes beyond individual country measures. For this reason, Switzerland works towards an effective global migration governance that enables cooperation among states and other stakeholders (private sector, civil society). Switzerland also supports evidence-based policy making and the development of global solutions to contemporary migration challenges that benefit migrants and their families, as well as countries of origin and destination.


Humanitarian Quality Assurance Initiative, 2020

01.01.2020 - 31.03.2021

Through continued support to the Humanitarian Quality Assurance Initiative (HQAI), Switzerland strives to ensure humanitarian organizations have a measurable tool to track their progress against effectiveness and accountability to affected populations, with their application of the Core Humanitarian Standards (CHS). This is done through the verification and certification processes of HQAI wich acts as an independent organization. 


Allocation of SDC Funding to ICRC Operations in 2020

01.01.2020 - 31.12.2020

SDC funding to ICRC operations allows the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) to respond proactively and to provide immediate protection and assistance for people affected by armed conflict and other situations of violence. In line with the Good Humanitarian Donorship (GHD) principles, Switzerland recognizes the necessity of predictable and flexible funding to respond to changing needs in humanitarian crises.

 


Allocation of SDC Funding to ICRC Operations in 2020

01.01.2020 - 31.12.2020

SDC funding to ICRC operations allows the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) to respond proactively and to provide immediate protection and assistance for people affected by armed conflict and other situations of violence. In line with the Good Humanitarian Donorship (GHD) principles, Switzerland recognizes the necessity of predictable and flexible funding to respond to changing needs in humanitarian crises.

 

Object 85 – 96 of 934