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New schemes to strengthen health system in designated districts.

Byline: Ashfaq Yusufzai

PESHAWAR -- The provincial government in collaboration with USAID has launched two projects to strengthen overall health system and improve patients' care in the four designated districts.

The schemes including Integrated Health Systems Strengthening project (IHSSP) at the provincial level and Service Delivery Support project in Swat, Charsadda, Lakki Marwat and Mohmand have been launched.

To move towards a secure and self-reliant health system, the intended interventions have been designed to improve access to basic health services, increase detection, surveillance and control of infectious disease transmission.

'The two-year projects ending in September 2020 are meant to improve patients' care and ensure Minimum Health Delivery Package (MHDP) at the public sector hospitals with focus on immunisation, mother and child care and training of staff,' officials said.

They said that the projects would focus on scaling up capacity of provincial institutions of health department and strengthening emergency response of all categories of hospitals in the designated districts, operationalisation of the existing mobile health service units, filling up gaps of training institutes and managers as well as capacity enhancement for implementation of MHSDP and comprehensive basic health unit services to ensure provision of round the clock obstetric care facilities to the women in their own areas.

The projects will be implemented through JSI Research and Training Inc, Jhpiego Corporation, Contech International and other local partners, who would focus their attention at district and community levels, while international partners will provide technical assistance at the provincial level under the projects.

The initiatives are meant to improve level of health leadership, workers' performance, governance, financing, spending efficiency at provincial and district level and integrated, equitable, quality services in the targeted districts based on epidemiological ranking and political willingness to improve health services.

The health department needs support to ensure the MHSDP by adopting innovative, technical approaches and the best practices.

Targeted technical assistance will be used at provincial level to materialise government's commitment and enhance capabilities of workers to carry on the work beyond the life of the projects in line with the federal standards and documentation of public and private sector delivery systems with focus on a few key interventions.

'Khyber Pakhtunkhwa will be focus of provincial level systems strengthening and service delivery activities, the successful interventions and activities will be propagated to rest of the provinces, regions and territories of Pakistan with support of federal government,' said officials.

The IHSSP, developed in a way to be replicated in other provinces, seeks to gain KP's commitment as well as improve coordination from the federal to provincial to district and community levels.

For community level work, it will adapt successful innovative approaches to bring community health solutions, ensure accountability and de-radicalise youth by actively engaging private sector and community health workers.

It aims at building a flexible health system while engaging stakeholders at all levels. 'It is the best way to attain a high performing health system that can be sustained in future,' said officials.

They said that it would focus on increasing investment in health sector with improved accountability, building the skills and capacities at individual, institutional and systems levels, bringing clarity in roles and responsibilities of different institutions and organisations engaged in reforms, developing vertical and horizontal linkages among institutions and organisations for rolling-out the reforms agenda in a harmonised manner.
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Publication:Dawn (Karachi, Pakistan)
Date:Apr 18, 2019
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