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

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Swiss Malaria Group

01.01.2024 - 31.12.2025

Founded in 2007 as an informal network, the Swiss Malaria Group (SMG) has undergone organisational development leading to a formalized multi-stakeholder group with a strategic focus on raising awareness about malaria and the comparative advantage of Switzerland to defeat the disease. Organised as an association, with an Executive Secretariat hosted by Medicus Mundi Switzerland, the 15 organisations help accelerating malaria elimination, through innovative control measures, knowledge and financial flows.


Effective management and prevention of Non-Communicable Diseases

01.07.2022 - 30.06.2026

Kyrgyzstan faces an increasing prevalence of non-communicable diseases and there are significant gaps in the health system to manage them. The Primary Health Care system should deliver equitable care and prevent hospitalizations with non-communicable diseases’ complications. The project contributes to Improve health and quality of life of the rural population through replicating the model of primary health care strengthening and promoting healthy behaviour among people in southern regions and two big cities.


Lugano Summer School

01.01.2022 - 31.12.2025

The Lugano Summer School in Public Health Policy, Economics and Management is an international hub for post-graduate short-term training in public health attracting practitioners and academics from around the world, in the spirit of mutual learning. This is one product of the Swiss School of Public Health consortium (SSPH+) portfolio. SDC scholarship support to the LSS facilitates participation to an expanding campus on public health and international recognition of expertise from low and middle-income countries since over 20 years.  


Direct Health Facility Financing

Zuena Hussein Ismail with her baby attended by a health worker at Makole Health Centre in Dodoma.

01.09.2021 - 30.06.2026

Together with the Tanzanian Government and development partners, Switzerland’s contribution to the reformed Health Basket Fund builds on positive results achieved so far and pursues to strengthen the health system that benefits 58 million inhabitants. Switzerland’s contribution will further expand effective decentralisation through the Direct Health Facility Financing mechanism to state and non-state primary health care providers, thus accelerating Tanzania’s progress towards universal health coverage and “Leaving no One Behind”.


PROCOSI - Campaña de comunicación y educación para la prevención y contención de la pandemia en áreas urbanas y rurales vulnerables. EDUCOVID-19

01.09.2021 - 30.08.2022

The COVID-19 pandemic has been affecting the most vulnerable segments among the population in Bolivia. The Swiss funded communication and sensibilization campaign of the PROCOSI community health network contributes to reducing morbidity through educational and preventive interventions for health promotion and vaccination in 8 urban and rural municipalities.


Medical Education Reform

01.09.2021 - 31.08.2024

The project is improving the quality of health services through well-trained health professionals. The exit phase will strengthen professional associations, modernize nursing education and establish an independent competency assessment centre. The Ministry of Health and Social Development delegated the competency development and assessment role to the Professional Associations, which are the key partners to implement the project’s interventions.


Community Health Provision in Somalia

01.08.2021 - 30.04.2024

The programme provides maternal and child health services in Somalia. It works with community and district health boards to strengthen health governance at the local levels, while at the same time builds the capacities of health authorities and health workers. It also promotes innovation by incorporating research findings that inform evidence based implementation. All these elements are linked to the Swiss interest of ensuring long term sustainability in the intervention areas through strengthened service delivery at lower governance levels.


Programme d’appui au système de santé du Sud Kivu (PASS Sud-Kivu)

01.05.2021 - 31.12.2023

Cette phase de consolidation des acquis est la dernière du Programme d’Appui au Système de Santé au Sud Kivu. L’appui systémique délocalisé promu par la Suisse vise à renforcer durablement le système de santé dans son ensemble, afin de le rendre plus efficient, résilient et équitable. Grâce à une meilleure gouvernance du système et au renforcement de la qualité des services, l’état de santé de près de 3 millions de personnes sera amélioré.


Jigjiga One Health Initiative Phase 2 (JOHI2)

01.04.2021 - 31.03.2026

The Jijiga One Health Initiative aims to develop a trans-disciplinary centre of excellence on pastoralist health within the Jijiga University (Somali Region, Ethiopia). Community-based one-health research and pilot interventions, including contribution to COVID-19 prevention and response, as well as targeted policy influencing will contribute to improved health among pastoralist communities and reduce pressure for their displacement/migration, which is in the interest of Switzerland.  


An inclusive world in which all persons enjoy their human rights and a decent life, and achieve their full potential

01.01.2021 - 31.12.2022

Fairmed and Christoffel Blindenmission (CBM) have joined forces in the LNOB Alliance. It works in fragile contexts, prioritizing the needs of the most marginalized and discriminated people especially of women, men, girls and boys with disabilities. It seeks to improve living conditions of individuals and empowering marginalized communities while also strengthening inclusive systems and services. The Alliance contributes to the implementation of the UN Conventions on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities, which Switzerland ratified in 2014.


Innovations for efficient quality health systems

01.11.2020 - 31.12.2026

Despite enormous progress in access to healthcare in low and middle-income countries, nearly 9 million people still die every year in these countries because of poor quality of care. SDC supports the establishment of a global design lab for the development of innovative tools to enhance quality measurements that form the base for cost-effective investments into quality improvements. The lab will benefit from Swiss research knowhow.


The Global Vaccine Alliance Gavi

01.10.2020 - 31.12.2025

People in low and lower- middle-income countries are particularly vulnerable to the COVID-19 pandemic as they often rely on fragile health systems to fight it. Because of the pandemic, routine immunization campaigns have been stopped or massively scaled-down, which in turn will severely impact the health of millions in these countries. Switzerland supports the Geneva-based Vaccine Alliance Gavi to provide equitable access to vaccines, including a future COVID-19 vaccine.

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