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The Health Policy Project (HPP): Our Afghanistan milestones

By reconstructing its health infrastructure and increasing access to health services, Afghanistan's health system has made significant progress over the last decade. However, the country's health statistics are still among the world’s worst and major challenges remain.

Over the last three years, HPP has significantly contributed to developing Afghanistan's health system and laying the foundation for its ‘transformation decade’ in the coming years.

Some of the major milestones we’ve achieved so far:

May 2012: Gender Strategy Implemented

We helped the Ministry of Public Health (MoPH) Gender Directorate implement key aspects of the newly approved gender strategy. These included training the Gender Directorate and other MoPH departments to access and use gender data from health management information systems – to better inform programme decisions and policies.

We then promoted gender issues through billboard messages and by distributing educational materials throughout the healthcare system. During Friday prayers, messages about gender issues and gender-based violence were also announced.

September 2013: 100 million health products distributed

Established in 2010 with our support, the Afghan Social Marketing Organisation (ASMO) is a social marketing and behaviour change communication organisation that aims to expand access to high-quality, life-saving health products through commercial markets.

ASMO oversees the procurement, warehousing, packaging, marketing, and distribution of six essential health products: oral and injectable contraceptives, condoms, chlorinated safe water solutions, oral rehydration salts and iron folate.

By September 2013, ASMO had sold 100 million of these items – ensuring that millions of Afghans had access to affordable health products that improve lives.

The Participatory Community Services Messaging System (PCSMS) has opened a new channel for citizens to demand services from local government.

We helped the Health Economics and Finance Directorate of MoPH to successfully launch an Expenditure Management Information System.

This system has ensured that MoPH can access accurate, standardised and regularly reported expenditure data on health services for the first time. The data will feed into the National Health Accounts Report, which is used by the government and donors.

We developed the information system and supported on orientation workshops on the Expenditure Management Information System for MoPH staff and non-governmental implementing partners. We also developed system protocols and National Health Account guidelines, enabling the Directorate to manage these systems independently.

Recently, HPP upgraded the information system to a web-based platform, making it more flexible and eventually more accessible and transparent to users.

April 2015: National Policy for the Private Health Sector revised

Through stakeholder workshops and other engagements, we assisted MoPH to revise the National Policy for the Private Health Sector. This policy outlines the ministry's activities and support over the next several years as it engages the private sector to improve health care for all Afghans.

The policy also includes the expansion of successful initiatives including the Minimum Required Standards, private sector health management information systems, national health care accreditation, and legislative advocacy and revisions to better support the private health sector.

For a complete timeline, please visit http://afghan.healthpolicyproject.com/