Pakistan’s progress in reducing maternal and newborn child mortality has been slow. As Pakistan’s population increases by more than 3 million people every year, population growth imposes a tremendous burden on the health infrastructure and the nation’s scarce resources. As such, Pakistan was not able to meet the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) for maternal and child health by 2015.
The Health Systems Strengthening component of USAID’s Maternal and Child Health (MCH) program worked to improve the health status of women and children by providing technical assistance to reform and improve service delivery. Technical assistance focused on governance, workforce, information systems, and overall financing, and also supported supply- and demand-side initiatives and community financing innovations to reduce financial barriers for the poor. Project activities included:
- Developing and supporting innovative, cost-effective, and integrated programs and services to strengthen reproductive, maternal, and child health service systems.
- Providing support to district health offices throughout Pakistan’s Sindh Province.
- Facilitating coordination between USAID’s MCH program partners and government counterparts.
- Strengthening private sector health service delivery for the urban and rural poor.
Pakistan’s public health challenges are manifestations of governance problems such as political interference, corruption, patronage, and lack of accountability. The Health Systems Strengthening component engage Pakistani parliamentarians to generate sustained political will, commitment, and increased budgetary allocations for health.
The project was a five-year (2013-2018) cooperative agreement, funded by USAID and implemented by JSI Research & Training Institute, Inc., and its local partners Contech International, Rural Support Programs Network, and Heartfile.