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With a grant from LHSS, the Jamaican health care firm Online Medics is supporting the government’s COVID-19 vaccination effort while gaining valuable new business capacities. “LHSS allowed me to think in the long term – where I wanted my company to go and what I need to do to get it there,” says owner Alex Tracey.

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Ukraine prioritizes telemedicine as part of its comprehensive health reform to increase transparency of health service provision, expand access to quality health services, and enhance efficiency in the health sector.

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Excerpts from an interview with Mr. Marcelo Amaral, Director General of Corporate Service at the Ministry of Health in Timor-Leste.

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The Vietnam government transitions funding of TB treatment to the SHI fund with support from LHSS. This transition marks a critical milestone, ensuring uninterrupted access to life-saving treatment.

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When the next emergency hits, health authorities will have a plan ready to activate. 

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LHSS features four poster presentations at 24th International AIDS Conference.

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How can countries make progress towards good health budget execution? In this latest blog in our budget execution series, ministry of health practitioners from eight countries offer lessons based on their own experiences and shared learning. 

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Since vaccines became available in 2021, only 26 percent of Jamaicans have been vaccinated – a far cry from the country’s goal of 65 percent by March 2022. Religious communities were among the victims of the misinformation causing vaccine hesitancy, with many of the country’s Christians believing the vaccines represented “the mark of the beast.” In response, the government called on church leaders to play a more prominent role in the country’s vaccination effort.

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Vietnam is one of the 30 countries with the highest burden of TB and drug-resistant TB in the world, with more than 172,000 cases and 10,400 deaths from TB in Vietnam in 2020 (WHO).  On July 1, TB treatment facilities nationwide started providing TB drugs to patients through social health insurance, marking an important milestone for financial sustainability.

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The learning exchange is hosted by LHSS in partnership with the Joint Learning Network for Universal Health Coverage (JLN). This offering is open to JLN and non-JLN countries. Applications are due July 15, 2022.

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Through an LHSS-Joint Learning Network learning exchange, health practitioners from seven countries are sharing successful experiences and promising practices to institutionalize explicit national priority-setting processes for health. The goal? To help countries set equitable national health priorities and ensure that these priorities are reflected in national health plans and budgets.

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Both Ghana and Bangladesh have implemented health budget accountability mechanisms. Their experiences offer practical lessons that other countries can adapt to their own budget execution needs. 

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The Social Protection Monitoring and Evaluation (M&E) Mechanism in Cambodia contributes to reducing poverty, vulnerability, and inequality by promoting and enhancing the effectiveness of the implementation of the National Social Protection Policy Framework (NSPPF). 

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Colombia has emerged as a leader in creating policies to integrate migrants into the economy and society, guaranteeing their right to health and mobilizing domestic resources to meet the increased demand for health services.

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AMMAN — USAID’s Local Health System Sustainability (LHSS) project, which began 2019 and will run until 2023, will improve the capacity of healthcare providers to deliver quality health services by establishing a mandatory “Continuing Professional Development System” for health professional licence renewal.

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U.S. Charge d’ Affaires Tom Daley and USAID Mission Director Zema Semunegus join the representative from local nongovernmental organizations and the Ministry of Health to launch the Heath Advocacy Network of Timor-Leste (REBAS- TL).

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This assistance is provided under USAID’s Local Health System Sustainability program. Since the start of the coronavirus outbreak, USAID has provided more than $7 million USD to help the Kyrgyz Republic fight the COVID-19 pandemic.

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Health workers play a central role not only in providing continued care for COVID-19 patients, but also in promoting vaccination and combating misinformation, with evidence-based health education. 

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Achieving universal health coverage (UHC) is a global priority and a keystone element of the 2030 Sustainable Development Goals. However, COVID-19 is causing serious impacts on tax revenue and many countries are facing constraints to new investment in health. To advance UHC progress, countries can also focus on improving health system technical efficiency to maximize the service outputs given the current health financing levels.

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What do Lao PDR, Malaysia, and Kenya have in common? All three countries have strengthened their budget structures and processes to enable good health budget execution. Their experiences hold valuable lessons for others striving to increase budget execution and unlock significant resources for health.

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Accurate and timely identification of COVID-19 variants in circulation is critical to an effective COVID-19 response. Following the delivery of parts and equipment to refurbish the country’s only COVID-19 specific genomic sequencing machine, LHSS supported training for laboratory specialists on genomic sequencing of COVID-19 virus variants. 

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For the first time, Vietnam has procured TB medicines using its national social health insurance scheme. 

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Qaqish B, Sallam M, Al-Khateeb M, Reisdorf E, Mahafzah A. Assessment of COVID-19 Molecular Testing Capacity in Jordan: A Cross-Sectional Study at the Country Level. Diagnostics. 2022; 12(4):909. https://doi.org/10.3390/diagnostics12040909

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The ‘COVID19 SAFE’ project opened with the launch of COVID-19 vaccination to school-age children (12–17 years old) in the Bobonaro municipality. The USAID Activity, working through HAMNASA, supported the Ministry of Health and Municipality Health Services in conducting community mobilization and disseminating COVID-19 information to the Memo village community, including to teachers and parents of school-age children.

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Late last year, health sector practitioners from eight countries met to tackle the issue head-on as participants in the Joint Learning Network Health Budget Execution Learning Exchange. They made meaningful progress.

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In December 2021, more than 180 midwives from across Timor-Leste participated in an Activity-led event to identify areas for improvement in a set of draft standards. 

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Meet Jessica. Her little girl is one of more than 40,000 migrants who have been enrolled in Colombia’s national health insurance system with support from the LHSS Project.

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Officials from the health and education sectors of Arequipa, Madre de Dios, Moquegua, Puno and Tacna regions of Peru begin discussions for implementing a regional COVID-19 communications strategy.

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By now, much has been written about the egregious global inequities in COVID-19 vaccine distribution. But less has been said about another inequity that holds serious implications for global health: the disparities in genomic sequencing capacities and capabilities worldwide.

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On Friday, February 25, LHSS Jamaica hosted a signing ceremony with the Jamaica Ministry of Health and Wellness and USAID to launch the Private Sector COVID-19 Vaccine Administration Partnership.

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This Google Play App is a distance learning platform for training on the use of mechanical ventilation. It was developed in coordination with the Government of Uzbekistan and continues to be used to train health providers caring for severe cases of COVID-19.

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The Year 2 Annual Report provides a look into the geographic and technical scope of LHSS during October 2020-September 2021. The report includes stories of impact within five themes: Building Resilience, Supporting Local Capacity and Sustainability, Advancing Equitable Access to Essential Health Services, Promoting Quality Health Care, and Optimizing the Use of Health Resources. 

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LHSS supported a coordinated national emergency response led by the Ministry of Health and helped build the resilience of the health system against future shocks in Uzbekistan.

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It is easy to fall back on the habit of using catchall terms like “vulnerable groups” to refer to many different people, but relying on these terms can have a harmful unintended consequence.  

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For countries facing a large influx of migrants, the best way to ensure that these new members of society have sustained access to essential health services is to have a long-term strategy – one that builds on existing health platforms.

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In the Dominican Republic, the dual impact of large numbers of migrants and a health system overwhelmed by COVID-19 has meant that fewer health services are available for migrant women. LHSS is working to improve health protection for the country’s migrant women, most of whom come from Haiti.

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Poor budget execution results in inefficiencies that undermine the ability of health agencies to improve access to needed health services and improve population health. Yet billions of dollars in unexecuted health budgets are returned to treasuries every year. 

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The Universal Nurse Model merges functions of three types of physician-directed nurses into one patient-centered nursing role, allowing better health outcomes with the same number of doctors and nurses.

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The USAID Health System Sustainability activity will work with Timorese officials to train health workers in rural communities on handling different vaccines, using cold chain equipment, and ensuring that community members have equal access to vaccines and essential health care. 

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Representatives of USAID and the government of Timor-Leste celebrated the start of the four-year, $15.6 million activity at a ceremony in Dili, the Timor-Leste capital, on July 2, 2021.   

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LHSS is supporting the capacity development of Vietnam’s National Tuberculosis Program to manage, quantify, procure, and distribute TB first-line drugs through a self-funded health finance system. 

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The proliferation of mobile telephones and advances in digital financial technology have created opportunities for faster progress towards achieving Universal Health Coverage.

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LHSS supports scale up and adaptation of existing vaccination programs for COVID-19 while also strengthening countries’ capacity to manage other public health efforts in the future.

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The learning exchange is being hosted by LHSS in partnership with the Joint Learning Network for Universal Health Coverage (JLN) and is open to national policy makers in all low- and middle-income countries.

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Population movement of this magnitude places huge stress on health systems in receptor countries. How can health care for migrants be financed? How can health system capacity be expanded? And how can health sector policies and national migration policies be harmonized? 

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The events of the past 18 months underscore the importance of generally strong, equitable, and accessible health systems. COVID-19 is not the only threat we face, and as we prepare for the future it is critical that we begin to sufficiently invest in the foundational health system strengthening required to develop lasting resilience. 

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Patients in Jordan grateful for telecounseling calls

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LHSS conducted a global evidence review on emerging models of DFS for health, and explored why, how, and under what circumstances these models contribute to universal health coverage.

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Online courses cover mental health, patients with disabilities, counseling, and more

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The pandemic has presented an urgent challenge to Colombia’s already overburdened, understaffed health system. Rapid response teams are traversing roads, mountain paths, and rivers to help health officials contain the spread of COVID-19. 

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Effort to strengthen Vietnam’s social health insurance program will benefit people with HIV.

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Ceremony marked the formal start of the LHSS Project’s four-year effort to help the Government of Vietnam implement its social health insurance program.

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At the request of the Laos Ministry of Health, LHSS helped mobilize volunteer medical students to support a national hotline for COVID-19.  At the peak of the Pai Mai holiday, the hotline fielded 5,000 calls a day.

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Early in the pandemic, there were no laboratories equipped for PCR testing in Khujand, Tajikistan’s second largest city. To address this challenge, LHSS teamed with USAID’s mission in Tajikistan and the country’s Ministry of Health to train laboratory specialists throughout the nation. 

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Five innovators—from Nigeria, Senegal, India, and Cameroon— are working with LHSS to sustainably scale up their businesses and reach more people with their vital health services.

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In response to an emergency request from the Government of Laos, the Local Health System Sustainability Project (LHSS) is on the ground in Laos working with the Ministry of Health (MOH) to combat the spread of COVID-19.

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She’s a big thinker, with an illustrious background. Midori de Habich was Peru’s minister of health and chair of the South American Council of Health from 2012-2014. She has served on various WHO working groups and missions and led USAID-funded projects in Peru. Now, she is applying her expertise in financial protection and population coverage to LHSS as the project’s technical director.

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A review of health financing work in Namibia by the Health Finance and Governance Project.

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An analysis of Namibia health financing reform by the Economic Association of Namibia.