Unit | Health Systems Support

The Health Systems Support Unit holds a rich diversity of expertise and is active across the six WHO building blocks in all the major world regions as well as in Switzerland. With a core focus on primary health care development and district health management strengthening, we work to improve the quality, accessibility and equity of health services.

The unit applies a holistic approach to reduce fragmentation and takes advantage of the efficiency gains of greater public and private health sector collaboration. We identify, analyse and compare health policies and systems to enlarge the evidence base for responding to the needs of populations. Working with local partners to build sustainable capacity, we conduct operations research to find pragmatic solutions to system bottlenecks while also carrying out health impact assessments, and large scale surveys to establish population-representative estimates.  

Health Economics and Financing

In the drive for Universal Health Coverage we support countries to design and develop health insurance schemes that are inclusive of the poor and other vulnerable groups. Read more about our contributions to designing and implementing insurance management information systems.

Data Evidence Evaluation and Policy

To strengthen the continuum between data, information and knowledge we produce and synthesize high quality evidence so it can be used for decision making. In terms of better evidence for better decisions, our activities range from data production and evidence generation to policy formulation.

Farnham A, Winkler M.S, Zabré H.R, Divall M.J, Fink G, Knoblauch A.M. Spatial mobility and large-scale resource extraction: an analysis of community well-being and health in a copper mining area of Zambia. Extr Ind Soc. 2022(in press). DOI: 10.1016/j.exis.2021.101016

Galli A, Brugger C, Fürst T, Monnier N, Winkler M.S, Steinmann P. Prevalence, incidence, and reported global distribution of noma: a systematic literature review. Lancet Infect Dis. 2022(in press). DOI: 10.1016/S1473-3099(21)00698-8

Long K.Z et al. Impact of a school-based health intervention program on body composition among South African primary schoolchildren: results from the KaziAfya cluster-randomized controlled trial. BMC Med. 2022;20:27. DOI: 10.1186/s12916-021-02223-x

Machado L.M.G, Dos Santos E.S, Cavaliero A, Steinmann P, Ignotti E. Spatio-temporal analysis of leprosy risks in a municipality in the state of Mato Grosso-Brazilian Amazon: results from the leprosy post-exposure prophylaxis program in Brazil. Infect Dis Poverty. 2022;11:21. DOI: 10.1186/s40249-022-00943-7

Mationg M.L et al. “The Magic Glasses Philippines”: a cluster randomised controlled trial of a health education package for the prevention of intestinal worm infections in schoolchildren. Lancet Reg Health West Pac. 2022;18:100312. DOI: 10.1016/j.lanwpc.2021.100312