The health sector in Albania is facing a number of challenges, ranging from sustainable financing and resource mobilization to health service management and challenges regarding citizen’s participation, steering and governance of the sector. The development and strengthening of Primary Health Care (PHC) services along health promotion for better non-communicable disease (NCD) control, until recently largely neglected, has become a cornerstone of health reform, along with the shift of resources to these areas.
Objectives and Aims
The overall goal of the Health for All Project (HAP) is that the Albanian population, including the most vulnerable, benefit from better health thanks to improved primary health care services and health promotion activities.
Expected outcomes are:
- Central government, donors and other relevant actors’ engagement in the health system reform leads to better management and provision of services through qualified health professionals.
- Citizens in target regions, especially the marginalized and vulnerable groups, have increased access to more decentralized, affordable, quality primary health services.
The Health for All Project (HAP) follows a “health system strengthening” approach, whereby various players in the health system are supported both on the demand side (current and potential users of PHC services, vulnerable and poor groups, citizens and their participation and health literacy) and the supply side (PHC providers including through better infrastructure and equipment, health managers both at local and national level through training and continuous medical education).
Within the first outcome the governance, management and provision of health services shall be improved. The project provides support to health and territorial reform as well as institutional and individual capacities in health management through setting-up a modular health management training course offered by the University of Tirana. Within the second outcome citizens in target regions, especially the marginalized and vulnerable groups shall have increased access to more decentralized, affordable, quality primary health services. An essential element consists in tailoring the service package offered by PHC service to the prevailing burden of disease in Albania which is dominated by NCDs as well as towards the inclusion of the elderly and poor and vulnerable populations. The activities also include activities on health district strengthening within on-going reforms and offering trainings on health management for health managers working at different levels of the health system in Albania, strengthening Continuous Medical Education (CME) for PHC providers (both doctors and nurses) including peer review groups (quality circles), mentoring of health professionals at PHC level and E-learning approaches. Given the infrastructure conditions prevailing in rural areas of Albania, the project conducts investments in the infrastructure and equipment for PHC services along the capacity development of health professionals.
With respect to the first outcome HAP has provided assistance to key health reforms namely the development of Health Promotion Action Plan 2016-2020 and the drafting of the models of Primary Health Care. A health management training course offered by the University of Tirana is being set-up and the first around twenty trainees will be enrolled in 2017.
Concerning the second outcome a range of activities improve quality of care at PHC level through the set-up of Peer Review Groups for PHC doctors and nurses in Diber and Fier and investments in the infrastructure and equipment of PHC services. Further, several community participatory health promotion activities were implemented so to improve the health literacy related to prevention and control of type 2 diabetes, hypertension, smoking, alcohol and illicit drugs consumption among teenagers, women’s and child health.
The prime beneficiaries of the Health for All Project (HAP) are (1) General population, including mothers and children, adults and children as well as the elderly, living in the two regions (Diber and Fier) covered by the project through benefitting from improved access to quality PHC services, improved health literacy as well as more accountable health services; (2) Poor and vulnerable population groups (such as the Roma, Egyptians, people receiving economic assistance, adults and children with disabilities and internal migrants) benefitting from better access to health services and improved health literacy, (3) PHC Services, namely family doctors and nurses as well as health managers benefitting from improved education and training measures translating into improved behavioural and technical knowledge and professional competencies.
Further lines of action/next steps
The project is currently in the middle of its first phase.
Other important information
The project “Health for All Programme” is financed by the Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation (SDC) and implemented by the Swiss TPH in collaboration with Terre des hommes and Save the Children. HAP covers two regions (Dibër and Fier).