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. more

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. more

Helen Prytherch

Helen Prytherch, PhD, MPH

Head of Unit, Project Leader
+41 61 284 86 86

“Responsive health systems are critical to the 2030 Sustainable Development Agenda.”

Medicines Management in Tanzania - a Public Private Partnership

Medicine storage in a health dispensary, Tanzania

Health facilities in Tanzania receive their medicine supply from the Medical Stores Department. For a variety of reasons, the availability of medicines is often insufficient, causing deep dissatisfaction amongst communities. Together with regional and local stakeholders, the regional Jazia Prime Vendor system has been established to supplement the Medical Stores Department with supplies from a single vendor, in a pooled regional approach. This is undertaken in the context of the Health Promotion and System Strengthening Project that we implement on behalf of the Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation. 

Leprosy Surveillance Systems in Asia, Africa and South America

Leprosy screening, Myanmar

On behalf of the Novartis Foundation the unit has designed and implements a surveillance and reporting system to monitor the extent to which those exposed access prophylaxis. The key outcomes of the project include its impact on leprosy incidence (strengthened contact tracing and recipients over time versus non-recipients), as well as in the general population, the impact on treatment outcome of leprosy cases (LPEP recipients versus non-recipients and general population) as well as regarding the feasibility, economics, perception and acceptability of Leprosy Post-Exposure Prophylaxis.

Project: Leprosy Post-Exposure Prophylaxis


Climate Change Adaption to Improve Livelihoods in Peru

Quinoa cultivation, Andean high plateau

The impact of climate variability on livelihood systems is the focus on scientific and public-policy attention due to rising concern about the effects of climate change. In this context, sustainable, climate-resilient agricultural production contributes substantially to occupation, food security and nutrition and, thus to population health.  The project CLIMANDES 2 is funded by the Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation. Swiss TPH supports the implementation which is led by the Federal Office of Meteorology and Climatology (MeteoSwiss).

Climate Change

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Selected projects at this location: