Primary Health Care

Health worker vaccinating a baby in Madagascar

Strengthening Sustainable Improvements in Quality of Care

Through the USAID ACCESS program, our goal is to reach 16 million people in 14 of Madagascar’s 26 regions with reproductive, maternal, newborn, child, and adolescent health services; improve gender equity; and reduce gender-based violence. ACCESS’ primary health care interventions include improving newborn resuscitation practices in health facilities to reduce preventable neonatal mortality from asphyxia, which is the second leading cause of death among Malagasy newborns. Through ACCESS, we support donations of newborn resuscitation equipment, health worker clinical trainings, awareness-raising efforts at the community level with pregnant women on pregnancy danger signs, and correct documentation and reporting of newborn resuscitation. Between 2021 and 2022, in the 11 ACCESS-supported regions, the successful newborn resuscitation rate in health centers increased from 74.5% to 80.6%. 

Building Person-Centered, Integrated Local Systems for Primary Health Care

Primary health care is critical to ensuring that health care is equitable and meets the needs of individuals and communities. A strong, responsive, and sustainable primary health care system is essential for achieving universal health coverage, maintaining population health, and preventing the spread of infectious disease while reducing the burden of noncommunicable diseases and health care costs. Primary health care acts as the first point of contact with the health system and provides integrated, person-centered care to communities across the continuum of care—from prevention to treatment to rehabilitation or palliative care.

By providing care in the community, as well as care through the community, primary health care addresses not only individual and family health needs but also the broader issue of public health and the needs of defined populations.  At MSH, all of our current projects contain primary health care, a pillar of our health systems strengthening approach, as we work with governments and local organizations to facilitate strong health systems that are affordable and accessible, responsive to people and their communities, and provide lifesaving health services at every stage of life. 

Our approach: 

  • Delivers high quality primary health care by serving as the first point of contact for all people and providing continual, comprehensive, coordinated, and person-centered care across the lifespan 
  • Meets people’s health needs throughout their lives 
  • Addresses the broader determinants of health through multisectoral policy and action 
  • Empowers individuals, families, and communities to take charge of their own health 

Highlights

MSH supports integrated packages of health services with people-centered care models and has strengthened the capacities of health systems—from the policy level to last-mile service delivery—to implement them. Our current and recent work includes:  

Afghanistan

AFIAT and UHI in build on decades of collaboration between MSH and the Afghan government to reinvigorate and strengthen the provision of integrated health services.  

Guatemala

Utz’ Na’n works with health facility teams and over 1,300 comadronas to strengthen high-quality, culturally responsive care and increase community outreach to improve the health of pregnant indigenous women and their newborns. 

Malawi

ONSE helped to reach 2 million children under five and 1.5 million pregnant women with nutrition programs and supported 268 facilities to improve treatment for severe acute malnutrition in line with international standards across 16 districts. 

Benin

IHSA works to expand high-impact integrated health and gender-based violence services. The percentage of pregnant women attending antenatal care who received three doses of preventive malaria treatment has increased from 26% at project start to a current 44%. 

Management Sciences for Health works with countries and communities to build strong, resilient, sustainable health systems that can provide equitable and affordable access to high-quality health services for all who need them. A critical component of achieving high-quality primary health care is our focus on Person-Centered Care, which involves empowering people to take charge of their own health rather than being passive recipients of health services. This video looks at a few examples of how MSH works with governments and local organizations to build person-centered integrated local systems for primary care in Malawi, Guatemala, and Bangladesh.
With her community struggling to access proper health care, a local health volunteer and leader, Babera Georgette rallied her neighbors to build a new health center. Georgette had received training on community health messaging, leadership, gender equality, and promoting healthy behavior change through the USAID Mikolo project. And she led her friends and neighbors to get the job done, a vibrant example of self-reliant, community-led health care.

Meet Our Technical Experts

Please direct all inquiries or speaking engagement requests to one from our Technical Experts to Jordan Coriza at jcoriza@msh.org or 617-250-9107.

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