The UK’s Department for International Development allocated funding in the amount of £182,899,146 to support the Government of the Democratic Republic of Congo’s efforts to improve the health of its citizens through the Access to Primary Health Care program. IMA World Health was selected as the consortium lead to implement this project in collaboration with the Ministry of Public Health. Four implementing partners support the program at the provincial level, namely SANRU, World Vision, CARITAS and International Rescue Committee; and four technical partners provide assistance at the national level: Tulane University (Operational Research), Pathfinder (Reproductive Health and Family Planning), HISP (Health Information Systems) and IntraHealth (Human Resource Information Systems).
Using a health systems strengthening approach, ASSP collaborates with the MOH at all levels of service delivery, including the national and provincial levels and with focused support to health zone, health facility and community levels. IMA and its partners ensure that more than 75% of the project resources are concentrated within the health zones for service delivery, empowerment, accountability and capacity building of local community service organizations, partners and MOH representatives.
The ASSP program is structured around the six WHO pillars of health systems strengthening, specifically:
- Enhanced health service delivery and quality
- Improved and sustained human resources
- Enhanced and appropriate use of medicines and technologies
- Increased affordability of health services
- Appropriate and enhanced use of health services
- Increased leadership and governance.
ASSP supports DRC’s National Health Development Plan by working to improve access to and coverage of primary health care services for 8 million people living within 52 health zones in five of the country’s 11 provinces, including Kasaï, Kasaï Central, Maniema, Nord-Ubangui and La Tshopo. ASSP aims to strengthen priority interventions such as the treatment of malaria, pneumonia, and diarrhea, nutrition, obstetrics and neonatal care, family planning, immunization, and water, hygiene and sanitation interventions that are delivered through the health system. These intervention packages are aimed at improving the health of the mother, newborn, and child, and thus allowed the DRC to achieve significant progress towards reaching Millennium Development Goals 4, 5 and 6.