Central Data Catalog

Citation Information

Type Journal Article - International journal for quality in health care
Title Afghanistan's national strategy for improving quality in health care
Publication (Day/Month/Year) 2013
Page numbers 0-0
URL http://intqhc.oxfordjournals.org/content/early/2013/03/12/intqhc.mzt013.full
Quality problem or issue When the Ministry of Public Health (MoPH) of the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan began reconstructing the health system in 2003, it faced serious challenges. Decades of war had severely damaged the health infrastructure and the country's ability to deliver health services.

Initial assessment A national health resources assessment in 2002 revealed huge structural and resource disparities fundamental to improving health care. For example, only 9% of the population was able to access basic health services, and about 40% of health facilities had no female health providers, severely constraining access of women to health care. Multiple donor programs and the MoPH had some success in improving quality, but questions about sustainability, as well as fragmentation and poor coordination, existed.

Plan of action In 2009, MoPH resolved to align and accelerate quality improvement efforts as well as build structural and skill capacity.

Implementation The MoPH established a new quality unit within the ministry and undertook a year-long consultative process that drew on international evidence and inputs from all levels of the health system to developed a National Strategy for Improving Quality in Health Care consisting of a strategy implementation framework and a five-year operational plan.

Lessons Learned Even in resource-restrained countries, under the most adverse circumstances, quality of health care can be improved at the front-lines and a consensual and coherent national quality strategy developed and implemented.

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