Devastated health facilities and a diminished health care workforce harm the health of the entire population, but women and newborns are at particular risk due to high fertility rates, malaria, HIV/AIDS, poor sanitation and hygiene, and lack of safe birthing services. USAID is assisting organizations in delivering essential health services to underserved areas and contributing to national health planning and training, as well as to refurbishing facilities.
USAID is working through community health volunteers to expand community-based services in lieu of opening new health facilities and engage community leaders to support an enabling environment for increased utilization of priority health services. Through these efforts USAID hopes to increase use of services such as skilled-birth attendance and birth preparedness to reduce maternal mortality; family planning to reduce unintended pregnancies, which contribute to both maternal and child mortality and population growth; appropriate feeding practices; and activities to reduce the burden of the main causes of death and disease among children such as malaria, diarrhea and pneumonia.
USAID is also focusing on increasing public-private partnerships to leverage their networks, expertise and funding, extending the reach of health services. Currently these partnerships include spraying for mosquitoes to prevent malaria, voluntary family planning activities, and access to water, sanitation and hygiene facilities.
Last updated: May 10, 2013