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Global Health

Mom and baby nutrition
This mother in Assiut governorate attends a healthy nutrition class with her child. USAID helps community health workers provide low cost interventions such as health education through home visits and at primary health clinics.
Mohamed Abdelwahab for USAID

Overview

For over 40 years, USAID has worked with the Egyptian people to improve their health by supporting maternal and child health and nutrition, immunizations, voluntary family planning, and community health worker home visits that are essential to the health of mothers and babies.

Egypt’s health challenges disproportionately affect the rural poor and have the potential to impact the country’s economic prosperity more broadly over the long-term.  In Egypt, poor women are 20 percent less likely to receive regular antenatal care than wealthy women, and under-5 mortality for the poorest children is 42 deaths per 1,000 live births, versus 19 in the wealthiest quintile.  Current threats include high rates of stunting as a result of chronic malnutrition and one of the highest rates of Hepatitis C in the world, as seven percent of Egyptians between the ages of 15 and 59 suffer from chronic Hepatitis C.

Egypt's 2014 Demographic and Health Survey recorded a globally unprecedented 17 percent increase in the country’s total fertility rate since 2008, as well as a reduction in key best practices related to good maternal and child health, such as early and exclusive breastfeeding.  Some of these trends can be linked to low-quality health care services, poor health behaviors, and weak management of public health systems.

To improve health and promote a stronger workforce, USAID is working in partnership with Egypt’s Ministry of Health and Population to improve key areas of intervention including voluntary family planning; maternal, neonatal, and child health and nutrition; emerging and infectious disease detection and response; health communication; and, support for research to improve information on key health topics.

USAID’s programs improve healthy behaviors; enhance the quality of health services; and help the Government of Egypt guide policy and program design by supporting research, monitoring, and training in key areas such as voluntary family planning and infectious disease prevention.  USAID programs in Egypt place particular emphasis on poor and underserved populations, including women, youth, and those in geographical areas where there are severe health disparities.  USAID also works to address gender inequalities in the health sector.

Activities

IMPROVING MATERNAL, CHILD HEALTH, AND NUTRITION SERVICES IN EGYPT:  Community Health Workers (CHWs) serve as a vital connection between Egypt’s health system and rural and urban communities throughout Egypt.  In coordination with the Ministry of Health and Population, this activity strengthens the nationwide CHW program through curriculum development, training for all 14,000 CHWs, and implementation of best practices to ensure quality care for rural populations.  The activity initially conducted a strategic review and assessment of Egypt’s CHW program to evaluate its strengths and areas for improvement.  This assessment helped support the development of a comprehensive CHW strategy for Egypt, and the Ministry of Health and Population is implementing recommendations from the assessment through technical assistance from the activity.  Ultimately, CHWs will gain valuable information about the latest advances in primary healthcare provision, and can help their communities be more informed about important health topics and adopt healthy behaviors.  Implementing Partner: Save the Children; Life of Project: April 2015 – June 2019; Total Estimated Cost: $5.9 million; Governorates: 23 governorates, including North Sinai (not active in Alexandria, Cairo, New Valley, or Suez)

FAMILY PLANNING THROUGH THE PRIVATE SECTOR:  One of Egypt’s greatest challenges is its exponential population growth, with about 1.3 million Egyptians born every six months. This activity addresses the family planning and reproductive health needs of Egyptian youth by raising their awareness of family planning practices and strategies and increasing their access to voluntary family planning services through the private sector.  The activity focuses on two groups of young people as potential clients: male and female factory workers and male and female youth with secondary or university education in urban areas.  Using peer educators trained through the activity, one-on-one support as well as group activities to discuss concepts such as birth spacing and healthy mothers and babies are provided to activity participants.  Implementing Partner: Population Council; Life of Project: October 2016 – September 2020; Total Estimated Cost: $4 million; Governorates: Port Said and Sohag

STRENGTHENING EGYPT’S FAMILY PLANNING PROGRAM:  The Government of Egypt has identified population growth as one of the biggest challenges facing Egypt, and it has expressed a desire to strengthen its family planning and reproductive health services.  In response, USAID provides technical assistance and training for Ministry of Health and Population staff to improve the quality of voluntary family planning services and information, in an effort to stem the rapid total fertility rate in Egypt.  Implementing Partner: John Snow, Inc.; Life of Project: December 2017 – December 2022; Total USAID Funding: $19.2 million; Governorates: Aswan, Assiut, Beni Suef, Fayoum, Giza, Luxor, Minya, Qena, Sohag, and in marginalized areas in Cairo and Alexandria

PROGRAM TO IMPROVE QUALITY AND SAFETY OF HEALTHCARE IN EGYPT:  This activity supports the efforts of Egypt’s Ministry of Health and Population to reduce the incidence of infections originating in hospitals by instituting a national surveillance system for hospital-acquired infections and antimicrobial resistance in intensive care units.  This activity focuses on intensive care units that have tools such as microbiological culture sampling to identify hospital-acquired infections of patients and that have dedicated intensive-care physicians and nurses.  To date, 435 intensive care units at 115 hospitals (110 public and university; five private), representing 86 percent of Egypt’s total intensive care capacity, are participating in the activity.  Implementing Partner:  Naval Medical Research Unit (NAMRU) 3; Life of Project: March 2014 – September 2019; Total Estimated Cost: $2.5 million; Governorates: All except North Sinai

SUPPORTING THE ELIMINATION OF HEPATITIS C IN EGYPT:  This activity contributes to Egypt’s national goal of eliminating Hepatitis C by 2023, and is in full alignment with the National Plan of Action for the Prevention, Care, and Treatment of Viral Hepatitis – Egypt’s roadmap for eliminating Hepatitis C.  Activities focus on strengthening the capacity of the Ministry of Health and Population staff to implement and monitor Hepatitis C prevention activities; supporting research on prevention, diagnosis, and treatment; reinforcing infection control practices; and, empowering the healthcare community through enhanced awareness, surveillance, and prevention. Implementing Partner: World Health Organization; Life of Project: April 2018 – April 2020; Total Estimated Cost: $2.5 million; Governorates: Conducted at a national level in partnership with the Ministry of Health and Population

AVIAN INFLUENZA PREVENTION AND CONTROL: Over the past 13 years, USAID has invested more than $40 million to support GOE efforts to prevent and control avian influenza. Although USAID/Egypt’s direct support to prevent avian influenza ended in 2015, additional support is currently provided through USAID’s Global Health Security and Development program, which seeks to reduce the risk of human exposure by reducing infections in poultry.  Implementing Partner: Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations; Life of Project: February 2015 – December 2019; Total Estimated Cost: $5.4 million; Governorates: Conducted at a national level in partnership with the General Organization of Veterinary Services (GOVS)/Ministry of Agriculture and Land Reclamation

Last updated: October 30, 2019

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