Iraq Health Systems Strengthening
In April 2003, the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) awarded the Abt Associates International Health practice area a $40 million contract to assist in stabilizing and strengthening the health system in post-conflict Iraq. Delivering healthcare services to the people of Iraq is a top priority of the U.S. government's reconstruction efforts, and the Iraq health system strengthening project is intended to provide immediate assistance for restarting essential health services. Abt Associates oversees an extensive international team of partners, contractors, and consultants with expertise in all aspects of health services, including emergency relief services and health care delivery; health systems assessment, process improvement, and reengineering; procurement and logistics; planning; health economics; disease surveillance; and data collection and information systems. Abt Associates is focusing on support for and collaboration with the Iraqi Ministry of Health (MOH), inclusion of private sector providers and consumers of health care, consideration of the cost and sustainability of health programs, and coordination with other international partners in the health-development community. The Iraq health system strengthening project is being implemented in stages that support and compliment Iraq health facility reconstruction and MOH strengthening using the following model:
- Re-equip renovated health facilities.
- Retrain health providers in basic skills.
- Involve Iraqi communities in health promotion.
- Support continuous quality improvement in health facilities.
- Provide evidence to measure performance of the health system.
- Use performance measurements to support additional interventions that further strengthen the Iraqi health system.