Supporting Health System Strengthening Efforts in Armenia
The U.S. and Armenian governments have partnered for nearly 20 years to improve the quality and availability of health care services for the Armenian population. To sustain and institutionalize these improvements throughout Armenia, Abt Associates implemented the Health System Strengthening in Armenia (HS–STAR) project from January 2011 through March 2013. The goal of HS-STAR was to address key constraints in health financing, leadership and governance, human resources, and information systems that impede access to and delivery of quality health services in Armenia. The project relied on an approach that strengthened the core functions of the health system while improving the quality of care and increasing population knowledge in priority service areas, including maternal, neonatal, and child health (MNCH), reproductive health and family planning (RH/FP), tuberculosis (TB), non-communicable diseases (NCDs), and emergency care. The vast majority of activities were implemented through or in close collaboration with counterparts at the Ministry of Health and other local institutions. Despite an ambitious scope of work given its short duration, HS-STAR made significant progress in achieving its objectives and targets. The project:
- Succeeded in influencing 14 laws, policies, regulations, or guidelines and increasing the capacity of the Ministry of Health and a number of national health sector institutions;
- Supported the establishment of five independent primary health care (PHC) practices and helped the government introduce pay-for-performance in 100 percent of PHC facilities throughout Armenia;
- Trained 1,337 health care professionals in reproductive health, MNCH, NCDs, and emergency care and trained 2,404 people in non-clinical topics, such as behavior change communication and public-private partnerships during 177 capacity-building events; and
- Trained non-governmental health organizations in advocacy, developed 17 public education materials, and reached an estimated one-third of the population with TV and radio messages on NCDs, MNCH, and RH/FP topics.