Click on the image to view the full SHOPS Project timeline. Recently, the Strengthening Health Outcomes through the Private Sector (SHOPS) project, led by Abt Associates, held events marking the conclusion of SHOPS’ programs in Jordan and Malawi. The SHOPS project – USAID’s flagship initiative in private sector health – has operated in two dozen countries since launching in July 2010.
Both events highlighted the achievements of each country program focused on family planning, private sector health, partnerships, and other subjects. Speakers at the events also discussed the challenges and opportunities each country faces going forward on these and other issues.
“These events provide key opportunities to build on the lessons learned by SHOPS and its partners during the last few years,” said Susan Mitchell, Director of the SHOPS project.
Expanding Access to, Quality of Family Planning Services
The SHOPS Project in Jordan, known as Ta’ziz Tanzim al Usra, focused on expanding the availability, quality, and use of family planning services through partnership with the private sector. Its concluding event was held in Amman on Aug. 17.
The Ta’ziz project partnered with the Jordan Association for Family Planning and Protection (JAFPP) to expand and improve the quality of its clinic facilities and family planning services, and to strengthen its management, governance, and revenue generation systems. JAFPP is the largest NGO providing family planning and reproductive health services in Jordan.
Ta’ziz also worked with the Islamic Center Charity Society, the Hussein Labor Clinics, and the Institute for Family Health to reach a broader network of beneficiaries. Within the private sector, the project:
- Enhanced a network of private physicians and pharmacists to increase and expand their capacity to provide high quality family planning services and evidence-based information about contraceptives to clients;
- Enhanced the efforts of private hospitals to reach women during the postpartum stage and counsel them on the benefits of family planning; and
- Collaborated with public universities to institutionalize an evidence-based reproductive health approach as part of the medical curriculum.
Strengthening the Private Health Sector
A SHOPS-trained mason (L) describes the project’s new transitional latrine design using a 3D printed model. On the right are Dr. Charles Mwansambo, chief of health services for the Ministry of Health, and Peter Halpert, health office chief for USAID/Malawi.
Photo credit: Sarah Sparks The SHOPS project in Malawi hosted its end-of-project event in Lilongwe on Aug. 19. The event highlighted the project’s work improving the enabling environment for the private sector with the goal of:
- Improving access to quality health care services;
- Strengthening the capacity of nonprofit health facilities to deliver priority services in a sustainable manner;
- Increasing the commercial sector’s role in delivering priority health services; and
- Increasing demand for diarrhea prevention and treatment products and services.
Peter Halpert, health office director for USAID/Malawi, discussed USAID’s support of SHOPS work at the event, starting with a private sector assessment to determine the size, scope, strengths, and areas of improvement of the Malawian private health sector.
“From SHOPS we have learned we can collaborate and leverage resources between the public and private health sectors to further improve health outcomes,” Halpert said.
Dr. Charles Mwansambo, chief of health services for the Malawi Ministry of Health, congratulated the SHOPS team on their accomplishments, and discussed how the private health sector could work with the Ministry of Health to better reach the country’s health goals. SHOPS staff presented on the progress SHOPS had made in the private sector in the past four years.
The milestone event concluded with a recognition of the need for joint public and private provider trainings, further support of the MOH Public-Private Partnership Unit and national regulatory bodies, engagement of non-health corporations, creation of a private health care federation and a private sector solution to commodities, as well as development of innovative health financing options to expand access to the private health sector among low-income households.