Gabon Launches New Program and Partnership with MSH to Make Modern Health System Accessible to All

 {Photo credit: Ministry of Health of the Republic of Gabon}First Deputy Prime Minister of Gabon, Paul Biyoghe Mba (right), and MSH Executive Vice President, Paul Auxila (left), at the launch of PAPNDS.Photo credit: Ministry of Health of the Republic of Gabon

On Friday, April 8, the Gabon Ministry of Health launched a technical assistance agreement with Management Sciences for Health (MSH) that will help reform Gabon’s health sector, with a particular focus on improving maternal and child health outcomes. Known by the French-language acronym, PAPNDS, the Technical Assistance Program for Implementation of the National Health Plan was first envisioned by Gabonese President Ali Bongo Ondimba as a path to creating a model health care system for Africa, and as a key aspect of an overall strategy aimed at transforming Gabon into an emerging economy in the next ten years.

The program's health system priorities include improving the range of healthcare services; health leadership, management, and governance; results-based financing systems, human resource capacity, health information systems, and the availability of essential medical products.

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LIBREVILLE, Gabon, April 8, 2016/APO (African Press Organization)/ -- The Ministry of Health of the Republic of Gabon officially launched its Technical Support Program for the National Health Development Plan (NHDP) in Gabon (known by the French acronym, PAPNDS), for which the American non-profit organization, Management Sciences for Health (MSH), will provide technical support.

Held in the presence of the First Deputy Prime Minister Paul Biyoghe Mba, in charge of Health, Social Security and National Solidarity, this launch saw a gathering of the different project development partners, including the World Health Organization (WHO), the World Bank, the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA), the French Development Agency (AFD), and UNICEF.

This program aims to implement the objectives enshrined in the NHDP, which, as envisaged by the President of the Republic, Ali Bongo Ondimba, consists in developing a modern and more accessible health system, particularly for vulnerable people.

"Gabon must ensure equal access to healthcare services for all. This is why the Ministry is launching this plan, which aims to bring about an improvement in the range of healthcare services in Gabon, and to roll out state-of-the-art equipment throughout the country. This is in accordance with the equal opportunity programme launched by the Head of State," the Deputy Prime Minister stated.

For the first year, MSH will assist government action in four priority areas: improvements to the range of healthcare services, health management, results-based financing systems and the availability of essential medical products.

Working in more than 130 countries for more than 40 years, MSH is committed to efforts to reduce the maternal mortality rate in Gabon by 65 percent over the next five years. The public-private partnership between the Health Ministry and MSH will also enable the provision of full vaccine cover for the country against polio, meningitis, tuberculosis, pneumococcal diseases, hepatitis B, measles and yellow fever, as well as guaranteeing the procurement of medicines for healthcare structures.

"Each year, the development status of numerous countries is affected or delayed, millions of lives are wiped out and too many deaths are caused by pathologies and diseases that are avoidable or treatable through proven and affordable approaches and solutions," said Paul Auxila, Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer at MSH.

As part of its mission, MSH contributes to filling the gap that very often exists between knowledge, solutions and action in the field of public health, as in the Democratic Republic of Congo where its technical support has enabled some 150,000 children to be saved in less than four years.

Distributed by APO (African Press Organization) on behalf of the Ministry of Health of the Republic of Gabon. Content lightly edited by MSH.