Health Decentralization: The Long Road Traveled
The USAID/Paraguay Health Decentralization and Community Participation Project was launched more than 10 years ago. The project built and developed innovative solutions to improve the management of the health services through the regional and local health councils.
Between 2001 and 2011 the local NGO CIRD, with USAID support, provided technical assistance to the three levels of government (national, departmental and municipal), civil society organizations, and health facilities, so that basic health services could be designed and implemented through a participative process, thus delivering efficient, equitable and appropriate services in accordance with local needs.
The innovations introduced by the project included social pharmacies, decentralization agreements and the community health insurance. Throughout the decade these experiences were expanded throughout the country.
This work allowed the gradual adoption of a decentralized model of health management, which helped to improve access to health services for thousands of people.
- 212 regional health councils and local health councils assisted directly by USAID or by the Ministry of Health Direction of Decentralization, whose creation, consolidation and institutionalization was supported by USAID.
- 80 regional and local healthcare plans developed jointly with regional health councils and local health councils.
- 255 social pharmacies formed, providing services in 9 departments.
- 15 Health Councils implementing health information systems to optimize their administrative and financial management.
- 202 municipalities with decentralization agreements signed and implemented.
- 750 workshops executed on topics such as family planning, prevention of early pregnancy, sexually transmitted infections, HIV / AIDS, etc.
All these achievements were recognized and celebrated at a closing event held in Asunción on November 30, with the participation of the Vice-President of Paraguay, Doctor Luis Federico Franco Gomez, the Minister of Health and Social Welfare, Dr. Esperanza Martinez , the Ambassador of the United States, James Thessin, and the Director of USAID in Paraguay, Rose Rakas.
November 30, 2011