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Strengthening systems and delivery of quality maternal, neonatal, and child health care services in Pakistan

In December 2007, USAID/Pakistan awarded the Pakistan Health System Strengthening Project (PHSP) to Abt Global Inc. and its implementing partners.  PHSP is a two-year activity to strengthen capacity in both the public and private health sectors to deliver quality maternal, neonatal and child health (MNCH) care services.  By helping to improve MNCH services, PHSP will contribute to improving the health and well-being of mothers, infants, and children under five in Pakistan, especially among vulnerable populations. PHSP will focus on improving skills and competencies of community midwives, while building the institutional capacity of training institutions and professional organizations. Community midwives are a critical ingredient for improving health outcomes for low-income and vulnerable populations.  Capacity building activities, primarily targeted toward two professional organizations — the Nursing Council (NC) of Pakistan and the Midwifery Association of Pakistan (MAP) — will contribute to improving the performance of midwives and nurses through training and other support services, at the same time increasing the management effectiveness and financial sustainability of the organizations themselves. Additionally, the project will support dissemination of health information for increased public awareness and improved policy and program decision-making related to MNCH.  We will provide technical support to government officials and train journalists in using data for decision-making, policymaking, and general community awareness, including results from the Pakistan Demographic and Health Survey.  The project also will work in 20 districts to raise citizens' awareness and encourage them to advocate with government officials and with the private sector to provide quality health services. Through a small grants program, PHSP will encourage the design and implementation of innovative solutions and approaches that make MNCH services more accessible and of higher quality.  We believe that, with modest grant assistance, the concerted effort of local sub-grantees can be harnessed over a one-year period to address health systems challenges in the public, private, or commercial sectors.  The focus of grant projects will be on public-private partnerships and innovative solutions to address public health problems and health systems issues. Lastly, the project will help strengthen essential drug and contraceptive logistics management systems at the federal, provincial and district levels to contribute to ensuring access to essential medicines and contraceptives throughout the country.  We will coordinate this activity closely with USAID's new family planning program, Family Advancement for Life and Health (FALAH).  FALAH will be working with local government to strengthen logistics at service delivery points below the district level in facilities and with health worker supervisors.  PHSP's assistance will focus on developing a computerized system to manage all aspects of drug and contraceptive supplies from the national to the district level; upgrading storage and inventory systems; and improving forecasting. To implement PHSP, Abt Global brings a respected consortium of both international and Pakistani partners that includes AASA Consulting (Anjum Asim Shahid Associates), Banyan Global, Internews, Johns Hopkins University School of Nursing (JHUSON), Logistics Management International (LMI), and UTi Pakistan.