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Isabel Ana

Senior Health Systems Strengthening Specialist, Improved Family Planning Initiative Project, Mozambique

Dr. Isabel Ana Nhatave has over 20 years of experience implementing STI/HIV/AIDS; family planning; maternal, newborn, and child health; and cervical cancer programs with a focus on health system strengthening. Dr. Nhatave has worked with national, provincial, and district-level governments and with local health facilities to build health system capacity, including health service management, human resources for health, supply chain management, and quality improvement processes. She has successfully advocated for the establishment of technical working groups and quality improvement and management committees and directorates across health areas within the Mozambique Ministry of Health.

Currently, Dr. Nhatave is Abt’s most senior staff member in the Pathfinder-led, five-year USAID Improved Family Planning Initiative project in Mozambique, which strives to improve maternal and child health outcomes through increased use of voluntary family planning. The project has a substantial health system strengthening (HSS) component, which Abt leads under Dr. Nhatave’s technical guidance and management. Currently in its first year, the project will improve commitment to the national family planning program across health system levels; strengthen cross-sectoral coordination across relevant governmental agencies; and build capacity for collection, collation, and use of data for decision-making.

Previously, Dr. Nhatave served as HSS Senior Advisor on the predecessor Integrated Family Planning Project. A key accomplishment was implementing the Abt-created Management Standards Compliance (MSC) tool for the first time in a sexual and reproductive health context, resulting in improved district management capacity. Districts had fewer stock-outs, used data for decision-making, and improved facility reporting into national systems. Dr. Nhatave successfully advocated for the Mozambique Ministry of Health to adopt the MSC tool, which is now included in the government’s work plans and recommended to be scaled to all districts. Prior to working at Abt, Isabel worked on maternal and child HSS projects at Jhpiego in Mozambique.


  • Health system strengthening, including services management and quality improvement
  • Reproductive, maternal, newborn, and child health; family planning
  • Data for decision-making
  • Health policy, strategies, guidelines, standards, and checklists development
  • Capacity building, technical assistance, and supervision
  • Multisectoral coordination

Key Projects:

  • Improved Family Planning Initiative (IFPI) - Abt
  • Integrated Family Planning Program (IFPP) - Abt
  • Maternal Child Survival Program- Jhpiego
  • Maternal Child Health Integrated Program I and II - Jhpiego
  • Forte Saudi - Chemonics International, Jhpiego, HKI, HAI and IT Shows
  • DREAM - Drug Resources Against Aids and Malnutrition - Community of Sant’ Egidio


  • Involving the Community in Improving Quality and Humanization of Health Care: A Principle of an Approach 2014.
  • Setting the Grounds to Improve Quality and Humanize Health Care: The Case of Mozambique, 2013
  • Improving the quality of maternal and child health care in Mozambique: Progress, challenges and lessons learned, 2010.
  • What’s in a name? Policy transfer in Mozambique: DOTS for tuberculosis and syndromic management of sexually transmitted infections, 2004.
  • Syndromic management of sexually transmitted infections: Policyransfer in Mozambique, 2002

Countries Served In:

  • Mozambique
Isabel Ana Nhatave