20 YEARS OF PARTNERSHIP IN HEALTH
EMERGENCY FOOD AND MEDICAL AID
PRIMARY HEALTH CARE REFORM
USAID’s initial interventions were aimed at helping Albania overcome its economic collapse and instability, with a significant focus on humanitarian assistance in the form of food aid and medicines and other emergency responses.
• Beginning in 2004, USAID developed a comprehensive health information system that allowed primary health care facilities to collect and analyze patient data. The Clinical Service Information System was adopted by the government in 2008 and rolled out nationwide. • To improve the quality of healthcare in Albania, USAID established continuing medical education boards in five regions. Through this program, USAID trained over 1,200 general practitioners and more that 2,000 nurses since 2004. • USAID helped the Ministry of Health standardize the primary health care services in Albania’s health clinics. Since 2008, the Health Insurance Institute has integrated these services into health insurance coverage for all Albanians. • Beginning in 2005, USAID worked with the Health Insurance Institute to develop a “pay for performance” system which has improved the performance of primary health care clinics and patient care in Albania. • In 2009, USAID sponsored Albania’s first Demographic Health Survey (DHS) that collected up-to-date information on characteristics of Albanian households. This survey has been integral in identifying the needs of Albania’s changing demographics and will be an important tool for health institutions to design and allocate adequate resources for public health policies and programs.
• $93 million in food donations were provided from 1992-1995. • Between 1993-1994, USAID shipped $2.6 million of food for nutritionally at-risk mothers and children. • In the spring 1993, $2 million in medicines and medical supplies were delivered to all district hospitals.
HEALTH CARE PARTNERSHIPS
Women’s Reproductive Health • Building on USAID’s early work in family planning in the 1990’s, USAID continued to provide counseling and training to health care workers on reproductive health and family planning issues. Between 2002 and 2005, USAID trained more than 650 health care professionals in 244 service delivery sites in 20 districts. Today, more Albanian citizens have access to family planning services, HIV/AIDS and sexually transmitted infections (STI) care, and prenatal care and breastfeeding as a result of USAID’s programs. • In 2003, USAID provided training and equipment to introduce cervical cancer screening at the Women’s Wellness Center in Tirana, which serves as a nation-wide training facility. • In 2009, USAID’s ACCESS-FP program introduced innovative ways to improve the quality of pre- and post-partum family planning services and made possible Albania’s first national family planning protocols to standardize the delivery of family planning services. • In 2010, USAID provided medical equipment to Albania’s first national training center for obstetrics and gynecology at the Queen Geraldina Maternity Hospital in Tirana. The training center allows medical students to practice safe and effective clinical procedures for delivering babies and caring for mothers in Albania.
• Starting in 1996, USAID funded a hospital partnership with the Jacobi Hospital (Bronx, New York) and the Ministry of Health, the University Hospital Center, the Maternity Hospital and the Trauma Hospital to improve emergency medical services, women’s health care, and health administration and management. As a result of this and other partnerships, in 2000 USAID helped open the Women’s Wellness Center at the Tirana Maternity Hospital. • Through USAID’s program, a partnership between New York University’s Robert F. Wagner Graduate School of Public Service and the University of Tirana’s Medical School introduced a health management program that piloted strategic planning, financial management and cost accounting, medical records and pharmaceutical group purchasing in two hospitals. • To support health education, USAID initiated a partnership between the University of Tirana and New York University to develop a graduate program in health management and policy. • Other key partnerships include the Women and Infants Hospital of Providence, Rhode Island with the Tirana University Hospital for Obstetrics and Gynecology; The Magee Women’s Hospital of Pittsburgh with the Health Directorate of Lezha; and the Institute of Public Health in Bucharest, Romania with the Albanian Institute of Public Health.
PROJECTS 1991-1999 • Emergency Food Aid (1991-1993) Albanian Red Cross, International Red Cross • Health Care Partnerships and Health Management Education (1993-2004) • Women’s Reproductive Health Service Expansion & Technical Support (SEATS II) (1996-2000) • Family Planning Logistics Management-DELIVER (1996) • Promotion of Health Markets (1994-2002)
• The program will improve how health policies are formulated and implemented in Albania. • The program will introduce a Leadership Development Program to support the roles of health sector officials and practitioners in contributing to new and existing health reforms. • The program will also work with the Ministry of Health to identify relevant studies and analyses needed to support future policy development and resource planning.
In response to a dramatic decline in access to primary health facilities due to the closure of many rural health and maternity clinics, USAID’s health program in the 1990’s focused efforts on the areas of health management and administration.
EQUITABLE HEALTH REFORM
• USAID has established a National Telemedicine Center at the Mother Teresa University Hospital in Tirana, and five Regional Telemedicine Centers in Kukes, Shkoder, Durres, Korce, and Vlore. • The Office of Defense Cooperation/Tirana will reconstruct health facilities, so that USAID can expand its program and provide equipment and training at all 14 regional hospitals in Albania. • The centers will help provide better diagnosis, treatment, and prevention of diseases and injuries. To date, the National Telemedicine Center has established eight partnerships for teleconsultations with US and European hospitals and institutes, including the University of Arizona, the University of Chicago, Pritzker School of Medicine, and the Edward Via College of Osteopathic Medicine in Virginia. • These centers will allow regional hospitals to connect virtually with the main teaching hospital in Tirana. All the centers will be able to access a global virtual network of doctors and health facilities. • All health-related academic and professional associations will use the telemedicine network for continuing education.
PROJECTS 2011 AND BEYOND
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• Enabling Equitable Health Reforms in Albania (EEHR) (2010-2015) • Integrated Telemedicine and e-Health Program in Albania (2009-2012)
Health Care Financing (2002) short-term consultancies Reproductive Health Survey (2002-2003) Albanian Women’s Reproductive Health (1999-2003) Maternal and Child Health Technical Assistance and Support Contract (TASC) (2002-2006) Albania Child Survival Project (2003-2008) Primary Health Care Initiative (2000-2004) Rationalization of Pharmaceuticals (2000- 2005) HIV/AIDS Sentinel Surveillance System (2002-2005) Improving Primary Health Care in Albania: Pro Shëndetit (2003-2009) Albania Family Planning Activity (2004-2007) Avian and Human Pandemic Influenza Program (2006-2009) Primary Health Care Initiative in the Vlora Region of Albania (2006-2008) ACCESS-Family Planning (2007-2010) C-Change Albania (Communication for Behavior Change) (2007-2010) Demographic Health Survey (2007-2009)