The Government of Sweden and the Clinton Health Access Initiative (CHAI) today announced a partnership to accelerate progress in Africa toward the goals of Sexual and Reproductive Health and Universal Health Coverage (UHC).
The new partnership will provide US$34 million to support CHAI’s technical assistance to governments across Africa to strengthen and finance resilient health care systems that in turn ensure equitable access to quality primary care and sexual and reproductive health services. This includes sharing learnings from focus countries in South Africa, Ethiopia, Rwanda, Malawi, Nigeria, Eswatini and Uganda, as well as engagement with regional institutions and champions.
Håkan Juholt, Ambassador of Sweden remarked, “Sexual and reproductive health and rights is fundamental part of the social contract. Ensuring equitable distribution of resources and access to services is ultimately about social justice.”
Across Africa, governments are committed to this goal of addressing sexual and reproductive health needs, despite significant challenges including the COVID-19 pandemic and subsequent economic fallout. The new technical assistance program will support governments to ensure that all people can access the lifesaving services they need, closer to where they live, without paying more than they can afford.
CHAI Country Director and Senior Global Director for Universal Health Coverage, Prof. Yogan Pillay stated, “Partnering with governments in the region will contribute to strengthening health care systems towards the achievement of universal health coverage. This new funding will help support primary health care and improve access to sexual and reproductive health services within a rights-based approach."
Raphael Hurley, Senior Director, Health Financing at CHAI added, “We are incredibly appreciative of this support from the Swedish Government, which equips CHAI to provide technical assistance to partner governments. Now more than ever, as Ministries of Health and Finance are facing the first recession in decades and competing needs, it is critical to protect the gains that have been made and demonstrate progress.”
The partnership will bring together governments, civil society, health care providers and patients to swing back the scales of inequality in global health.
“The provision of sexual and reproductive health services such as contraceptive services, maternal and newborn care, and prevention and treatment of HIV and AIDS through integrated primary health care, extending services into communities is absolutely critical to reaching those furthest left behind – this partnership will help do just that,” said Mikaela Hildebrand, Deputy Head of Sweden’s Africa team for Sexual and Reproductive Health and Rights.
The signing of this momentaneous initiative was marked by a roundtable discussion of key stakeholders in Pretoria on 20 June 2022.
For media inquiries, please contact:
Swedish Embassy in Pretoria
+27 78 403 0325
Clinton Health Access Initiative