Critical interactions between Global Fund-supported programmes and health systems: a case study in Lao People's Democratic Republic.

Mounier-Jack, S; Rudge, JW; Phetsouvanh, R; Chanthapadith, C; Coker, R; (2010) Critical interactions between Global Fund-supported programmes and health systems: a case study in Lao People's Democratic Republic. Health policy and planning, 25 Suppl 1. i37-42. ISSN 0268-1080 DOI:

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In Lao PDR, investment by the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria has played an important role in scaling up the response to HIV and tuberculosis (TB). As part of a series of case studies on how Global Fund-supported programmes interact with national health systems, we assessed the nature and extent of integration of the Global Fund portfolios within the national HIV and TB programmes, the integration of the HIV and TB programmes within the general health system, and system-wide effects of Global Fund support in Lao PDR. The study relied on a literature review and 35 interviews with key stakeholders using the Systemic Rapid Assessment Toolkit and thematic analysis. In Lao PDR, the HIV and TB programmes remain vertical and mostly weakly integrated with the general health system. However, Global Fund investments have extended the network of facilities delivering care at local level, resulting in greater integration with primary care and improved access for patients, particularly for TB. For HIV, as the prevalence remains low, services primarily target high-risk groups in urban areas. Less integrated functions include procurement and drug supply, and monitoring and evaluation. HIV and TB programmes are only starting to coordinate with each other. Global Fund-supported activities are generally integrated within the national disease programmes, except for monitoring and evaluation. Synergies of Global Fund support with the health system include improved access to services, institutional strengthening and capacity building, improved family planning (with wider condom distribution through HIV/AIDS social marketing programmes), and the delivery of add-on interventions, such as vaccinations and health education, alongside Global Fund-supported interventions at community level. Unintended consequences concern the lack of alignment between national stated priorities (maternal and child health) and the strong focus of external partners, such as the Global Fund, on financing communicable disease programmes.

Item Type: Article
Faculty and Department: Faculty of Public Health and Policy > Dept of Global Health and Development
Research Centre: Vaccine Centre
PubMed ID: 20966107
Web of Science ID: 283677900005


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