Monday, December 17, 2018

An eventful year 2018 is coming to an end for EPOS, and an exciting 2019 is just around the corner. We have made significant contributions to addressing some of the most critical health issues in developing countries.

Highlights of 2018

Achieving Universal Health Coverage (UHC) is one of the most pressing global issues. We are pleased to be able to leverage our expertise in health financing to improve access to affordable health care. In Sierra Leone, one of the least developed countries in the world, we recently started an intervention in health financing and social protection and are successfully completing a major project on social health insurance in Morocco: Millions of households are expected to benefit from improved insurance coverage.

Since January 2018, our team of experts in Tajikistan has been working to improve the quality of mother and child health care services. In Congo Brazzaville, we have restarted supporting a local social marketing organisation to increase the use of condoms among youth and other vulnerable groups. In Pakistan, our rural family planning project has raised awareness among more than 50,000 rural households about modern family planning methods and their benefits for women's health.  We have completed a successful project on vouchers for reproductive health services in Cambodia, targeting vulnerable groups. Vouchers were issued in six provinces and reached an impressive 25% of Cambodia’s disadvantaged population, securing their access to quality health services.  

Since the outbreak of Ebola in 2014, preparing developing countries for detecting and containing pandemics has been a high priority on the international development agenda. In the East African Community, we have revised the regional pandemic preparedness plan and recently tested its effectiveness in simulation exercises to be consolidated next year.  We continue to work in many fragile countries using innovative approaches to emergency health, mobile health and remote monitoring. In these rapidly changing environments, we have been able to deliver high-quality results, for example in Liberia, Yemen and Afghanistan.  In Yemen, where the war has led to a significant deterioration in the health system, we restarted to support rural communities and vulnerable groups and also to engage in mental health. In Liberia, we have helped midwives to access training and remote support in the most distant area of the country.  In Afghanistan, we are currently supporting the strengthening of telemedicine networks.

Thanks to the tireless commitment of our staff, we were able to achieve excellent results in a major project in the Philippines on health system strengthening. As part of our support to the health sector reform, we managed more than 75 different components with over 90 short-term experts. The first clinic for voluntary drug recovery in the country was successfully established under this project. Our projects on health sector reform in Angola and in Vietnam have been extended, and we look forward to restarting our engagement in Cameroon and strengthening reproductive health and family planning.

We stand for the modernization of health systems through innovations that are adapted to the context. Many ideas have been developed by our teams in different settings in Malawi, Liberia, Afghanistan, Tajikistan, Angola and Germany, which has helped us to move faster and improve knowledge sharing. With digitalization at the forefront, we have entered into partnerships to expand our expertise in e-health, mobile health solutions, virtual reality, artificial intelligence and deep learning, and to invest in new ideas that can help solve urgent health problems. You are warmly welcome to join our discussion and action!

We believe in driving transformation through our work, partnerships and mutual learning to work together for results that can change people’s thinking, attitudes, behavior and ultimately their health. Transformation takes time and commitment, and we are proud to be drivers and participants of change together with you all. We are deeply committed to creating and consolidating best practices to become centers of excellence and solid knowledge partnerships. Together, we make a sustainable contribution to the future of global health, striving to leave no-one behind.

Annual giving: think globally, act locally

We support local associations through our annual giving initiative. This year, our staff selected two not-for-profit organisations that improve the health of disadvantaged people. ‘Hamlin Fistula Ethiopia’ (www.hamlinfistula.org) is dedicated to the treatment and prevention of obstetric fistulas and medical training. ‘ProUganda’ (www.prouganda.de) is a not-for-profit association based around the corner here in Hessen, offering professional orthopedic services for people with physical disabilities in Uganda. With the help of prostheses, people achieve better mobility and social integration.

We wish you a peaceful ending of this year and a very good and healthy 2019, and look forward to continue our successful collaboration in the New Year!