USAID launches $15-million project enhancing DOH services

Published May 31, 2018, 10:00 PM

by Mario Casayuran and Vanne Elaine Terrazola

Cotabato City – The United States Agency for International Development (USAID) launched on Tuesday a five-year project worth P750 million ($15 million) to help the Department of Health (DOH) strengthen its workforce skills to respond better to the country’s health needs, Manila’s US Embassy announced.

The project launch came with the theme – “Investing in Health Workforce Saves Lives,” the embassy said in a statement sent to media outlets Wednesday

USAID Mission Director Lawrence Hardy II and DOH Undersecretary Roger Tong-An led the launching rite in Manila as keynote speakers.

“Through your commitment and our work together, we are confident that the Philippines will continue to build a strong and resilient health system,” Hardy told officials present at the ceremony.

About 30,000 medical doctors, nurses, dentists, medical technologists and midwives serve the needs of 106 million Filipinos.  These professionals have divergent skills and are unequally distributed across the country, the DOH said.

The nationwide project called Human Resources for Health in 2030 (HRH2030) “will address this disparity by building the capacity of the DOH to train, deploy and manage health workers, ultimately expanding access to quality family planning, maternal and child health, and tuberculosis services for vulnerable populations,” proponents said.

With the project, “the DOH intends to accelerate reforms in service delivery in order to create demand for a holistic client experience,” Health Undersecretary Gerardo Bayugo said.

“In addition, we are working to address the unequal distribution of human resources for health in the country, especially in underserved areas,” Bayugo pointed out.

The project costing P750 million or $15 million is part of a global initiative supported by the USAID in more than 20 countries, to further its vision of sustained, equitable access to responsive, high-quality health services, the embassy statement said.