RESEARCH TRIANGLE PARK, N.C. — RTI International (RTI), a nonprofit research and international development institute, has been selected by the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) to lead a new five-year project to address the key drivers of maternal, newborn, and child morbidity and mortality in five regions of Senegal. The USAID Integrated District Health project will strengthen the capacity and commitment of Senegal’s health system at the district and regional levels to provide improved malaria, maternal and child health, family planning, nutrition, and water, sanitation, and hygiene services. The $55.5 million award is projected to be carried out until 2026.
Senegal has made significant strides in improving health outcomes for its population through investment in maternal, newborn and child health interventions and high-level endorsement of and commitment to universal health coverage. However, deeply rooted challenges persist, particularly in the regions of Diourbel (centre), Kédougou, Kolda, Sédhiou, and Tambacounda (south-east) – challenges marked by inequitable service delivery across a decentralized, complex health system.
“Many of the challenges Senegal faces related to health service delivery are interconnected, and therefore require an integrated response,” said Richard Reithinger, vice president for global health at RTI. “We are proud to partner with USAID and the Government of Senegal to take a holistic approach to strengthening health systems that focuses on locally-led solutions and ultimately results in better health outcomes for the Senegalese people.”
To address these challenges and support the Government of Senegal in achieving universal health coverage for its citizens, the program will work at the regional, district, health facility, and community levels in the five target regions. The project will strengthen systems; increase access to services; improve the quality of services; and increase engagement of communities, civil society organizations, the private sector and local governments in the oversight and management of health care.
A key aspect of the approach is a dual-purpose grants program to facilitate district plans and activities and incentivize the development of locally co-created, scalable innovations for transformative impacts on Senegal’s health system.
“We see this project as a catalyst that will support Senegal to deliver sustainable improvements in health outcomes, particularly for the most vulnerable women and children,” said Cristina Bisson, director of health systems at RTI.
RTI will lead a consortium including PATH, ADEMAS, AcDev, and CICODEV. The team brings extensive experience reforming health care delivery and policy across the continuum of care in Senegal. USAID Integrated District Health will collaborate closely with other USAID activities in Senegal that are focused on strengthening the central health system and addressing urban health. It will leverage RTI’s experience in health systems strengthening and more than 25 years working in Senegal across sectors, including successful collaboration with the public and private sectors to improve services in health, education, food security, and water and sanitation through the USAID Governance for Local Development (GoLD) project.
To learn more about RTI’s work in global health, visit: https://www.rti.org/globalhealth