Honduras improves access to and quality of health services for the most vulnerable women and children


Results of the measurement of results of the Salud Mesoamérica Initiative show progress in access to health of the poorest 20 percent of the country’s population. As result of this, the Public Health Secretariat will receive 1.7 million Dollars for meeting the initiative’s goals.

April 17th 2018. The most vulnerable women and children of Honduras have improved access to quality health services in the past four years. The results of the measurements of the second Project of the Salud Mesoamérica Initiative (2013-2017) show important progress in access to health of the poorest 20 percent of the country’s population. Institutional delivery, which has gone from 68.6 percent in 2013 to represent 84.7 percent in 2017, stands out as one of the main achievements. Likewise, a noticeable increase has occurred in neonatal complications care in accordance with medical standards, increasing by 10 percent to 42.9 percent of the total in just three years. Prenatal care during the first trimester of pregnancy has substantially improved among the most vulnerable women of Honduras: in 2013, only 59.2 percent received this care while in 2017, this figure went up to 89 percent. Postpartum care in the first seven days after delivery also stands out, same that has gone from representing 47 percent in 2013 to occupying a 60.4 percent in 2017.

During the second half of 2017, the Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation (IHME) carried out a survey in the zones of the country where the Project was being implemented with the purpose of verifying if the goals foreseen before the operation had been met. IHME’s survey included 90 health centers and 2,439 households. After verifying that Honduras has been able to meet the goals foreseen with IDB and with the donors, it will receive an economic compensation of 1,750,000 Dollars that the Public Health Secretariat of Honduras will be able to invest in any health Project it considers of interest. The second operation of the Salud Mesoamérica Initiative began on May 28, 2015 and ended on May 28, 2017. This Project counted with a total budget of US$8,750,000 that were financed by the Government of Honduras and by the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) with funds from a group of donors made up by the Carlos Slim Foundation, the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and the Government of Spain.

The first operation of the Salud Mesoamérica Initiative in Honduras began on July 13, 2012 and ended on July 23, 2014 with a 10 million Dollar investment. In 2015, IDB verified that the country also met the goals described at the beginning of the Project, reason for which it proceeded to deliver two million Dollars to the Health Secretariat as award for meeting the agreements.

The Salud Mesoamérica Initiative (SMI) is a public-private initiative managed by the Inter-American Development (IDB) born in 2011 with the goal of supporting Mesoamerican countries to achieve the health goals established for 2015, especially for women and children among the poorest 20% of its population. National averages for these countries showed positive results in health, but substantial equity gaps were evident. The SMI project focused on improving access to quality health for 1.8 million women and children in Panama, Costa Rica, Nicaragua, Honduras, El Salvador, Guatemala, Belize and the State of Chiapas in México

This development model is based on the results-based financing formula nad counts with the support of the Carlos Slim Foundation, the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and the Governments of Spain and Canada. In this manner, donors and IDB contribute 50% of the capital and the remaining 50% is contributed by the country. If the country meets the negotiated goals, it receives an award equivalent to 50% of its original contribution and the governments may freely invest this money in the health sector of their countries. The SMI model combines supply and demand, incentive at the national level, ownership by governments, leveraging of financial resources, external measurement and technical support at all levels. The combination of these factors is allowing for guaranteed outcomes and a better performance of the public health systems.

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