Paving the Way to Universal Health Coverage in Senegal

Paving the Way to Universal Health Coverage in Senegal

In her opening remarks at the launch ceremony for the development of the National Human Resources Development Plan for the Health and Social Action (PNDRHS 2019-2028) in June, the Deputy Director of USAID/Senegal’s Health Team, Ramatoulaye Dioum Guisse, explained:

“The goal of the PNDRHS is to help achieve universal access to health services by ensuring the availability of sufficient and qualified human resources for health throughout the country. It intends to serve as a to guide toward the path of UHC. Thus, the mobilization of all internal and external actors of Senegal’s health system and social action is a major priority.”

Earlier this year, as a prerequisite of the PNDRHS development process, USAID’s HRH2030 program supported the final evaluation of the prior PNDRHS and shared the results with stakeholders including executive directors at the central level directorates (Directorate of Research, Planning and Statistics; Directorate of Hospitals; General Directorate of Social Action) as well as USAID, JICA, and the Directorate of Human Resources. HRH2030 also worked with the Directorate of Human Resources to set up a steering committee to oversee and monitor the development of this 10-year plan, which will serve as a framework for all interventions in the health sector and social action domain to follow in the decade ahead. HRH2030 drafted a circular, the terms of the reference, and the proposed list of technical committee members who will be responsible for the detailed plan. HRH2030 also advocated for key health partners to support the development plan process.

The HRH2030-organized launch ceremony was the culmination of months of preparation and signals the next phase of the plan development. The ceremony was co-chaired by Ministry of Health Secretary-General Alassane Mbengue, USAID/Senegal Health Team Deputy Director of Ramatoulaye Dioum Guisse, and Ministry of Health Director of Human Resources Ibrahima Souka Ndella Diouf. Bringing together a host of stakeholders and USAID implementing partners to join forces for the development of this national plan, the launch also marked the realization of Senegal’s health vision to develop the nation’s human resources for health workforce.

Mr. Mbengue underscored the important role that health workers play in Senegal’s health system by saying, “Without enough qualified HR, the health sector could not perform and meet Senegalese health needs. This is why it urgent to develop the PNDRHS.”

Ms. Guissé concluded her remarks by saying, “I cannot end without renewing the commitment and availability of USAID/Senegal through its health program to support the Ministry of Health and Action in the implementation of its health policy and social action plan.”

Looking Ahead

In the months since the launch ceremony, the technical committee responsible for the PNDRHS has been hard at work, gathering relevant documentation and  identifying milestones for the new plan and meeting twice to update the database of the current health workforce and prepare a situational analysis of the same. By the end of 2019, the draft of the PNDRHSS will be developed, shared, finalized, and validated. In addition, workshops will be held to develop a training plan; the monitoring & evaluation and training plans; and a budget.

HRH2030, a key strategic partner of the Ministry of Health’s Directorate of Human Resources, is supporting these efforts through technical assistance to the development team; mobilizing health  donors to participate in the process and allocate funds; and providing financial resources for the workshops.

Photo: USAID/Senegal’s Ramatoulaye Dioum Guisse, at left, and MOH Director of Human Resources Ibrahima Souka Ndella Diouf, in white, at the launch of the PNDRHS development process.