• Tue. Jun 25th, 2024

Launch of the 3rd phase of the PASS program in Kabezi


Jun 16, 2022

BUJUMBURA June 15th (ABP) – The European Union delegate Ambassador Claude Bochu in the company of the assistant to the Minister of Public Health and the Fight against AIDS, Dr. Onesphore Nzigirabarya and the Ambassador of Kingdom of Belgium in Burundi, Alain Van Gucht officially launched on Monday at the Kabezi district hospital in Bujumbura province (western Burundi), the third phase of the Burundi Health System Support Program (PASS)-Amagara mu Muryango. That program has been funded by the EU since 2016 and primarily supports the Government of Burundi’s flagship policy of free healthcare for pregnant women, those giving birth and children under 5, said the Deputy Ambassador. of the EU, Claude Bochu. He specified that the program is financed to the tune of 48.5 billion euros by the EU and that the Belgian government will add 6.1 billion euros to it within a month.

The heart of this program implemented by the Belgian development agency Enabel is support for free healthcare coupled with performance-based financing and this program, which extends over 4 years, has the main objective of contributing to a universal health coverage through strengthening sustainable access to quality health services and improving the quality of care, particularly in maternal, neonatal, child and adolescent health, he added. He revealed that one of the priorities that the EU has set itself for cooperation actions, in agreement with the authorities of Burundi, is the improvement of the health of the populations and the health sector is confirmed as a priority in the new programming phase of EU cooperation with Burundi for the period 2021-2027.

According to the Ambassador of the Kingdom of Belgium in Burundi, Ambassador Alain Van Gucht, this new phase of the Amagara mu Muryango program will not only be built on the continuity of the two previous phases but also of the EU projects and the projects of the Belgian bilateral cooperation.

The 3rd phase aims to achieve 4 important results, namely accessibility, quality improvement, improvement of community governance and strategic support for sector dialogue with a view to universal coverage.

The PASS, he continued, will gradually support skills and capacity building activities at the central level in its action plan and the final objective of this support is to create the conditions for autonomous management by the Ministry of Health from internal and external funding. He reiterated once again his availability to continue this fruitful relationship of synergy and complementarity.

The assistant to the Minister of Public Health and the Fight against AIDS, Dr Nzigirabarya thanked the EU delegation for having responded to the invitation to the session of the launch of the 3rd phase of the PASS and the signing of the contribution agreement through the performance-based financing tool indicating that since the 2020 legislature, public health has once again been placed among the six priority areas of the government of Burundi by the highest authority in the country.

Thus, a decentralization of health care services will extend to the health care posts at the level of each village of the country passing through the communal hospitals. He pointed out that the implementation of the activities planned in the first two phases has made it possible to achieve a number of interesting results. For example, the average number of days out of stock for tracer drugs fell from 22.2 days in July 2016 to 2.6 days in April 2022; the rate of births attended by skilled personnel has increased from 74% in 2016 to 81% in 2021.

In the 3rd phase of the PASS, Dr. Nzigirabarya revealed that the financing of this envelope of approximately 50 billion Burundian francs (48.5 million euros), a part or approximately 80% will be devoted to the reimbursement of services within the framework free PBF. He said that the government of Burundi through the Ministry of Health positively appreciates this transition to universal health coverage for the health system support program through performance-based financing, adding that the objectives mentioned fit well. with the guidelines of the ministry in charge of health.

He ended his speech by thanking the EU and its Member States including Belgium for their continuous technical and financial support to the health system.