Cesvi sustains that the action of NGOs for the affirmation of the right to health for everyone, everywhere, is not a substitute but a compliment and support to the commitment of governments to guaranteeing an efficient health structure with accessible, sustainable services from the financial and medical points of view.
Cesvi does not operate in competition with local health services, does not create new specialised parallel structures, but strives to integrate its programmes with those of the existing health services, encouraging the ultimate responsibility of local governments. It indicates a precise strategy that aims to encourage the self-sufficiency of the national health systems in low human development index countries.
The support and contributions of non-government bodies in the definition of health policies is essential to their success, both for the high costs of health policies and due to the vastness of their impact on society. They require the participation of the largest possible number of responsible actors, shared objectives, a unanimous effort, and a huge range of human and financial resources. The training of staff and the correct use of equipment and medicines are areas in which for decades the NGOs around the world have played a leading role through financial support for training, the supply of essential goods and services, initial response, and the reconstruction of the socio-medical systems following natural or man-made disasters. It cannot be ignored that a lack of medical personnel is one of the prime causes for the incapacity of many local medical providers to offer adequate services.
For this reason, Cesvi intervention often includes a Capacity Building component, so that the local system is ready to take on the main challenges after completion of the Cesvi support intervention.
The Programme in the Democratic Republic of Congo is a good example of support to the local health system and horizontal approach: in fact it is advisable to combat HIV and AIDS taking into account the response of the entire health system to the needs of the whole population. A horizontal approach makes it possible to better deal with the structural limitations that condition the development of a health system.
Case study: Health programme in the 'zone de santè' of Matete and Ndjili in Kinshasa (DRC) >>.pdf format
Cover photo by Livio Senigalliesi