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Integrating Vertical Programs into Primary Health Care

In recent years, an increasing number of low- and middle-income countries have committed to moving toward universal health coverage (UHC); at the same time, many are also preparing to take on greater financial responsibility for health as donor funding phases out.

These circumstances have led to discussions about integrating vertical health programs—for example, substantially reducing the burdens of malaria, childhood illnesses and maternal mortality; slowing the spread of HIV; and increasing the use of modern contraception. But new challenges and goals are forcing a broad reappraisal of these programs, many of which have structures and systems that, to varying degrees, stand apart from the broader health system—such as separate supply chains, financing sources, monitoring and evaluation (M&E) systems and even facilities and staff.

Based on research conducted by Results for Development and Populations Services International, this fact sheet offers a brief overview of key issues for policymakers to consider when deciding whether or how to more fully integrate specific vertical programs into their country’s health system, and particularly into primary health care (PHC).

In-depth Country Case Studies

Two supplementary fact sheets summarize ongoing efforts to more fully integrate vertical family planning programs into PHC in Ghana and Malawi.

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