In spite of its mountainous Himalayan terrain and high rates of poverty, Nepal has experienced two decades of steady improvement in health and emerged as one of the few countries to meet the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) to reduce child and maternal mortality. For over 60 years, the U.S. Government has partnered with Nepal to strengthen the delivery of essential health services, especially for those in greatest need.
Health for Life (H4L) is a $27.9 million, five-year project working in coordination with the Government of Nepal’s Ministry of Health (MoH) to support the testing and roll-out of national-level policies, guidelines, and programs. In addition to its national focus, the project works at the district level in 14 districts in the Mid-Western and Western regions, where it strengthens district and village health systems and helps identify and implement best practices. After the devastating earthquakes in April and May 2015, H4L began supporting the MoH in 10 of the 14 most-affected districts to improve health system governance, improve evidence-based planning, budgeting and policy making, and to institutionalize a national system for quality assurance and improvement. Additionally, in 2015, H4L started working in six ‘demonstration districts’ to assist in rolling out local health governance strengthening activities.
The primary goal of H4L is to strengthen the Government of Nepal’s capacity to plan, manage, and deliver high-quality and equitable family planning, maternal, newborn, and child health services. H4L activities directly address key health system constraints in the following areas: local health systems governance; data for decision making and evidence-based policy development; human resources management; quality improvement systems; and knowledge and behavior change. H4L collaborates with a wide range of stakeholders, including academic and research institutions, training centers, media partners, and civil society.