1. Mobilise for women’s and children’s rights and health;
2. Reduce burden of disease with an emphasis on prevention;
3. Promote human security through health.
Strong health systems underpin each of these priorities. Norway therefore supports developing countries’ health system strengthening efforts. Aiming to strengthen work with the African region, Norway joined the Harmonisation for Health in Africa initiative in early 2012.
Believing that results will only be achieved through adopting a systematic, long-term and comprehensive approach, Norway also addresses the social determinants of health such as equitable distribution of wealth. The bulk of Norwegian support for health system strengthening is provided through multilateral channels such as United Nations agencies, and global health initiatives such as the Global Fund, GAVI and UNITAID. In the context of the “Global Campaign for the Health MDGs”, Norway also provides bilateral, catalytic funding for aspects of health system strengthening in a limited number of countries.
In line with the white paper, Norway supports efforts to strengthen national health systems, with emphasis on prevention, primary health care, and women’s and children’s health. Specifically, this involves infrastructure, management and organization, health financing, human resources for health, access to medicines and commodities, health information systems, and accountability, which together provide a solid platform for effective health service delivery.
Results-based financing is an area where Norway provides support through a multi-donor World Bank trust fund. Norway supports this approach in a number of other initiatives as well. The support for health system strengthening globally has been fragmented. Aiming to get “more health for the money” through improved efficiencies and coordination, Norway contributes to better harmonization of the different actors at the global level.
Norway has a particular engagement in maternal and child health (MDG 4 and 5). In 2007, Norway launched the “Global Campaign for the Health MDGs”, aiming to develop innovative and cost-efficient approaches to improving the health of women and children, reaching the most vulnerable with health services. Through the campaign “Every Woman, Every Child”, Norway helps galvanise the range of actors involved in promoting health of women and children, and accelerate progress towards meeting MDG 4 and 5 by the 2015 deadline.