WHO in the Western Pacific

Health sector development

The mission of the Division of Health Sector Development is to support countries to attain universal coverage of health services for better and equitable health outcomes. Health sector development acts as the foundation that both underpins and unifies public health efforts aimed at combating diseases and building healthy communities.

There was great progress during the period 2010-2011 in promoting the fundamental need for countries to have national health policies, strategies and plans. WHO’s global and regional strategies have been instrumental in supporting countries to formulate national plans and ensure they are followed by implementation and monitoring that will lead to tangible improvements to health service delivery.

Universal coverage is now firmly on the health systems agenda throughout the Region. In the past two years, every country in the Region has made universal coverage central to their goals and vision of their national health plans. One of the most significant developments in the past two years has been to improve the flow of information about health systems in the Region, notably with the establishment of the Asia Pacific Observatory on Health Systems and Policies and initiation of the Health Information and Intelligence Platform.

Increasingly, the complex challenges of health sector development require the division’s units to build strong partnerships with each other, with colleagues in other parts of the Western Pacific Regional Office and with WHO Country Offices. The division is an active participant in cross-cutting initiatives within the Western Pacific Regional Office in areas such as antimicrobial resistance, the MDGs, health information systems and the services component of noncommunicable diseases and maternal and child health.

One of WHO’s strategic objectives is to address the social determinants of health through policies and programmes that enhance equity and integrate pro-poor, gender-responsive and human rights-based approaches. Ageing also has been added to the team’s agenda, and the division is working with countries in the Region to prepare for population ageing.

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