Country Focus

Sub-national initiatives in the Western Pacific Region

Many countries in the Western Pacific Region are large and comprise of sub-national areas with diverse populations, economic status and health challenges. As a result, sub-national programmes in addition to national-level approaches are needed. While priorities and interventions will have specificities at these sub-national levels, they must be consistent with, and contribute to, national priorities. WHO-supported initiatives are, therefore, carried out in full consultation with national authorities and in collaboration with development partners working at sub-national level.

Western Area Health Initiative (WAHI) - China

There is evidence of persistent disparities in economic development and health status between different areas and populations in China. The Western Area Health Initiative was launched in 2012 to eliminate health inequities in China by bringing health status and services in the western areas to match those in eastern and urban China. Between 2013 and 2015, the Initiative will focus activities in three municipalities selected by China (Shaanxi, Chongqing and Guangxi). The goal will be to add one year to life expectancy in western areas of China, in support of the national target to increase life expectancy, and to ensure that added years of life are healthier years.

Sub-national initiatives in the Philippines

The government of the Philippines has developed a Universal Health Care (UHC) Agenda (2011-2016) focusing on the service delivery at district and community level. It includes plans to expand the National Health Insurance Program, improve access to quality health facilities, and attain the health-related MDGs.

The WHO Country Cooperation Strategy (2011-2016), which aligns with the government health agenda, identified areas for engagement at national and local level. WHO works with national, sub-national and local authorities to support the implementation of local services that reflect both national health priorities and local health needs. Specifically, WHO aims to support the government in building local-level capacity in programme management, to address local disparities in health services and strengthen community health systems.

The government has selected two sub- national sites in the Davao region, Davao Del Sur Province and Davao City. WHO is working with the Department of Health, the Center for Health and Development, local government units and other partners in these sites to implement the government UHC agenda at sub-national level.