Health Alliance International (HAI) is recognized globally as an organization that combines a service ethic and solidarity with the critical thinking and rigor of its academic base. For 30 years, HAI has provided substantial support and solidarity to our government partners to strengthen primary health care. Central to HAI’s mission is supporting the public sector, which is especially important in the face of decades of austerity and privatization imposed on these governments.
HAI’s alliances with ministries of health improve government capacity to measure performance, improve quality, and expand the scope of their services. In every country, HAI’s in-country staff work within Ministry offices and are considered key partners in designing, implementing and evaluating health programs. Additionally, HAI provides training for all levels – both locally and at the University of Washington.
The HAI Model in Action
Building partnerships – HAI’s work in Côte d’Ivoire has provided the Ministry of Health (MOH) with new approaches to reproductive health and a fresh look at HIV prevention and care. A key component of HAI-CI’s work in country also involves partnerships with local non-governmental organizations (NGOs) who provide a critical link between clinical services offered at health facilities and the complex psychosocial support needs faced by HIV-positive patients and their families. These needs can involve nutritional support, legal and educational support for children infected or affected by HIV, or providing a safe space for HIV-positive people and their families to talk to each other about their diagnosis and the ongoing challenges they may face with stigma.
The Côte d’Ivoire Program has worked with over 20 Ivorian organizations in the four HAI-supported regions that provide medical care to HIV-positive people, and other based community centers that assist with counseling services ensuring that newly diagnosed HIV-positive people return to the health facility for follow up services. HAI works with not only the technical staff associated with these organizations, but also built the capacity of administrative staff and overall organizational development. The strong partnerships that HAI has been able to create and maintain with these organizations mean that essential health and support services are provided to the people that need them the most.
Building capacity – In Mozambique, we continue to conduct implementation science and operations research to advance health care by improving data systems and management. We also helped expand the capacity of prenatal care services to treat and prevent HIV, and introduced diagnostics to nearly double the capacity to detect cases of tuberculosis. HAI is also leading efforts to evaluate linkages from HIV testing to HIV care, evaluate national immunization and malaria programs, and study surveillance and diagnosis of congenital syphilis. In central Mozambique alone, HAI has helped transform the provinces – which 25 years ago had the poorest health indices in the country into provinces that now have the best health indices in the country.
Building connections – In Timor-Leste, HAI helps midwives deliver high quality health services through stronger connections with the community. Our “Mobile Moms” project has provided mobile phone support for pregnant women to remind them about healthy pregnancy activities, and to help them navigate and prevent potential problems during their labor and childbirth. These efforts are gaining global recognition for innovation in improving communication between expectant mothers and their health providers.
Building collaborations – At the University of Washington, HAI has established itself as a model for collaborative activities with other centers of the Department of Global Health. Undergraduate and graduate students, staff, and faculty collaborators engage with HAI to learn innovative approaches to the challenges of providing health equity and care for all.