Viewing the Albanian National Health Strategy through the lens of WHO instruments and tools for health policy making

WHO/Genci Stermasi

The Albanian Ministry of Health (MoH) has initiated the process of developing a new, intersectoral health strategy (Albanian National Health Strategy – ANHS). It has established an interministerial group, chaired by the deputy-minister of health, to steer the process and ensure the overarching health policy is aligned with the National Strategy for Development and Integration (NSDI) 2020.

The ANHS envisages four strategic priority areas:

  • investing in population health through a life course approach
  • provision of universal health coverage for all
  • strengthening people-centred health systems
  • improved governance and cross-sector cooperation for health.

WHO has supported both the inclusion of health into the NSDI 2020 and the process of developing the ANHS, as a means of achieving the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

On 17 January 2017, a workshop was held in the MoH to discuss the ANHS, looking at it through the lens of WHO instruments and tools for health policy making. It was led by Professor Kosta Barjaba, Advisor to the Minister, with technical support provided by WHO. The discussions were useful for the MoH in finalizing the ANHS and further developing the ANHS implementation plan. The discussions made use of the Innov8 approach, an analytical process that supports the operationalization of the SDG commitment to “leave no one behind”.

Subsequently, links have been strengthened among technical group participants through interactive sharing and management of knowledge in the process of developing the ANHS implementation plan.

Dr Nazira Artykova, a WHO representative in Albania, emphasized the importance of linking development and health agendas in Albania, increasing financing for health and using the ANHS as an instrument for closing eventual financing gaps, through strengthening partnerships at national and international levels.