HAP finalises Year 1 of Consolidation Phase: Here are the accomplishments

The Health for All Project (HAP) has successfully completed the first year of its Consolidation Phase, demonstrating resilience and adaptability amid significant shifts in Albania’s health administration, including the replacement of the minister of health, the secretary general, and several key directors.

During this period, MoHSP, supported by its partners, has developed numerous policies, strategies, and operational plans closely linked to HAP’s objectives.

Major Achievements (1st April 2023 – 31st March 2024)

Expansion of Home Care Services: Home care has been upscaled across 12 Local Units of Health Care (LUHCs) in eight regions of Albania. Until March 2024, 46 health centres are delivering home care services. Of the 2,146 patients initially identified, 1,486 (69%) have benefited from 8,937 home visits. Impressively, 52% of these patients have received at least one visit per month. These achievements are largely due to HAP’s direct support. In early 2024, MoHSP announced plans to roll out home care services to all health centres nationwide.

Enhanced Diagnostic Capabilities: By the end of March 2024, 27 health centres had received diagnostic equipment and training on non-communicable diseases (NCDs). All in all, 136 health centres are systematically using NCD protocols, including 80 in Fier and Dibër and 56 in six other LUHCs.

Strengthened Collaboration: HAP has fostered active collaboration with national agencies leading the upscaling of home care services and other interventions. These partnerships, particularly with LUHCs and the Operator, have strengthened competencies in implementing and monitoring home care services, NCD protocols, elderly care, and mental health guidelines.

Civil Society and Media Engagement: The project has enhanced cooperation with civil society organizations (CSOs), non-governmental organizations (NGOs), and the media to bolster advocacy and accountability in health care.

Support for Primary Health Care (PHC): Continued support for PHC has been provided through the implementation of mental health guidelines and elderly care protocols. This effort aims to improve accessibility for vulnerable groups, particularly homebound patients and the elderly, and to enhance the quality of PHC for individuals living with NCDs.

Focus Areas for Year 2

Looking ahead to the second year, several priorities have been identified:

LUHCs Support: Continued support for designated LUHCs is crucial to further enhance their roles in home care service implementation and other PHC interventions. Expansion of HAP activities to all LUHCs in Albania, as recently requested by MoHSP, should be approached cautiously to maintain the project’s impact.

Financial Resource Mobilization: Encouraging MoHSP and the Health Insurance Fund (HIF) to mobilize additional financial resources for PHC is essential. Strong advocacy for incorporating home care services into the basic PHC package will be critical to securing increased funding and resources.

Organisational Capacity Building: The Operator and LUHCs should continue to strengthen their organizational capacities for ongoing supportive monitoring. Integrating home care services into routine health care provision remains a priority.

As HAP enters its second year, the project remains committed to improving health care delivery and outcomes across Albania, ensuring that even the most vulnerable populations receive the care they need.