The AKDN assistance to provide the essential health services was complemented by a number of actions to strengthen the health system, in terms of the way health interventions were planned, organised and delivered in response to the crisis, with a special focus on enhancing the existing health systems and their future recovery and development. The statistics of public health services have shown that the capacity of public health facilities to deliver health services has improved.
For example, Salamieh Hospital provided 606,973 health services in 2016 compared to 287,635 health services in 2010 (increased by 111%); public health centers provided 267,244 health services in 2016 compared to 182,876 health services in 2010 (increased by 46%).
The outreach health activities increased the coverage of immunisation and MNCRH services by providing these reproductive health services to 2,796 women and children, including immunisation to 1,700 children in (64) small communities who have difficulty accessing fixed health services.
Good progress continues to be made under very difficult circumstances. All the AKDN health interventions in support of health services and health promotion at community levels contributed to an increase in the coverage of MCH services (antenatal care coverage increased from 20 % in 2010 to 50% in 2016). Perhaps most remarkable has been immunisation coverage, which rose to 95% in children in the accessible parts of the district (it was 72% in 2013).
A unique community health programme is training over 200 health workers and 2000 volunteers to reach over 20,000 families with essential messaging about communicable disease care and prevention, maternal and child health, and healthy living. The programme’s success can be measured by the absence of major outbreaks of communicable diseases in 2016 and a stabilisation reported in the number of cases of typhoid, hepatitis A and cutaneous leishmaniasis. There is also a relatively high level of exclusive breastfeeding (56% compared to the national level, which is below 30% and child growth monitoring. The prevalence of undernutrition remains low with 8.7% and 7.1% of children under the age of five being stunted or wasted, respectively.