Macroeconomics and Health (CMH)

MacroHealth Newsletter

No. 9, May 2004


Jordan reports on Macroeconomics and Health progress

Jordan is moving forward with determining a set of essential health interventions and their cost and developing a national Health Investment Plan. Several pressing research needs have been identified, including an analysis of the burden of disease among the poor. Two studies to assess the dental and nursing workforce situation in Jordan are underway. Jordan is also planning to establish a country-wide health information system, which will facilitate decision-making and foster cooperation across different health sub-sectors. Finally, Jordan is preparing a plan to address the human resources crisis in the health sector and is looking at developing a universal health insurance programme.

In December 2002, Jordan established a high-level National Committee to coordinate Macroeconomics and Health work. The technical committee of this body is working with Jordan's High Health Council to develop the pro-poor national Health Investment Plan, which will build on previous sustainable development efforts like the successful Healthy Villages Programme.

The Government of Jordan is embarking upon a social and economic transformation programme of which health is a prominent component. In recent years, spending on health in Jordan has increased as a percentage of Gross Domestic Product (GDP), to about 10%, but poor and vulnerable groups continue to suffer disproportionately from preventable health problems, particularly in rural areas in the South of the country. External resources for health, at 4.4% (2001) of total health expenditure, are low. In addition, political instability in the region poses challenges for Jordan's health system that must be addressed.

Sudan employs Macroeconomics and Health process to develop health sector strategy

Sudan is examining how the MH process can add value to development of a comprehensive health strategy and its integration with the Poverty Reduction Strategy Paper (PRSP). A study is being carried out to determine the cost of expanding health care to the poor and rural populations. Sudan also plans to undertake analysis to determine additional data needed in both the short- and long-term. Terms of Reference for the planned national MH mechanism have been developed. When Sudan emerges from its civil war, there will be a need to adapt strategies to the post-conflict administrative system, in order to develop a sustainable package of priority health interventions that can form the basis for the national PRSP.

Yemen pushes ahead with Macroeconomics and Health work

© Leen Abdul Gabbar/WHO

Yemen's MH work is directed toward developing a national Health Investment Plan that will integrate fully within the health components of the PRSP framework. The MH process is encouraging high-level political dialogue between Ministers of Health and Finance to design a pro-poor health strategy that is realistic and sustainable.

MH work in Yemen will assess whether current and proposed strategies target interventions that are pro-poor and include a strategy to monitor progress. It will also look at how internal and external funds can be mobilized to fill financing gaps. Two reports are currently being produced in Yemen. The first looks at how MH work and development of a national Health Investment Plan will strengthen national health strategy, particularly in relation to the PRSP process. The second sets out the characteristics of a national MH coordinating mechanism that would be optimal in the national context.

More Country Updates in the next issue of the MacroHealth Newsletter...


Overcoming Health Disparities: Global Experiences from Partnerships Between Communities, Health Services, and Health Professional Schools: Atlanta, Georgia, 6 – 10 October 2004. Conference is intended to focus attention on health disparities within nations and between nations around the world, to highlight promising strategies for overcoming health disparities, and to stimulate constructive actions that can be taken at multiple levels. Co-sponsored by Community-Campus Partnerships for Health (CCPH) and The Network: Towards Unity for Health (The Network: TUFH). For more information please visit

Fifty-seventh World Health Assembly: Geneva, 17-22 May 2004. Annual meeting of WHO's supreme decision-making body. For more information please visit

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