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April 12, 2004

School of Public Health Awarded $3.9 Million to Assess Afghan Health System

The Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health was awarded $3.9 million from the Transitional Islamic State of Afghanistan to set up a national evaluation system to monitor and assess the nation’s health care system. In addition, the Hopkins researchers will assist the Afghan government in developing a health care finance system to sustain health services in the future. The three-year grant, which begins this month, is part of $60 million in development aid provided to Afghanistan by the World Bank.

Currently several non-governmental organizations provide health services under performance-based contracts to 13 of Afghanistan’s 32 provinces. The evaluation system will independently measure the progress of these organizations and the Afghan Ministry of Health to make sure they are providing adequate health services.

“The evaluation system we are developing will help ensure that the nation’s health needs and goals are met, particularly the needs of the vulnerable populations, such as women and children,” said David Peters, MD, DrPH, principal investigator and assistant professor in the School’s Department of International Health. “We are devising a balanced scorecard to see how well basic health services are being provided. Eventually, the Afghan health ministry will be able to monitor and evaluate its own progress as it expands health care throughout the country.”

The Johns Hopkins researchers will also develop and evaluate a system to finance Afghanistan’s health care in the future. The health financing interventions developed will be tested in the 13 provinces under the performance-based contracts.

In addition to Dr. Peters, the Johns Hopkins research team will include Gilbert Burnham, MD, PhD, co-director of the School’s Center for International Emergency, Disaster and Refugee Studies, assistant professor Hugh Waters, PhD, professor Stan Becker, PhD, and Anbarasi Edward Raj and Walt Jones from the School’s Department of International Health. Ayan Ahmed Noor and Laura Steinhardt, also with the School of Public Health, will be based in Kabul. The School of Public Health will also collaborate with researchers from the Indian Institute of Health Management Research, led by S.D. Gupta, MBBS, PhD, a graduate of Johns Hopkins.

Public Affairs Media Contacts for the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health: Tim Parsons or Kenna Brigham at 410-955-6878 or paffairs@jhsph.edu.