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Toward More Equitable Primary Health Care in Argentina and Latin America through Intersectoral Approaches

Improving primary health care for everyone requires an effort that extends beyond the formal health sector. This project will examine the value of intersectoral collaborations at the primary healthcare level to generate practical guidance and a theoretical understanding of how these arrangements can influence health equity in Argentina and Latin America. Intersectoral efforts in the healthcare industry are projects and programs involving multiple sectors working together to improve health and well-being. This requires collaboration and coordination between the formal health sector and other sectors such as social welfare, education, environment, transportation, justice, sanitation, and industry. The World Health Organization, regional bodies, and national and subnational health authorities are increasingly promoting intersectoral approaches that examine the range of social determinants of health that influence access to primary health care. The social determinants of health are the conditions in which people are born, live, work, and age. The distribution of money, power, and resources shape these determinants. While researchers have explored the benefits of intersectoral collaborations in health, there is limited practical guidance on how to establish and evaluate these activities. More evidence is needed to understand how these collaborations influence health equity. In the Santa Fe province of Argentina, the Ministry of Health has identified intersectoral collaboration as a priority. Santa Fe primary care health workers and managers are creating grassroots linkages with other sectors to facilitate their work. This convergence of political and operational interest in intersectoral partnerships at the provincial and municipal levels is critical to this project. The project team is composed of researchers and decision-makers. They will collect primary and secondary data using literature reviews, existing population health databases, and key informant interviews. Research outputs will include scientific papers and policy briefs describing achievements, challenges, and lessons learned. The team will build a virtual Latin American community of practice focused on intersectoral collaborations for health. Findings will be integrated into course curricula for a master's in health systems and services management and a certificate in intersectoral primary health care management offered by Rosario University. This research is expected to expand the knowledge base of proven practices to advance greater intersectoral collaboration in Santa Fe province and other parts of the region.

Project ID
Project Status
End Date
42 months
IDRC Officer
Chaitali Sinha
Total Funding
CA$ 316,000.00
South America
Maternal and Child Health
Maternal and Child Health
Institution Country
Project Leader
Natalia Yavich