Credit: ADB/Nepal
Transition and Recovery

Transition and recovery

Disease epidemics, conflicts and natural disasters often have a particularly devastating impact on the health and lives of people living in poverty. People in fragile states have few resources to cope with unexpected events and often live in conditions that make them vulnerable to disease. In emergency contexts, health systems are weakened further and are unable to cope with the increased demand. In these situations, it is often women’s and children’s health and lives that are most at risk.

We support governments in emergency and fragile contexts to restore provision of and access to basic health services by:

  • Facilitating effective coordination and planning, so that donors, humanitarian agencies government staff and local partners work in synergy to ensure effective allocation of much needed resources.
  • Providing immediate data to inform an effective emergency response. Using fast and reliable data is essential both during and after a humanitarian emergency to effectively design and prioritise interventions. Our evidence has provided governments and donors with increased understanding of the devastation caused by emergencies and informed decisions on what interventions should be prioritised to save lives.
  • Identifying critical steps towards recovery based on timely evidence and input from local experts and civil society. We also support design and planning of longer term investment to build resilient health systems, better able to withstand future crises.
  • Reaching ‘hard-to-reach’ populations in remote areas, particularly women and children who are often most affected by poverty, conflict and lack of access to services.
  • Developing health financing solutions that improve the flow of money into the health systems so that it can reach frontline services.
  • Rehabilitating and strengthening health infrastructure which is essential to provide vital services.

In Nepal, we worked with the Ministry of Health after the 2015 earthquakes, supporting the planning and coordination of assistance from relief and aid agencies. We supported the recovery by leading assessments of damage to buildings, conducting repairs and maintenance and helping restore the functionality of essential health care services. As a result, health services at 851 health facilities in 14 districts were restored. By May 2015, 412 health workers were trained on injury and trauma management, and seven health facilities were equipped with rehabilitation and physiotherapy supplies.

In Sierra Leone, we worked with the Ministry of Health and Laboratory Technical Working Group during the Ebola epidemic, to coordinate partners in the diagnosis of patients. We provided regular data on the time it took to provide test results, and addressed issues causing delays in the testing process. Quicker isolation and treatment of patients helped reduce transition, and led to more efficient use of treatment resources. Our inputs helped reduce the average time for Ebola samples to be tested from 35 hours to 13 hours in Western Area. We assessed laboratory capacity across the country to inform Ebola recovery plans as well as National and District Laboratory Strategic Plans. It resulted in a Laboratory Information System which feeds into national surveillance systems, essential for the prevention of future outbreaks of endemic diseases.

In Yemen, our voucher specialists have worked with a local NGO counterpart, Yamaan, throughout the conflict to deliver life-saving primary and emergency care for women. Safe Motherhood and Family Planning vouchers are distributed to women in need of services which can be redeemed nearby in safe, reliable health facilities. Vouchers have been used for 28,479 antenatal visits; representing a 67% increase in the number of women accessing antenatal services. In the areas where our vouchers were distributed, 2,857 caesarean sections were performed and 66% more women received family planning counselling, short-term methods and/or long-acting methods. 14,852 babies have been delivered safely by a trained health care worker.


67% increase in the number of women accessing antenatal care in Yemen through our voucher scheme

Turnaround time for Ebola testing reduced from 35 hours to 13 hours in Western Area, Sierra Leone

Essential health services restored at 851 facilities in 14 earthquake-affected districts in Nepal.

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More about Options
Established in 1992, Options has worked in over 50 countries. We lead and manage health sector programmes on behalf of international donors and national governments.
Established in 1992, Options has worked in over 50 countries. We lead and manage health sector programmes on behalf of international donors and national governments.

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