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Multi-Sectoral Approaches in Health

L​ong-term development and the well-being of individuals and communities rely on stability across sectors. Around the globe, severe health problems have a direct impact on mortality and morbidity and an indirect effect through reduction of crop yields, size and strength of workforces, school enrollments, and a host of other outcomes. Meanwhile, the spread of infectious diseases and other health problems are affected by — and can be reduced by —improved food security and safety, clean water and sanitation, and a focus on livelihoods, to name a few. Chemonics — with experience in health and other broad ranging sectors — has the ability to integrate health activities throughout entire systems.

Integrating HIV/AIDS programming. In Nigeria, Chemonics collaborates with a local agro-processor to design and produce food supplements, and distribute the product to other PEPFAR-implementing agencies that work with orphans and other vulnerable children within communities. Chemonics also worked with Uganda’s agricultural sector to enhance productivity and create jobs, while integrating HIV/AIDS programs into the workplace and engaging farmers as peer educators. In Angola, Botswana, and Namibia, the Southern African Regional Environmental Program (SAREP) includes programmatic activities that focus on health objectives such as increased access to safe drinking water and sanitation services, and integrated approaches to preventing and treating HIV/AIDS.

Reducing environmental health risks. Some of the greatest risks to human health come from polluted air, unclean water, and lack of sanitation. Chemonics’ environmental work has addressed health concerns in these areas. In Russia, Chemonics evaluated health risks from pollution sources in the heavily industrialized Samara area. In Egypt, Chemonics created cost-effective water treatment systems that serve nearly a million households, resulting in significant reductions in diarrhea, hepatitis, and typhoid.

Impacting health-based employment discrimination. Tuberculosis (TB) disproportionately affects the poorest segments of society. In the Philippines, most companies refused to hire employees who were suspected to have had TB. Working with the Department of Labor and Employment and the Department of Health, Chemonics supported anti-discriminatory hiring practices for those affected by TB.

Improving livelihoods and household nutrition. To maximize agricultural revenue, Chemonics focuses on improving food security through agribusiness development, improved agricultural productivity, and income generation for farmers. Part of this work is responding to the U.S. Government’s Feed the Future Initiative, which holds as one of its main principles inclusive agricultural-led growth and improved nutrition as a part of sustainable development. Chemonics project in Nigeria is addressing food insecurity and malnutrition through relevant livelihood training in microenterprise fundamentals and household production of high-nutrition foods and local production of a therapeutic food.

Expanding reach. By integrating health issues into work in other sectors, Chemonics can use projects as distribution networks for health products, services, and information. A landscape development project in Madagascar designed to promote environmentally sound agricultural practices also made condoms available in remote areas.
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