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Wolfson Institute of Population Health

Role of non-governmental organisations in achieving universal health coverage

A systematic review of 78 studies of non-governmental organisation (NGO) interventions in public health-related activities has shown that NGOs can play a significant role in progress towards universal health coverage.

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Developing essential health services through NGOs is an important strategy for progressing towards universal health coverage, especially in low- and middle-income countries, but it is crucial to understand the role of NGOs, and the best ways to engage them. The study identified the main NGO activities as providing competent human resources, necessary health equipment and facilities, public health and health care services strategies, and services to vulnerable groups through community participation. Co-author Vladimir Gordeev (Centre for Evaluation and Methods) said that that governments should use strategies and interventions to support NGOs in accelerating their movement toward universal health care.