Mozambique ranks third from last in terms of the UNDP’s Human Development Index 2014. Maputo is the country’s capital and its largest city: it gathers circa 40% of the Mozambique urban population and represents 20.2% of the country’s GDP. Since the passing of the Act 2/97 the functions entrusted to the Municipal Council (equivalent to our city councils), are the following: social and economic development, protection and sanitation of the environment, quality of life, primary health care, primary education, culture, urbanism, construction and housing.
Since 2006, the Municipal Directorate of Health and Social Action (DSMSAS) of the Maputo City Council (CMM) is involved in the transfer of powers from State organs to municipal level. But in 2012 the powers effectively transferred were scarce and one of the main aims, the development of the Strategic Plan of the Municipal Directorate of Health and Social Action was not completed yet, and was therefore established as a priority goal for the period 2013-2014.
In this context, thus, in 2012 we started to work with the CMM, counting on the support of the Barcelona City Council, towards the goal of improving the CMM competencies to enable it to take over the management of the city primary health care, thereby enhancing the health condition of the overall Maputo population.
Therefore, our action began with the project “Increasing the Institutional Capacity of the Maputo City Council (CMM) and its Municipal Directorate of Health and Social Action (DSMSAS)” and continued later on with the projects “Promoting Health in the City of Maputo, Mozambique” and ”Strengthening the Competencies in the Management of Pharmaceutical Drugs in the Maputo Municipal Council (CMM)”.
During the first project, ending in May this year, we’ve been working on the increasing and the systematisation of the information available on the municipal public health network by training the personnel responsible for the collection and analysis of data, while developing the Maputo Health Map in parallel. Thereby the structuring and the expansion of the health care network has been planned through the development of its strategic plan for the next years.
By means of the following above mentioned projects, we continue working on the improvement of the health care management and planning within the CMM, while launching parallel health education campaigns for the Maputo population, especially among the young people, through the education centres.
Within the projects, the role of the Barcelona City Council is not only limited to providing financial support through the “Barcelona Solidària” programme, but goes far beyond it to include, for instance, the participation of the city’s Public Health Agency, intended to enable the transfer of knowledge and best practices applicable to the city of Maputo. A parallel experience aimed at improving the pharmaceutical drugs management is also being carried out through the Barcelona Hospital Clínic, has already been reported on another article on this blog.
Translated from Spanish into English by Silvia Aymerich