An Essential Health Benefit (EHB) is a policy intervention designed to direct resources to priority areas of health service delivery to reduce disease burdens and ensure equity in health. Many east and southern Africa (ESA) countries have introduced or updated EHBs in the 2000s. Recognising this, EQUINET, through Ifakara Health Institute (IHI) and Training and Research Support Centre (TARSC), is implementing research to understand the role of facilitators and the barriers to nationwide application of the EHB in resourcing, organising and in accountability on integrated health services. This literature review provides background evidence to inform the case study work and regional dialogue. It compiles evidence from published and public domain literature on EHBs in sixteen ESA countries, including information on the motivations for developing the EHBs; the methods used to develop, define and cost them; how they are being disseminated and communicated within countries; how they are being used in budgeting, resourcing and purchasing health services and in monitoring health system performance for accountability; and the facilitators and barriers to their development, uptake or use.
Equitable health services, Resource allocation and health financing
Title of publication EQUINET Discussion paper 107: Literature Review: Essential health benefits in east and southern Africa
Date of publication
Literature Review: Essential health benefits in east and southern Africa, EQUINET Discussion paper 107, IHI, Tanzania, TARSC, EQUINET, Harare
essential health benefit, east and southern Africa, health services
East and southern Africa region
Equinet Publication Type