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 EHB in the 2000s. Recognising this, the Regional Network for Equity in Health in East and Southern Africa (EQUINET), through Ifakara Health Institute (IHI) and Training and Research Support Centre (TARSC), with country partners from Ministries of Health (MoH) in Swaziland, Tanzania, Uganda and Zambia, implemented research to understand the facilitators and the barriers in nationwide application of the EHB in resourcing, organising and in accountability on integrated, equitable universal health services. A regional review of literature on EHBs in the four country case study reports from the research programme are available on the EQUINET website. This report presents the proceedings of a regional consultative meeting convened on November 27-28, 2017 to present and discuss evidence from the research programme. The regional document review covering 16 east and southern African (ESA) countries, the findings from the country case studies in Swaziland, Tanzania, Uganda and Zambia, experiences from South Africa and Zanzibar and a regional synthesis of the evidence from across the programme were presented at the meeting, and background documents made available. The meeting aimed to: a. Identify issues arising in the motivations for developing the EHB; the methods used to develop, define and cost them; their dissemination, communication and use within countries, including in budgeting, resourcing and purchasing health services; and, in monitoring health system performance for accountability; b. Identify policy-relevant and operational national and regional level recommendations on the role, design and use of EHB; and c. Propose areas for follow up policy, action and research.
Equitable health services, Public-private mix, Resource allocation and health financing, Governance and participation in health
Title of publication The role of an essential health benefit in the delivery of integrated health services: Learning from practice in East and Southern Africa, Report of a regional research workshop, November 27-28 2017, Zanzibar, United Republic of Tanzania.
Date of publication
essential health benefit, east and southern Africa, universal health coverage
East and southern Africa region
Equinet Publication Type