As part of a group of researchers from Africa, America and Europe, Professor Alex Voorhoeve will participate in a new multi-year research project in support of Universal Health Coverage in East Africa, funded by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation and the Norwegian Development Agency (NORAD).

Led by Prof Ole Frithjof Norheim from the Centre for Ethics and Priority Setting at the University of Bergen, this new project will build upon the research group’s previous collaboration on the World Health Organization’s Report Making Fair Choices on the Path to Universal Health Coverage. The project’s premise is that well-targeted investments in health in low-income countries – particularly through high-priority interventions in primary health care, intersectoral policies, and fair financing through expanded access to health insurance and prepaid care – will not only save lives but also help reduce inequity, alleviate poverty and provide financial risk protection.

The project, titled Decision Support for Universal Health Coverage in Ethiopia, Malawi and Zanzibar, aims to develop and provide methods, evidence and normative guidance for fair priority setting for improved population health and wellbeing in national health systems in low-income countries. The project will build upon the research group’s current work on Disease Control Priorities in Ethiopia, with support from the newly established Addis Center for Ethics and Priority Setting (ACEPS), and will expand it to Zanzibar and Malawi. It will provide capacity strengthening and help define and implement a highest priority package for non-communicable diseases and injuries in Zanzibar and an essential surgery package in Malawi.

Besides LSE, collaborating partners include Harvard University, University of Washington, University of California San Francisco, University of Addis Ababa, the World Health Organization, the World Bank, and Ministries of Health in Malawi, Zanzibar and Ethiopia.