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Global Health

mom and baby nutrition
This mother in Assiut governorate attends a healthy nutrition class with her child. USAID helps community health workers provide low cost interventions such as health education through home visits and at primary health clinics.
Mohamed Abdel Wahab for USAID


For nearly 40 years, USAID has worked with the Egyptian people to improve healthy behaviors by supporting healthy nutrition, immunizations, and community health worker home visits – essential to the health of mom and baby.

Egypt’s health challenges disproportionately affect the rural poor and have the potential to impact the country’s economic prosperity more broadly over the long term. Poor women are 20 percent less likely to receive regular antenatal care than wealthy women, and under-five mortality for children born in the wealthiest quintile is 19 deaths per 1,000 live births versus 42 deaths for the poorest. Current threats include high rates of childhood stunting and the highest rate of Hepatitis C in the world; seven percent of Egyptians between the ages of 15 and 59 suffer from chronic Hepatitis C. 

Egypt’s 2014 Demographic and Health Survey (DHS) recorded a globally unprecedented 17 percent increase in the country’s total fertility rate in the past six years, as well as a reduction in key best practices related to good maternal and child health such as early breastfeeding. Some of these trends can be linked to low-quality health care services, poor health behaviors, and weak management of health systems in the public sector. 

USAID’s programs improve health behaviors, enhance the quality of health services, and help the Government of Egypt to guide policy and program design by supporting research and monitoring in key areas such as nutrition and infectious disease. USAID programs in Egypt place particular emphasis on poor and underserved populations, including women and youth; geographical areas where there are health disparities; and addressing gender inequalities in the health sector. 

To improve health and promote a stronger workforce, key areas of intervention include maternal, neonatal, and child health and nutrition; emerging and infectious disease detection and response; health communication; and support for research to improve information on key health topics.  

Current Activities

Improving Maternal, Child Health, and Nutrition Services in Egypt:  In coordination with the Ministry of Health and Population, this activity is conducting a strategic review and assessment of Egypt’s Community Health Worker (CWH) Program, including the training curriculum, to map its strengths and weaknesses. The assessment will support the development of a comprehensive CHW strategy for Egypt and the project will provide technical assistance to the Ministry to enable them to implement the recommendations, resulting in a stronger CHW program. Implementing Partner: Save the Children; Life of Project: April 19, 2015-April 30, 2018; Total Estimated Cost: $3.5 million; Bilateral Agreement: Healthier Planned Families.

Integrated Perinatal and Child Health & Nutrition Program:  Building on the success of previous USAID neonatal health projects, this activity works with the Ministry of Health and Population to further reduce neonatal mortality and child malnutrition through improved access to essential maternal, neonatal, and child health and nutrition services in disadvantaged areas by upgrading facilities, training service providers, strengthening the health referral system, and improving community-level health awareness. Implementing Partner: UNICEF; Life of Project: July 17, 2012-June 30, 2017; Total Estimated Cost: $6.1 million; Bilateral Agreement: Healthier Planned Families.

Family Planning through the Private Sector:  This activity addresses the family planning and reproductive health needs of Egyptian youth through raising their awareness of family planning and increasing their access to family planning services through the private sector. The activity focuses on two groups of young people who are potential clients for the family planning services through the private sector, male and female factory workers and male and female youth with secondary or university education in urban areas. Implementing Partner: Population Council; Life of Project: October, 2016-September 30, 2018; Total Estimated Cost: $4,043,935; Bilateral Agreement: Healthier Planned Families. 

Program to Improve Quality and Safety of Healthcare in Egypt:  This activity supports Ministry of Health and Population (MOHP) efforts to reduce the incidence of hospital-acquired infections through providing technical assistance to support the establishment of a national surveillance program for hospital-acquired infections and antimicrobial resistance. Covering 80 percent of eligible intensive care units in MOHP and University Hospitals, this activity also supports hospitals to prevent the transmission of these infections. Implementing Partner: Naval Medical Research Unit 3; Life of Project: March 5, 2014-September 30, 2018; Total Estimated Cost: $2.5 million; Bilateral Agreement: Healthier Planned Families.

Health Communication Capacity Collaborative (HC3) Egypt:  This program strengthens the capacity of the Ministry of Health and Population to design and implement mass media information campaigns using expertise and technology from across the public and private sectors to improve health behaviors. The project will conduct a capacity assessment of the MOHP Health Communication Office and based on that assessment will provide training for MOHP officials and health educators who will receive hands-on experience working on the design and implementation of a health campaign focused on topics such as Hepatitis C. Implementing Partner: Johns Hopkins University Center for Communications Programs; Life of Project: December 1, 2014-September 25, 2017; Total Estimated Cost: $5 million; Bilateral Agreement: Healthier Planned Families.