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Trop Med Int Health. 2011 Apr;16(4):478-85. doi: 10.1111/j.1365-3156.2010.02716.x. Epub 2011 Jan 10.

The interface between health systems and vertical programmes in Francophone Africa: the managers' perceptions.

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Ministry of Public Health, Yaounde, Cameroun.



To explores the interface between vertical programmes (VPs) and general health services (GHS) in sub-Saharan Africa.


Using semi-structured interviews, we analysed the perceptions of a selection of experienced mid-level managers of health systems and of VP originating in francophone Africa on the nature and quality of this interface.


The respondents acknowledged that VPs lead to both positive and negative effects on the functioning of GHS. The overall result, however, cannot be viewed as a simple summation of the positive effects possibly compensating for the negative ones. Indeed, some of the negative effects have a profound impact on the management and operation of the health care delivery system and may undermine the long-term institutional capacity of the general health systems. The quality and the nature of the interface between VP and GHS strongly vary in time, between settings and programmes.


We argue for more systematic monitoring of the interface between VP and GHS, so as to identify and address, in a timely manner, significant disruptive effects and deficiencies in a perspective of systemic capacity building of health systems.

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