Most countries in Latin America and the Caribbean (LAC) are at varying stages of a reform process to improve the response capacity of health systems by upgrading the effectiveness and sustainability of programs and services. Changes promoted by the reform focus on priority health needs and underprivileged society groups. Some problems, such as sexual and reproductive health (SRH), can be tackled with cost-effective technologies. Reform projects offer a unique opportunity to reconsider policies, programs, and services aimed at facing the issues encompassed in the term SRH. Nonetheless, the formulation of a strategy and the identification of concrete measures represent a challenge, as previous experiences that could sustain such efforts are few. This report describes one of the first projects carried out in LAC to explore strategies to promote the convergence of health sector reform processes and SRH improvement. The report presents a description of the fundamental concepts related to SRH and the general situation in the region, and examples of key contributions of research, policies, and programs. It describes the general aspects of health sector reform, presents relevant cases, and includes results of three subregional meetings held in 1999.
Langer, Ana, Gustavo Nigenda, Sandra G. Garcia, Rosario Valdez, Emanuel Orozco, and Jennifer Catino. 2000. "Sexual and Reproductive Health and Health Sector Reform in Latin America and the Caribbean: Challenges and Opportunities." Mexico City: Population Council, Insituto Nacional de Salud Pública, and Inter-American Development Bank.