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Access to better healthcare in Africa: New findings from research on PharmAccess supported programs

Last month saw the official release of the comprehensive impact report entitled: Access to better healthcare in Africa: New findings from research on PharmAccess supported programs. The impact research, conducted by the Amsterdam Institute for Global Health and Development (AIGHD), the Amsterdam Institute for International Development (AIID) and its partners in Kenya, Tanzania and Nigeria, offers extensive insight into the results of the programs.

  • Jan 02, 2018

In February 2015, AIGHD published a report titled “The Impact of Access to Quality Healthcare in Africa”. This report summarized the results of a large number of studies (mostly impact evaluations) conducted in the period 2009-2014. This current report is a continuation of the first one. It provides summaries of studies conducted from 2014 through August 2017.

The two reports together form a compendium of the research conducted on the PharmAccess Group’s programs funded by the Dutch Ministry of Foreign Affairs. It highlights the impact that the analytical activities have had, and still have, on the culture of PharmAccess, the Health Insurance Fund enterprise, and their public and private partners in Africa.

The introduction of subsidized health insurance, in conjunction with quality upgrades of participating clinics and hospitals, had multiple consequences. Some of the general take-aways are:

  1. The introduction of interventions in an environment with competing programs and rapidly changing policies poses major challenges.
  2. Interaction between (impact) research and implementation can significantly contribute to the success of the program. The implementation should always be leading.
  3. Solid public private partnerships contribute to the success of the program. When donors are involved, they need a clear exit strategy.
  4. The introduction of health insurance is more than a money issue. It calls for large investments in data collection, which leads to transparency and accountability. It also introduces modern (private sector) management practices.
  5. Impact evaluation is costly and time consuming. A good example of such innovation is the M-TIBA program in Kenya, which uses digital technology to provide providers and managers with real time data on healthcare use and medical practices, while facilitating all money transactions involved to be handled swiftly and safely by use of mobile devices. The use of mobile technology can greatly contribute to reduce costs and provide data in real time.

All evaluations, research and consequences can be found in the full report. To request a hard-copy, please send an email to

Find below a link to the report.