A focus on diseases and cures can mask a systemic, underlying issue: lack of access to quality healthcare.
Inadequate access results in millions of preventable deaths every year. Developing countries are served by one-tenth as many doctors and nurses per capita as high-income areas. To solve this problem, innovations must be supported that enable access to and ensure use of reliable, affordable, and appropriate healthcare that leads to improved health outcomes in disadvantaged populations.
Roughly half of the world’s population lives in rural areas, but less than 40 percent of nurses and less than 25 percent of physicians work there or service those areas. Increasing access to medical care for the poor, the marginalized, the vulnerable, and the remote requires innovative approaches for increasing physical proximity to the communities who suffer most from these disparities.
- SASEs: Afghan Institute of Learning, Arzu, Basic Needs, Gawad Kalinga, Girls not Brides, Health Leads, mothers2mothers, Partners in Health, Population and Development Association, Riders for Health, Saude Crianca, VillageReach, VisionSpring, World Health Partners
- Innovests: Elimination of Mother-to-Child Transmission, Global Green and Healthy Hospital pilot, Riders-Gambia PRI, Vision services in Bangladesh
In the quest to deliver basic quality healthcare to the world’s eight billion people, the social and economic conditions that often result in and exacerbate disease must be addressed. Embracing a holistic understanding of well-being that reaches beyond a narrow model to address root causes is a necessary first step. An integrated healthcare approach that tackles conditions including poverty, lack of nutrition, water and sanitation, housing, and education, is a key strategy for ensuring that those who need it the most receive basic quality healthcare.
- SASEs: Basic Needs, Health Care Without Harm, Health Leads, mothers2mothers, Partners in Health, Saude Crianca
New drugs, diagnostic models, medical devices, and other technologies offer the hope of better treatment and care. Despite progress, the poor are rarely able to afford health products that can dramatically improve their lives. The high cost of transportation, frequent product stock outs, inadequate quality control, and inefficient distribution systems further exacerbate slim margins and low availability.
- SASEs: APOPO, Medic Mobile, One World Health, VisionSpring, World Health Partners
- Innovest: Vision services in Bangladesh