Cambodian woman taking her daily medication. Photo: OpASHA

Cambodian woman taking her daily medication. Photo: OpASHA

Providing rural communities with access to quality health care is a key priority for the Fund for Global Health.  Rural communities in developing countries often face severe health problems.  Functioning clinics are frequently far away, quality of care may be low, and the cost of transport can be a major barrier.  As a result many people in rural communities hesitate to seek medical care for themselves or their family members until their condition becomes extreme – when it is often too late.  Lack of access to health care in rural areas contributes to high mortality rates among children, who often die from from treatable illnesses such as dehydration, pneumonia and malaria.  We want to change this by developing innovative strategies for health care delivery to rural communities.

% of global population with Healthcare Access

Source: International Labour Organization

As we can see above, more than half the world’s rural population lacks effective access to health care, compared to 22 percent of the urban population. The highest gaps for the rural population are in Africa, where as much as 77 per cent of the population has no access to health care due to the absence of needed health workers; while in urban areas half of the population is still underserved.  In addition to be a tragedy in its own right, maternal mortality can also serve as an overall indicator of the performance of a health system. Globally, the maternal mortality ratio (MMR) is 2.5 times higher in rural than in urban areas.  Planely speaking, there is an incredible deficit in healthcare services in rural areas around the world, and that needs to change.

populations without access to health care due to health worker shortages, 2015

Source: Source: International Labour Organization