Photo:WHO/M.Grzemska CC BY
Innovations in Rural Heal Care
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.
Mobile Health workers
One innovation being developed by FFGH is our training and deployment of financially self-sustaining health outreach workers who use motorcycles to travel the countryside. These highly mobile health care workers cover a large catchment area, and provide access to care for thousands people who would generally not be reached by traditional, fixed-location clinics.
Our health outreach workers are trained to provide high quality diagnostic services, prevention, and treatment, including oral hydration, antibiotics, artemisinin-based combination therapy (ACT) for malaria, deworming and Vitamin A. We have developed a cost-recovery model; small fees are charged for some services, while other life-saving services are provided free of charge. Initial data indicates the method can be financially self-sustaining.