Initiative Accès: Healthcare for Mothers and Children in Mali

Partnership objective

Improve access to primary healthcare services for women and children in Mali.

The obstacles to access to healthcare are especially pronounced in rural areas with large geographical distances. The obstacles to access to healthcare are especially pronounced in rural areas with large geographical distances. Copyright Novartis Foundation for Sustainable Development

What are the health needs and challenges?

Lack of adequate access to primary healthcare affects people worldwide, especially women, newborn babies and children. For example in Mali, the maternal mortality rate stands at 368 in 100,000 live births while 128 children out of 1,000 die before the age of five.  

Description of partnership activities and how they address needs and challenges

The Novartis Foundation for Sustainable Development   uses an access to healthcare framework, defined as the degree to which a healthcare system’s services and providers (supply) are aligned with a patient’s resources, needs and expectations (demand). Access to healthcare and medicines can only be sustainable if the local healthcare system and services meet demand.

Drawing on this framework, the Novartis Foundation has implemented the Initiative Accès from 2008 to 2013, aiming to improve access to primary healthcare specifically for women and children in rural Mali, covering a total of 200,000 people in 210 villages in the region of Ségou.

The Initiative Accès intervened on both the supply and the demand side of access, improving the quality of care through training and supportive supervision, and facilitating financial access for people by supporting women saving groups and community-based health insurance schemes. 

Lessons learned                            

The project showed that by intervening on both the supply and the demand side, access to primary healthcare can be improved for people in rural Mali. Through the Initiative Accès, the availability and accessibility of health services were improved and financial access for patients was facilitated through health insurance and women saving groups. 

Summary of impact and forward looking information

Through the Initiative Accès, the quality of care as well as the management of health facilities has been improved. For example, 96% of malaria case management were adequate in 2013 compared to 67% in 2008. In the same period, the utilization rate of health facilities in the intervention zone has increased from 0.22 to 0.36.

Based on the lessons learned of the Initiative Accès, the Novartis Foundation is currently working with local partners to develop a new program focusing on innovative solutions to improving maternal, newborn and child health. 


Improving access to primary healthcare in Mali

Améliorer l'accès aux services de santé au Mali

Partnership information

Company(ies) Novartis

Partner(s) Mali Ministry of Social Development, Union Technique de la Mutualité Malienne (UTM), Université de Genève

Type of Partner(s) Academia / Hospitals, Government, Other Business

Therapeutic Focus Women and Children's Health, Other

Disease(s) Children's Health, General Health, Women's Health

Program Type(s) Health System Infrastructure - Development of Physical Infrastructure, Health System Infrastructure - Training, Prevention Programs - Vaccines

Targeted Population(s) Children, Mothers, People with low income, Women

Region(s) Sub-Saharan Africa

Number of Countries 1

Country(ies) Mali

Start Date 2001

More information Novartis Foundation for Sustainable Development

Completed date 2016