Planning universal accessibility to public health care in sub-Saharan Africa

PNAS – Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America

Planning universal accessibility to public health care in sub-Saharan Africa
Giacomo Falchetta, Ahmed T. Hammad, and Soheil Shayegh


PNAS first published November 30, 2020.
Achieving universal health care access is a key development priority and a target of Sustainable Development Goal number 3. The COVID-19 pandemic has only reinforced this urge. A rapid expansion of public, affordable health care infrastructure is particularly crucial in sub-Saharan Africa (SSA): communicable diseases are the first cause of death, infant mortality rates are above 5%, and lengthy journeys to health care facilities undermine the accessibility to basic health care for millions. This paper provides a planning-oriented, inequality-focused analysis of health care accessibility in SSA based on a state-of-the-art georeferenced database of public health care facilities. We devise a spatial optimization framework to identify the optimal location and required bed capacity of public health care facilities in the region.