81 Pro-Poor Health Innovations

By Rose Reis, Results for Development Institute, Center for Health Market Innovations (CHMI)

81 Pro-Poor Health Innovations

From her light-flooded office in central Mumbai, Sweta Mangal oversees a fast-growing emergency transport company. In the last year, Ziqitza Healthcare Limited nearly doubled the number of ambulances it operates from 460 to more than 850. Many of these ambulances respond to emergency calls across three states through the government-funded hotline Dial 108.

The Center for Health Market Innovations (CHMI) profiles a total of 1,200 programs around the world and Mangal’s company is one of more than 40 health programs that reported having scaled up significantly over the past year.

Most organizations have enormous hurdles to scale, including sourcing effective personnel, mastering quality standards, accessing funding, and achieving an effective business model. As such, the momentum reported to CHMI is worth celebrating; we do so in Highlights: 2013, our annual look at trends in health markets in low- and middle-income countries.

Here are a few more top-line messages from Highlights, which spotlights 81 programs working to improve healthcare around the world:

  • One of the fastest growing innovations in the CHMI database is the use of vouchers allowing the poor to access quality health services. According to data in the CHMI database, the use of vouchers has grown by 18% per year since 2000. Other rapidly growing approaches include health-provider training and the use of information communication technology.
  • Many low- and middle-income countries are home to diverse and vibrant health markets. India has seen a boom of private healthcare development, and many health programs identified by CHMI are clustered in southern India, such as the emergency transport company Ziqitza, one of 29 innovations identified by CHMI in Maharashtra.
  • Even in fragile states—home to a third of the world’s poor—promising healthcare solutions are surfacing. Healthy Entrepreneurs’ Pharmacy-In-A-Box is stocked with 25 essential generic medicines tailored to the specific health needs and infrastructure realities of rural communities. Healthy Entrepreneurs operates in five countries, including the fragile states of Burundi, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, and Haiti.
  • Innovators are finding effective solutions to tackle diseases that are top contributors to the developing world’s mortality and morbidity rates. In South Africa, On Cue Compliance has used a custom-designed pill bottle to help 90% of patients comply with their TB drug regimen, a huge improvement compared to the 22-60% who normally comply.
  • But the question still remains: Which approaches and programs are actually showing results? More than 240 programs have reported results across 10 performance dimensions tracked by CHMI. Eighty-three organizations are reporting health outputs—such as the number of health services provided—67 are reporting changes in the health status of a given population, and 57 are reporting improvements in the affordability of health services or products.

CHMI uses data describing organizational impact to identify promising approaches. With a better understanding of which health organizations are having an impact in these extremely dynamic health markets, we can better track and support the scaling up of care to measurably improve the lives of the poor.

Read CHMI’s Highlights: 2013 to learn more about Ziqitza Healthcare Limited and 80 other cutting-edge health programs.

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