Health Care Management

Research to Improve Resilience in Major African Cities through Universal Health Coverage (ReachUHC)

Universal health coverage is key to improving resilience against health crises and one of the Sustainable Development Goals. Yet, a large share of the sub-Saharan African population is without coverage and exposed to high costs of, and limited access to, healthcare. Although Ghana implemented a National Health Insurance in 2004, the overall coverage rate is still below 40% and is particularly low in the informal sector comprising 86% of the population. They must pay annual premiums, but often do not have the money available when health insurance premiums are due.

ReachUHC aims to implement a mobile phone based health wallet in Kumasi, Ghana, to allow people to save funds for their premiums in order to promote health insurance coverage. The project will intensify the cooperation between researchers from Germany, Ghana and the African research network CARTA.

Research priorities are to:

  1. Measure potential effects on coverage, insurance gaps, and the urban poor’s ability to insure.
  2. Identify enabling factors and barriers of intervention implementation. And
  3. Assess the transferability to cities abroad.

Transdisciplinary research methods are used, including quantitative analysis of insurance and survey data, and qualitative analyses of interviews with policymakers and users. Similar qualitative interviews will be conducted in the countries involved in the CARTA network: Kenya, Malawi, Nigeria, Rwanda, South Africa, Uganda.

The project is carried out in cooperation with the School of Public Health at the Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology, mTOMADY,and  the Department of Empirical Health Economics at the TU Berlin and is funded by the BMBF with almost €750,000.