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Joep Lange Institute Press Contact
PharmAccess Group

Connecting people in Africa to better healthcare

Provider services

We support healthcare providers to improve their business and the quality of their healthcare services.

Provider services
Health analytics
Health investment
Health insurance
Quality standards

A new paradigm for increased access to healthcare in Africa

When Prof. Dr. Joep Lange founded PharmAccess in 2001, he was determined to turn his groundbreaking scientific research into action. His drive brought life-saving AIDS treatment to those who needed it most. Later, the focus broadened to the healthcare system as a whole. His vision of making quality healthcare accessible for people in sub-Saharan Africa is still at the heart of what we do.

Better health means higher productivity, which in turn spurs economic growth. But with 10% of global GDP, healthcare is also of enormous direct economic importance. However, healthcare markets, especially those at the base of the pyramid, are stuck in a vicious cycle of low and unpredictable demand, low and uncertain quality of supply, and totally inadequate investment, both public and private. Our approach is to break through this vicious cycle. It is based on the premises outlined in the article “A new paradigm for increased access to healthcare in Africa” (Schellekens et al., 2007).

PharmAccess builds trust on both the supply and the demand side of the healthcare market and leverages donor contributions to reduce risks and increase investments in health. We address market inefficiencies through an integrated approach: improving quality of care through clinical and business standards, introducing mHealth applications, providing access to loans for healthcare providers, facilitating access to health insurance and other health financing options, and conducting impact research for evidence-based innovation.

We entrust doctors with our greatest wealth: the health of our children – yet our banks don’t trust them to repay a simple bank loan.

On a solid base of local and international public-private partnerships, and with the support of many international development stakeholders including the Netherlands Ministry of Foreign Affairs, we help improve healthcare delivery and affordability for patients and increase market transparency for investors.

PharmAccess employs a multidisciplinary team of over 200 professionals, 60% of which are based in Kenya, Tanzania, Ghana, Nigeria and Namibia.

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Our Activities

Health investments

In partnership with African banks, we facilitate loans and technical assistance for private healthcare providers. Many small and medium-sized clinics struggle to purchase modern equipment or even pay for basic repairs. Medical Credit Fund provides performance-based financing in combination with capacity building through SafeCare. We help these clinics build a financial track record and become bankable, grow their business acumen and improve the quality of their healthcare services.

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Quality standards

Sub-Saharan Africa has a shortage of institutions and standards to ensure objective and comparable measurement of healthcare quality. SafeCare basic healthcare standards was founded to fill this gap. The internationally accredited standards make it possible to measure, rate and benchmark the level of quality, safety and risk at healthcare providers.

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Mobile health

Our work in mobile health is reducing financial barriers for people to access quality healthcare. The mobile phone is rapidly changing the economic and social fabric of Africa, offering unprecedented opportunities to improve access to healthcare for the poor. Working in partnership with several international organizations, we have been developing and applying mHealth innovations in real-life settings in Kenya since 2013. These new products are revolutionizing healthcare delivery in Africa.

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Health insurance

We work in partnership with African companies to support health insurance for low-income groups such as cooperatives of farmers. With partners such as governments, mobile network and money operators, insurers and insurance distributors, we design and implement public-private health insurance schemes directly within the local context. Our PPP models in Nigeria, Tanzania and Kenya, which have attracted international attention, are increasingly being taken over by local governments and partners.

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The World Bank has classified Nigeria as a middle-income country – yet it still has some of the worst health statistics in the world.

Health in Africa

In the absence of functioning institutions, many African health markets are stuck in a downward spiral of low supply, low demand and insufficiënt investments. As a result, people often face catastrophic health expenses when they fall ill.

While sub-Saharan Africa already carries 47% of the world’s communicable diseases, non-communicable diseases like diabetes, cancer, high blood pressure and heart disease are also on the rise. Meanwhile, the continent faces a severe shortage of trained medical staff and healthcare infrastructure. At the same time, sustained economic and population growth are leading to an increased demand for affordable and quality healthcare services. Therefore, expanding the capacity of Africa’s primary health systems is becoming increasingly important (data 2014).

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of the world’s population

of the burden of communicable diseases

of total global health expenditure

of all health expenses are paid out-of-pocket

PharmAccess believes in doing healthcare better.

With a focus on sub-Saharan Africa, we work on improving the whole system so that everyone has access to care when they need it, not just when they can afford it.

Find out what this means in practice by watching our short animation.

Results of our work

Our integrated approach is generating results on both supply and demand side of the healthcare system.


Clinics active in SafeCare program

Clinics active in SafeCare program


Patient visits per month

Patient visits per month

$ 44,627,815

Total disbursed loan amount

Total disbursed loan amount


Clinics connected on M-TIBA. View more M-TIBA data.

Clinics connected on M-TIBA. View more M-TIBA data.

He is still alive and healthy, thanks to the good treatment

When I was told that there were complications with my pregnancy I was scared that I would have another miscarriage after having had three miscarriages and losing an infant. But luckily, I gave birth to my son safely in a hospital. He is 6 years old now and is still alive and healthy thanks to the good treatment at the hospital.
Aishatu Atahiru, mother of Hygeia.

A selection of our partners

About the PharmAccess Group

PharmAccess believes in doing healthcare better. With a focus on sub-Saharan Africa, we work on improving the whole system. This means mobilizing private and public resources to get more money into the system, measuring and improving quality, and reaching even the most excluded through simple technologies like the mobile phone.

This approach to healthcare is designed to ensure that everyone has access to better care when they need it, not just when they can afford it.