“Supporting Universal Health Coverage by modelling physical accessibility to health care”
AccessMod 5.0 is a World Health Organisation (WHO) tool, a free and open-source standalone software to model how physically accessible existing health services are to the target population, to estimate the part of the target population that would not receive care despite being physically accessible due to shortage of capacity in these services (human or equipment), to measure referral times and distances between health facilities, and to identify where to place new health facilities to increase population coverage through the scaling up analysis .
The tool has 5 primal functions, namely:
- Accessibility analysis
- Geographic analysis
- Referral analysis
- Zonal statistics
- Scaling up analysis
In a recent Lancet publication, AccessMod 5 was used to map access to emergency hospital care provided by the public sector in sub-Saharan Africa. Within the study, the tool was used to formulate a cost distance algorithm based on the location of public hospitals and the travel impedance surface, and also to compute the proportion of populations living within a combined walking and motorised travel time of 2 h to emergency hospital services. The study concluded that physical access to emergency hospital care provided by the public sector in Africa remained poor and varied substantially within and between countries . The study indicated the impact such tools could have for the future in global health.
Written by: Nefti-Eboni Bempong