Current Project

Improving healthcare delivery in informal settlements

Program: Health and Systems for Health

Rapid urbanization in major cities in Africa, has contributed to a surge in informal settlements, also commonly referred to as slums. Although located close to urban centers, slum residents are prone to poorer health indicators than those in non-slum neighborhoods as a result of a hazardous environment and socioeconomic challenges. The illegal nature of the slums, poverty, weak government support, among other factors, all serve to limit access and utilization of essential health services by the residents. The result is that many people living in slums seek care at health facilities that are unregulated and/or without adequately trained health professionals or from various places (such as clinics run by charities to tackle specific issues e.g. HIV) but without integrated care.

To improve healthcare service delivery in the slums, it is important to come up with  viable models of health service delivery that are accessible and inclusive. APHRC and Warwick University have partnered in this study which seeks to design such a model in the slums of Korogocho and Viwandani.

Key activities include:

  1. Geo-spatial mapping of all structures including formal and informal health care facilities for slum residents
  2. Identifying and understanding accessibility and health service use patterns in the slums
  3. Contributing to the design of viable models for healthcare service delivery through engagement with decision-makers and healthcare users in this slums

The project will also be carried out in three other slum settings namely; Lagos and Ibadan in Nigeria; Karachi in Pakistan; and Dhaka in Bangladesh. The information collected from this project will provide evidence on healthcare service delivery in these slums and potentially stimulate discussions with policy makers and public and private healthcare sector players on how best to improve health service delivery in slums. The improvement of health service delivery will in turn benefit the population of informal settlements by reducing morbidity and mortality at a population level, and doing this at the smallest possible cost to both the individuals receiving health services and the wider society.

Project Period
  • Start date: July 2017
  • End Date: March 2021


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The research was commissioned by the National Institute of Health Research using Official Development Assistance (ODA) funding. The views expressed are those of the author(s) and not necessarily those of the NHS, the NIHR or the Department of Health and Social Care.

Project Funders

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