Initiative Accès: Healthcare for Mothers and Children in Mali

The Initiative Accès program aims to improve access to primary healthcare services for women and children in Mali.

Initiative Accès: Healthcare for Mothers and Children in Mali

Availability and affordability of safe and efficacious medicines are crucial factors impacting access, which in turn affects the ability to combat diseases, as well as child and maternal mortality. The complexity of the access issue, however, extends far beyond the availability of affordable medicines and even the healthcare system. Many different factors and causes must be targeted.

The Novartis Foundation for Sustainable Development (NFSD) developed an access to healthcare framework, defined as the degree to which a healthcare system’s services and providers (supply) are aligned with a patient’s resources, needs and expectations (demand). Access to healthcare and medicines can only be sustainable if the local healthcare system and services meet demand.

The obstacles to access to healthcare are especially pronounced in rural areas with large geographical distances, such as for example the region of Ségou in Mali. In light of this situation, the Novartis Foundation, together with its Malian partners, developed an integrated healthcare project in the municipality of Cinzana from 2001 to 2006.

The main beneficiaries are pregnant woman, young mothers and children under five years of age. In order to adequately improve access to healthcare, the Initiative Acces intervenes on both the supply and demand sides of access by:

  • Improving the availability and quality of healthcare services;
  • Bringing healthcare services closer to patients;
  • Strengthening health insurance schemes;
  • Providing microcredit to women’s savings groups; and
  • Introducing income-generating activities for farmers.

Based on the findings and experiences of this pilot phase, the project was scaled up in 2007 to an additional 12 areas in the region of Ségou, covering 200,000 people in 210 villages.


  • Novartis Foundation

    Switzerland | Staff size: 26-50

    The Novartis Foundation is a philanthropic organization pioneering innovative healthcare models that have a transformational impact on the health of the poorest populations. We work hand-in-hand...

  • Univeristy of Geneva (UNIGE)

    United States | Staff size: 10,000+

    Founded in 1559 by Jean Calvin, the University of Geneva (UNIGE) is dedicated to thinking, teaching, dialogue and research. With 16’000 students of more than 140 different nationalities,...

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Key Information

LocationMali, West Africa
  • Start Date 2001
  • End Date 2012
  • Sectors