Project profile — Access to Quality Care Through Extending and Strengthening Health Systems

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Access to Quality Care Through Extending and Strengthening Health Systems - Overview
Aga Khan Foundation Canada (CA-CRA_ACR-0010011141)
2016-03-30 - 2021-03-31
Country / region • Pakistan (27.13%)
• Mali (22.14%)
• Mozambique (22.14%)
• Kenya (28.14%)
• Canada (0.45%)
Sector • Health, General
Medical education/training (12181) (28.00%)
• Basic Health
Basic health infrastructure (12230) (30.00%)
• Basic Health
Basic nutrition (12240) (4.00%)
• Basic Health
Health education (12261) (9.00%)
• Population Policies/Programmes And Reproductive Health
Population policy and administrative management (13010) (3.00%)
• Population Policies/Programmes And Reproductive Health
Reproductive health care (13020) (24.00%)
• Population Policies/Programmes And Reproductive Health
Family planning (13030) (1.00%)
• Unallocated/ Unspecified
Promotion of development awareness (99820) (1.00%)
Policy marker • Gender equality (significant objective)
• Environmental sustainability (cross-cutting) (not targeted)
• Participatory development and good governance (not targeted)
• Trade development (not targeted)
• Biodiversity (not targeted)
• Climate change mitigation (not targeted)
• Climate Change Adaptation (not targeted)
• Urban issues (not targeted)
• Desertification (not targeted)
• Children's issues (principal objective)
• Youth Issues (significant objective)
• Indigenous Issues (not targeted)
• Disability (not targeted)
• ICT as a tool for development (not targeted)
Description and results


The project, Access to Quality Care Through Extending and Strengthening Health Systems (AQCESS), aims to improve the health of mothers, newborns and children (MNCH) of communities and populations in select regions in Mali, Mozambique, Kenya and Pakistan. In these regions some MNCH indicators, such as maternal mortality, skilled birth attendance, stunting prevalence and under five mortality, are particularly poor, with women and children still lack access to essential health services. The regions targeted by the project lack adequate numbers of appropriately skilled health workers, have weak health system management, offer care of generally poor quality, and include communities with limited knowledge on how to protect and promote the health of mothers and children, and high levels of gender inequality. Project activities include: (1) equipping and upgrading health facilities for: safer deliveries and newborn care, treating infections and malnutrition, facilitating eHealth applications, and improved disposal of biomedical waste; (2) training facility-based health workers and health care managers on topics including human resource management, use of clinical guidelines, evidence-based decision-making, and gender equality; (3) mobilizing local communities to adopt healthy behaviours; (4) providing essential health services at the community level; (5) training health workers and communities to collect, analyze and use administrative health data and contribute to reporting data through government information systems; and (6) engaging key project stakeholders on the results of project impact assessments and their relevance to policy dialogue. This initiative also includes a public engagement component designed to increase understanding of global MNCH issues among the Canadian public. This initiative is expected to contribute directly to the improved health of approximately 1.3 million people, including over 330,000 children, and 1.5 million people indirectly. Aga Khan Foundation Canada is implementing this project in collaboration with the following local partners: Aga Khan Foundation Mozambique; Aga Khan Health Service, Aga Khan Rural Support Programme; Aga Khan Foundation, in Pakistan; Aga Khan University of East Africa and Aga Khan Health Service (AKHS) East Africa, in Kenya.

Expected results

The expected outcomes for this project include: (1) improved delivery of essential health services to mothers, pregnant women, newborns and children under five years of age; (2) improved utilization of essential health services by mothers, pregnant women, newborns and children under five years of age; (3) improved dissemination and use of MNCH evidence and information by decision-makers in the target regions; and (4) increased awareness of MNCH issues among Canadians.

Results achieved

Results achieved as of the end of the project (December 2020) include: (1) 1.7 million direct beneficiaries, exceeding a target of 1.3 million. This includes women of reproductive age, girls and boys under age five, and young men over the age of 15. As well, health personnel, health volunteers, community leaders, and a wide range of stakeholders supporting improved health outcomes for targeted populations. The project also reached an estimated 885,168 indirect beneficiaries; (2) construction and renovations of 66 health facilities in project countries improved water, sanitation and infection prevention and control infrastructure; (3) in Kenya, the project supported the devolved government health care system. It established and strengthened 27 Community Units, trained and mentored 580 (of which 357 women) Community Health Volunteers and Community Health Committee members; (4) in Mali, the project supported the government’s decentralized social services policy by training Associations de Santé Communautaire, Comités de Santé and local government officials with planning and budgeting for gender-responsive reproductive, maternal and newborn child health needs at the community level; (5) in Pakistan, the project worked through local support and women’s organizations to ensure local relevance. Also, capacity building at both Aga Khan Health Service and the Department of Health Facilities ensured a comprehensive system strengthening approach nationwide, reflective of the health system in northern Pakistan; (6) in Mozambique, the project supported the delivery of the Ministry of Health strategy for Cabo Delgado by working in direct partnership with the Provincial Health Department to deliver outreach clinics and national campaigns, strengthen the institutional capacity of the Pemba Nursing School and support the establishment of a Centre of Excellence for Reproductive Maternal, Newborn and Child Health at Metuge-Sede Health Centre; (7) sustainability of the project results is through Aga Khan Development Network’s ongoing presence and collaborative partnerships with the ministries of health and local organizations. For example, local governments have committed to adopt maintenance costs for infrastructure and eHealth improvements. In Mali and Kenya, regional/county health budgets have incorporated fees for internet connectivity and other costs related to eHealth. System strengthening approaches such as instituting protocols for quality improvement cycles or gender-responsive service delivery audits further strengthen the likelihood that results would endure beyond the life of the project; and (8) the project engaged Canadians with videos on reproductive maternal newborn and child health and gender equality. Published five related articles on, reaching 3,234 people. Presented a digital exhibit, including two online workshops on gender equality, the pandemic, health and gender equality. Used Facebook and Twitter to present the project and COVID-19 content.



Original budget $1,248,234
Planned Disbursement $0
Transaction Date Type Value
25-11-2020 Disbursement $1,000,000
17-03-2021 Disbursement $248,234
Country Percentages by Sector
Related information

Related information

Access to Quality Care Through Extending and Strengthening Health Systems - Related information
Related links
Partner website — Aga Khan Foundation Canada
Global Affairs Canada
KFM Partnerships for Devlpmnt Innovation
Aid grant excluding debt reorganisation
Project-type interventions

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