Improving Quality and Access to Health Care through Mobile Health Clinics in Windhoek, Namibia

Project Description

This project is a preliminary evaluation of an experimental mobile health care program recently implemented in Namibia, known as ‘Mister Sister Mobile Primary Health Care Clinic Project’ (‘Mister Sister’). Mister Sister is implemented by PharmAccess Namibia, through a unique corporate social investment agreement that combines funding from the government of Namibia, corporate and donor funding, and small contributions by users. Since January 2013, Mister Sister has been providing primary health services to individuals at six sites among Windhoek’s informal settlements. To examine use of the mobile health care services and explore whether the program has improved access to health care services and health outcomes among registered users in these sites, this study will use mixed methods to collect and analyze data from clinic users and Mister Sister staff. These data are also intended to provide baseline data for a more rigorous future evaluation (not part of the present protocol) of improvements in health service access and health outcomes in Windhoek’s informal settlements over time as a result of the Mister Sister project, which currently has funding to operate over a three-year period.

The study will be carried out in Windhoek, Namibia, in partnership with staff at Mister Sister and its implementing organization, PharmAccess Namibia. It will involve collecting cross-sectional quantitative and qualitative data from users of the mobile clinics, ongoing program operation data, and qualitative data collected from Mister Sister staff. Our aim is to collect and analyze rich, in-depth data that will permit an examination of use of the clinics in the informal settlements since January 2013 and particularly to explore whether the clinic services have improved the quality of and access to health services among users of the clinics. We plan to share the study results widely with stakeholders in Namibia.

In Namibia, all health and health services research is approved by the Ministry of Health and Social Services (MoHSS). Like a previous study we conducted in Namibia, which also focused on assessing services provided by Mister Sister, we will obtain ethical approval from the MoHSS. Because of the collaborative nature of the Mister Sister project and our experience conducting research in collaboration with PharmAccess Namibia, we do not anticipate any problems obtaining approval to conduct this assessment.

Project Details

Principal Investigators Lora Sabin
Mary Bachman DeSilva
Co-Investigators Rich Feeley
Collaborators PharmAccess Foundation Namibia
Abt Associates
Country(ies) Namibia
Dates of Research 2013-2014
Donor/Funder USAID_logo_square_150United States Agency for International Health (USAID)