Expanding Access to Health Care, Despite Cuts to Foreign Aid
By Laura Hanson

As countries like Namibia, Vietnam, India and others have transitioned from a ‘low’ to ‘middle-income’ country status, they have also experienced startling cuts in international assistance. While these resources are being re-directed to areas in greater need of financial aid, severe income inequality, unemployment and poor health outcomes persist in these countries. Cuts in aid, therefore, threaten to undermine progress made possible through subsidized testing and treatment services for HIV/AIDS and technical assistance for poverty alleviation, education and agriculture programs.

More and more, the flow of private sector resources into developing countries is being leveraged to fill this gap, helping countries to achieve their health and development goals through so-called ‘public-private-partnerships.’ An innovative mobile clinic program in Namibia has created such a partnership between the Namibian government, foreign donors and local businesses and corporations. Pooled together, these resources are used to provide basic primary health care services to those living in rural areas and in the informal settlements around the capital city of Windhoek.

Clinic on the Move, a multi-media film created for the Mister Sister Mobile Health Service explores the unique barriers rural population face in accessing health care in Namibia and the unique public-private-partnership that has allowed the government to successfully expanded coverage of quality, affordable health care services to those who need it most.