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African Health Markets for Equity (AHME)

The African Health Markets for Equity (AHME) partnership is a $60 million investment by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation and the UK’s Department for International Development to increase coverage of priority health technologies and interventions amongst the poor.

African Health Markets for Equity (AHME)

Private providers are the first source of care for the majority of poor in sub-Saharan Africa.  However, the delivery channel is not optimally structured to provide equitable, high-quality coverage of critical health technologies and interventions for the poor. To improve the access of the poor to high-quality private care, supply and demand-side constraints must be tackled together. Supply-side interventions should improve the quality, scale, and scope of health services available, and demand-side interventions will provide purchasing power to poor clients to buy services.  Policy intervention, alongside ICT and improvements in the evidence base should engender a more supportive environment for achieving the planned increases in scale and scope.

AHME builds on the successful experiences of past investments on the supply, demand and policy related to private provision of care by integrating these interventions in a coordinated program.  The partnership is comprised of the most capable organizations in each of these technical realms:

  • Social franchising: Marie Stopes International, Population Services International, Society for Family Health
  • ICT development: Grameen Foundation
  • Policy: International Finance Corporation
  • Demand-side financing: International Finance Corporation, PharmAccess
  • Access to capital: Medical Credit Fund (MCF)
  • Quality improvement: SafeCare

Operating in Nigeria, Kenya and Ghana, this five year programme will increase the scale and scope of franchised health care, expanding from family planning and sexual and reproductive health to also address malaria, acute respiratory infections, diarrhea, nutrition, maternal care, HIV and TB.  Supply side improvements will be enabled by simultaneous and coordinated work in policy, ICT, quality improvement, demand-side financing and provider access to capital. This not only represents a step forward in integration of market-based approaches to improve delivery, it also integrates delivery efforts across disease groups.

In this way, AHME will increase the scale and scope of franchised health care for the poor in Nigeria, Ghana and Kenya over a five year period. It will generate large increases in coverage for malaria, acute respiratory infections, nutrition and diarrhea, alongside increases in the scale of maternal health and family planning. The project will also be subject to an external impact evaluation.

For more information, download the AHME Executive Summary using the 'Related Documents' link on the right of this page.

Timeline: November 2012 - November 2017


Over five years, the program expects to:

  • engage over 2,730 provider outlets
  • support more than 490 providers to achieve SafeCare Certificates of Improvement
  • increase provider network scope and scale by 132% (Nigeria); 196% (Kenya) and 273% (Ghana)
  • avert 2.85 million Disability Adjusted Life Years (DALYs), at a cost-effectiveness ratio of $46 per DALY.

Implementing Partner(s):

African Health Markets for Equity is implemented through a partnership between Marie Stopes International, Population Services International, Society for Family Health Nigeria, Grameen Foundation, International Finance Corporation, PharmAcess, the Medical Credit Fund, and Safecare.

For more information, visit the African Health Markets for Equity page of the Health Systems Hub.