The Malaria Atlas Project created new geographic “heat maps” that illustrate disparate travel distances to urban centers across the globe.
Aug 27, 2018
Typically, the distance people have to travel to the nearest city is a major factor that determines the accessibility of medical services. In sparsely populated regions, the next hospital might be hours away.
Earlier this year, an international team of researchers, led by the Big Data Institute at the University of Oxford, created a color-coded map of the planet that shows travel times to cities of at least 50,000 people. Their findings were published in the journal Nature.1 A statistical analysis revealed that over 80 percent of the people alive in the world today live within one hour of a city, and even seemingly remote areas of the world are reasonably well connected.1
Still, the reported results also highlight disparities of access to urban centers. With regard to wealth, “50.9% of individuals living in low-income settings (concentrated in sub-Saharan Africa) reside within an hour of a city compared to 90.7% of individuals in high-income settings.”1 Clearly, there is much to be done to improve access to cities for underprivileged communities – often a prerequisite for much-needed healthcare.
There is not one formulaic solution to such regional healthcare access challenges. Instead, local solutions, capacity building, and cross-sectorial collaboration between governmental, non-governmental and corporate actors are needed – they can have a significant positive impact on people’s health and lives in remote areas of the world.
Sandoz is committed to playing its part in expanding access to healthcare around the world, focusing on the areas where we can really make a difference. That is also why we proudly partner with World Child Cancer and Americares to improve access to healthcare.
You can read more about the work of our access partners here: