Access to Quality Care through Extending and Strengthening Health Systems (AQCESS)

Reporting Organization:Aga Khan Foundation Canada
Total Budget ($CAD):$ 30,527,656
Timeframe: April 1, 2016 - September 30, 2020
Status: Completion
Contact Information: Rachel Pell
[email protected]

Partner & Funder Profiles

Reporting Organization

Aga Khan Foundation Canada

Funders (Total Budget Contribution)

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Country - Total Budget Allocation

Kenya - $ 8,547,743.68 (28.00%)

Pakistan - $ 8,242,467.12 (27.00%)

Mali - $ 6,716,084.32 (22.00%)

Mozambique - $ 6,716,084.32 (22.00%)

Canada - $ 305,276.56 (1.00%)

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Areas of Focus

Health - Total Budget Allocation

Newborn & Child Health (50 %)

Reproductive Health & Rights incl. Maternal Health (50 %)

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AQCESS is a four year project executed by Aga Khan Foundation Canada (AKFC) in partnership with agencies of the Aga Khan Development Network and SickKids Centre for Global Child Health and funding from Global Affairs Canada (GAC). It is implemented in targeted regions of Kenya, Mali, Mozambique and Pakistan and includes public engagement activities in Canada. AQCESS interventions are anchored on three key components: improved delivery of essential maternal, newborn and child health (MNCH) health services; improved utilization of essential MNCH services by communities; and improved use of MNCH information and evidence by key stakeholders in target regions and the Canadian public.

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Target Population

Gender and age: Adult women Adult men Adolescent females Adolescent males Children, girls Children, boys Under-5 children Newborns
Descriptors: Rural
Total Direct Population: 1,526,574
Total Indirect Population: 875,793
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1,345 Training health personnel
228 Facilities Renovated/Equipped
404 Training health committees
412 Training health system managers
8,562 Community sessions
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Results & Indicators

Expected Results

Intermediate Outcome 1100: Improved delivery of gender-responsive, environmentally sustainable essential health services to mothers, pregnant women, newborns and children under five.

Intermediate Outcome 1200: Improved utilization of gender-responsive, environmentally sustainable, essential health services by mothers, pregnant women, newborns and children under five.

Intermediate Outcome 1300: Improved use of MNCH information and evidence, with key stakeholders in target regions and engagement of the Canadian public

Achieved Results

The AQCESS project finished in 2021. Across the project life cycle, AQCESS’s system strengthening approach achieved significant results for reproductive, maternal, newborn and child health (RMNCH). This included supporting 66 health facilities, mainly at the primary care level, to deliver quality, gender responsive reproductive, maternal, newborn and child health (RMNCH) services. Renovations, provision of essential equipment and supplies, and continuous quality improvement interventions, resulted in a 25% increase in health facilities that conform to safe delivery and newborn care standards, a final average score of 78% across gender responsive service delivery criteria at targeted health facilities and a 680% increase in the percentage of health facilities with adequate protocols to prevent the spread of infections like maternal sepsis and COVID-19. The project built the capacity of over 3,400 health workers, 80% female, including health system managers and community level skilled birth attendants such as matrones in Mali and Community Midwives in Pakistan. Overall, 400,000+ women and girls gained access to comprehensive reproductive health services, including skilled health workers present during childbirth. Additionally, 80,000+ men were reached with messaging about their role as partners and parents in improving reproductive, maternal, newborn, and child health.


SDG Goal 3. Ensure healthy lives and promote well-being for all at all ages
  • SDG 3.1.1 Maternal mortality ratio
  • SDG 3.1.2 Proportion of births attended by skilled health personnel
  • SDG 3.2.1 Under‑5 mortality rate
  • SDG 3.2.2 Neonatal mortality rate
  • SDG 3.7.1 Proportion of women of reproductive age (aged 15–49 years) who have their need for family planning satisfied with modern methods
SRHR-related Indicators
  • # of health care service providers trained in SRHR services
MNCH-related indicators
  • %/total of mothers, and %/total of babies, who received postnatal care within two days of childbirth
  • %/total of women attended at least four times during pregnancy by any provider for reasons related to the pregnancy
  • %/total of infants (0-5 months) who are fed exclusively with breast milk
  • # of health facilities equipped with maternal and newborn child health, or sexual and reproductive health equipment
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Associated Projects (If applicable)

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