Access to care: for children under-five across high pneumonia mortality countries in sub-Saharan Africa

Camielle Noordam

Research output: ThesisDoctoral ThesisExternal prepared


In Africa, 1 out of every 12 children dies before the age of 5. The majority of these deaths are from pneumonia. Seeking medical care in time and applying treatment with antibiotics can prevent these deaths. This study, based on data analysis of more than 8,000 African children with symptoms of pneumonia, shows that mothers are often not aware of the symptoms of pneumonia and low-skilled medical workers have a hard time recognising the symptoms – if, that is, the child receives medical attention at all.
This thesis describes the use of special bead chains to measure the respiration rate, which according to the WHO and Unicef is one of the most important indicators of pneumonia. This simple innovation is particularly useful for medical workers who have a hard time with numbers and figures.
In reference to another innovation, ‘mHealth’ – i.e. the use of mobile phone technology within health care systems – this thesis demonstrates that a lack of communication options does not tend to be the most important issue affecting access to health care.
Original languageEnglish
Awarding Institution
  • Maastricht University
  • Dinant, Geert, Supervisor
  • Cals, Jochen, Co-Supervisor
Award date4 Jul 2016
Publication statusPublished - 2016


  • Africa
  • health care
  • pneumonio
  • diagnostics
  • mHealth

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