Home Institution

University of Colorado Boulder

Publication Date

Fall 2016

Program Name

Switzerland: Global Health and Development Policy


Background: One school of thought argues that transportation infrastructure is not an ultimate end goal of development and therefore shouldn’t be addressed within development funding decisions while the other argues that transportation infrastructure is the crucial foundation from which all development efforts are based and therefore needs to be addressed within development funding decisions. Within this framework, there is a lack of academic and other research addressing how physical access to health care for pregnant women can better be addressed when making decisions regarding funding of transportation infrastructure projects.

Purpose: To demonstrate the importance of considering access to health care facilities when making infrastructure funding decisions by providing evidence of the impacts such decisions have on pregnant women in sub-Saharan Africa. We also hope to provide tangible suggestions for how to make changes, from a policy standpoint in order to implement these suggestions. Finally, we hope to open a dialogue regarding what factors, apart from economic revenue, should and can be better considered when making funding decisions regarding infrastructure investments.

Method: Primary research, collected in the form of interviews with experts in the fields of health, transportation and policy and the collection of secondary research in the form of peer reviewed journal articles and reports from major development and humanitarian organizations were all used to help support this investigation. Ethical considerations were abided by throughout.

Results: We find that considering physical access to health care at the start of projects, for example in the case of PPIs, will likely help to ensure that transportation infrastructure projects do address concerns regarding health, without much extra required effort or money. We also find that by increase the amount of communication between ministers in SSA, there is likely to better consideration of health within transport decisions and vice versa. Furthermore, we see that there are many other benefits that come from improved transportation infrastructure in rural areas such as improved potential for economic growth and increased access to hubs of ingenuity.

Conclusions: We demonstrate the importance of physical access to health care for pregnant women and how vital the consideration of this topic is within transportation infrastructure funding decisions.


African Studies | Community Health and Preventive Medicine | Health and Medical Administration | Health Policy | International Public Health | Maternal and Child Health | Obstetrics and Gynecology | Public Affairs, Public Policy and Public Administration | Public Policy | Social and Cultural Anthropology | Transportation | Women's Health