The University of Warwick is being given more than £5 million to improve the delivery of healthcare to some of the world’s poorest people.

The National Institute of Health Research’s (NIHR) Global Health Research Unit on Improving Health in Slums has awarded the University’s Medical School nearly £5.7 million to facilitate access to care for people living in slums in Africa and Asia, and then work with politicians and other officials to make the changes needed.

The University will also invest £717,988 in the project, which will in the first instance aims to map current health services and facilities and understand how these are used in six slums across Asia and Africa.

Researchers will identify the costs associated with how the health services run in each slum, including that to patients and their households, and then develop new models of health service delivery to help better tackle issues such as dangerous childbirth, malnutrition and infectious disease deaths.

“Many people living in slums go to low quality or unqualified clinics, or to various places  - such as clinics run by charities to tackle specific issues e.g. HIV - but without joined-up care. This has negative consequences for both individual and population health,” said research lead Richard Lilford, Professor of Public Health and Pro-Dean (research) at Warwick Medical School.

“Our outputs will support improvements in the organisation and effectiveness of health services, thereby delivering measurable benefits to one of the world’s most vulnerable population groups.”