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Appl Geogr. 2017 Jan;78:45-54. doi: 10.1016/j.apgeog.2016.11.001. Epub 2016 Nov 25.

How to allocate limited healthcare resources: Lessons from the introduction of antiretroviral therapy in rural Mozambique.

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University of Maryland, College Park, Department of Geographical Sciences, 2181 Samuel J. LeFrak Hall, College Park, MD 20742, United States.
University of Kansas, Department of Sociology, Lawrence, KS 66045, United States, (785) 864-9482.
University of Pittsburgh, Graduate School of Public Health, 130 De Soto Street, A614 Crabtree, Pittsburgh, PA 15261, United States, (412) 624-2475.


Proper allocation of limited healthcare resources is a challenging task for policymakers in developing countries. Allocation of and access to these resources typically varies based on how need is defined, thus determining how individuals access and acquire healthcare. Using the introduction of antiretroviral therapy in southern Mozambique as an example, we examine alternative definitions of need for rural populations and how they might impact the allocation of this vital health service. Our results show that how need is defined matters when allocating limited healthcare resources and the use of need-based metrics can help ensure more optimal distribution of services.


Antiretroviral therapy; Healthcare resources; Location-allocation analysis; Rural populations; sub-Saharan Africa

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