ASSET research benefits Ethiopia, Sierra Leone, and Zimbabwe, three of the poorest low income countries by per capita GDP, and South Africa. South Africa, a middle income country, is more economically developed, more urbanised, more demographically aged, and further through the epidemiologic transition than Ethiopia, Sierra Leone, and Zimbabwe. However, it is also one of the world’s most unequal countries, has a high prevalence of HIV and TB, and still struggles to provide basic healthcare to much of its population. All four countries are well below the World Health Organization’s target of 2.3 doctors/ 1000 population.

ASSET countries - key demographic, economic and health indicators (figures in brackets are the global rank, by country).