Mission: To train local health workers and provide health services to meet the continent's critical health needs.
About the organization: Headquartered in Nairobi, Amref Health Africa is the largest Africa-based healthcare nonprofit, serving millions of people annually in thirty-five countries. Launched in 1957 as the Flying Doctors — an organization that brought surgical services to remote communities using light aircraft — Amref Health Africa has since expanded its focus to include training local health workers and strengthening health systems to respond to critical health challenges on the continent. In support of that mission, the Amref Health Africa in the USA office raises critically needed funds for the organization's work.
Current programs: Amref Health Africa's maternal and child health program includes efforts to train midwives, who play a critical role in preventing up to 80 percent of maternal deaths from complications on the continent and also educate women and their partners about their reproductive rights and family planning so they can make more informed choices. The organization's training program encompasses health workers at all levels — from volunteers to midwives, nurses, and doctors — with a focus on community health workers, who often are the only link to health care for people in rural areas and can provide simple but lifesaving interventions.
In the area of water, sanitation, and hygiene (WASH), Amref Health Africa takes a three-pronged approach: training community volunteers who help educate neighbors about disease prevention and the importance of improved hygiene; training and hiring local artisans in rural communities to build water and sanitation facilities; and training people elected by the community to maintain those facilities and, in cases where community members pay an affordable fee to use them, manage the finances. In addition, the organization's medical outreach efforts provide diagnostic services, checkups, immunizations, and surgical care; monitoring of non-communicable disease spread; and supplies and infrastructure improvements in vulnerable communities.
COVID-19 response: Amref Health Africa's COVID-19 response includes training frontline health workers to educate the public about COVID-19 infection, prevention, and control measures; strengthening testing and diagnostic capacity through the provision of test kits and training for lab technicians; and supplying clean water stations, soap, and hand sanitizers in low-resource areas. In support of those efforts, the organization has created an Emergency COVID-19 Fund with the goal of raising $60,000.
Website: Visitors to the Amref Health Africa site can browse projects and field updates, learn more about the organization's efforts to respond to the COVID-19 pandemic, keep up with the latest news, and/or make a donation.
Funding: Amref Health Africa is supported by individuals, foundations, corporations, and the U.S. government.