In sub-Saharan Africa, studies have shown that about one in six African children die before their fifth birthday, with half of these dying from diseases preventable by vaccines; and one woman dies every two minutes from complications of pregnancy and delivery. This can simply be attributed to the presence of a weak healthcare system in Africa with poor infrastructure and inaccessibility to proper health services especially by the percentage of the African population living below the poverty line.
The Sustainable Goal Development number 3 which is to ensure healthy lives and promote wellbeing for all at all ages has become a priority to not just the African Government but NGOs and Foundations as well.
In this post, we highlight 10 organisations committed to advocating for a stronger healthcare system across various countries in Africa.
African Medical and Research Foundation (AMREF) (KENYA)
This is the largest international health NGO based in Kenya founded by three men; Sir Archibald “Archie” McIndoe, Sir Michael Wood and Dr Tom Rees in 1956. AMREF Health Africa’s mission is to increase sustainable health access to communities in Africa. With over 500 strong and 97% African multidisciplinary workforce, the organisation has worked with over 100 poor and marginalised rural and urban slum communities as well as district health authorities and Ministries of Health and Education in Ethiopia, Kenya, Rwanda, Somalia, South Africa, Sudan, Tanzania and Uganda to create lasting health changes in Africa through solutions in human resources for health, health services delivery and investments in health.
Afya Kenya Foundation is a registered charitable trust based in Nairobi that seeks to provide quality healthcare to the rural and urban poor through free community health outreach camps. Launched in 2009, the Foundation has funded a wide range of services to over 8200 individuals such as screening, diagnosis and treatment of basic diseases, public health education, voluntary counseling and testing, and provision of free medicine.
Women’s Health Foundation (WHF) (UGANDA)
Founded in 2013, WHF supports and advocates for Women’s Health in Uganda by bringing communities of women and men together to foster health promotion for the benefit of women. The Foundation’s goal is to Promote Women’s wellbeing through a Comprehensive Community Based Healthcare Approach that ensures Positive Social Change.
South Africa Medical & Education Foundation (S.A.M.E) (SOUTH AFRICA)
Founded in 2003 by Dianne Pols, S.A.M.E Foundation’s mission is to create an environment where quality health care and education is available to everyone. High impact projects are utilised to supply medical and education services in South Africa with resources vitally needed to enhance services already rendered to the community. The Foundation to date has funded projects in over 30 hospitals and clinics in Gauteng, KwaZulu Natal, Eastern and Western Cape.
Africa Health Organisation (AHO) (ZIMBABWE)
Founded and established by Graciano Masauso, AHO is a new international health agency for Africa and the Diaspora. The organisation was registered in Zimbabwe as an international health agency in 2019. Their mission is to lead strategic collaborative efforts among countries in Africa and other partners to promote equity in health, to combat disease, and to improve the quality of, and lengthen the lives of the peoples of Africa. AHO provides technical cooperation to African governments and deliver healthcare services directly to people.
Wellbeing Foundation (NIGERIA)
Founded by Mrs Toyin Saraki, the Foundation’s mission is anchored on the successful delivery of The United Nations Sustainable Development Goals 3, 5 & 6. The Wellbeing Foundation Africa strives to educate, empower, and advocate for accessible and sustainable health in Africa. The Foundation has since inception recorded participation of over 200,000 women in their Midwifery Initiative Program – ‘MamaCare’ with successful delivery of over 250,000 babies.
West Africa Health Foundation (WAHF)
The West African Health Foundation (WAHF) is a non-profit, non-governmental organization formed by a group of physicians on a mission to address the poor health and nutritional status of the people, particularly children and women, of the West African sub-region. WAHF aims to promote health through Wellness Education and Disease Prevention. This will be done through unrestricted, comprehensive medical and public health outreach interventions and educational programs.
The Chalker Foundation for Africa was established in response to the need to improve healthcare in Africa. Their mission is to achieve positive and sustainable health outcomes for all people in sub-Saharan Africa by working in partnership with organisations that invest in the training of health workers and developing local knowledge and skills in the community.
Africa Mental Health Training and Research Foundation (AMHRTF) (KENYA)
AMHRTF is a non-governmental organization based in Kenya conceptualized in 2000 by Professor David M. Ndetei, Professor of Psychiatry at the University of Nairobi. The Foundation is dedicated to research in mental and neurological health as well as substance use research to generate evidence for policy and best practice in the provision of affordable, appropriate, available and accessible mental health services.
Foundation for African Medicine & Education (FAME) (TANZANIA)
In 2004, FAME was registered as a health service agency in Tanzania. The organization is entirely focused on advancing quality medical care in rural Tanzania. They endeavor to meet the medical needs of ordinary Tanzanian people, including underserved populations in the most rural parts of the region. Their major accomplishments to date include the phased construction, staffing and operation of FAME Medical, the operation of a mobile medical service for 10 years running, and an ambitious, in-house continuing medical education program designed to build local capacity.