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Amref Health Africa

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

About Amref Health Africa

Amref Health Africa was founded in 1957, by three surgeons as the [The Flying Doctors of East Africa]. [1]Three doctors – [Sir Michael Wood],[Sir Archibald McIndoe]and Tom Rees – drew up a groundbreaking plan to provide medical assistance to remote regions of [East Africa], where they had all worked for many years as reconstructive surgeons. Spurred by what they had seen of the combined effects of poverty, tropical disease and a lack of adequate health services in East Africa, their collective vision was born in the foothills of [Mt Kilimanjaro].

The organisation (headquartered in Kenya), remains the largest Africa based international non-governmental organisation (NGO) currently running over 130 programmes in 35 African countries in with lessons learnt over 60 years of engagement with governments, communities and partners to increase sustainable health access in Africa.

Today, Amref Health Africa implements its projects through country programmes in Kenya, Ethiopia, Uganda, Tanzania, Senegal (base for West Africa), South Sudan and Southern Africa (Malawi, Mozambique, Zambia). Amref Health Africa has 10 fundraising, programme support and international advocacy offices in Europe and North America.


Lasting health change in Africa.


To increase sustainable health access to communities in Africa through solutions in human resources for health, health services delivery and investments in health.


  • Integrity; demonstrating high ethical standards in all our dealings
  • Quality; ensuring excellence is core to our planning and execution
  • Ubuntu; embracing compassion based on our fundamental shared humanity

Our Founders

The idea of improving the health of Africa's disadvantaged was first raised in 1956 over sundowners at Ol Orien farm on the slopes of Mt. Kilimanjaro by three men, Sir Archibald “Archie” McIndoe, Sir Michael Wood and Dr. Tom Rees all reconstructive surgeons, who were destined to become lifelong friends.

It was in the days before independence from Britain when millions of people living in remote areas had no access to proper medical treatment. So why not, they suggested, take specialised and essential health care to the small bush hospitals that were isolated by terrain and inadequate means of communication. And why not connect these same hospitals to expert medical advice by setting up a radio network with Nairobi as the hub. It was a daunting challenge, but if anyone could do it, it was these three.

They had traits in common: vision, charisma, deep compassion, the courage to explore medical frontiers and the constitution of an ox. Today their names are embedded in AMREF's history. Sir Michael Wood, Dr Thomas Rees and Sir Archibald McIndoe.


Sir Archibald “Archie” McIndoe

Sir Archibald, or Archie as his friends called him, was born on the May 4, 1900. He studied medicine at Otago University and qualified as a surgeon in 1924.[READ MORE]

Sir Michael Wood

Mike Wood was born in 1919. He was educated at Winchester College at the Middlesex Hospital Medical School of London, where he became a surgeon. Michael an imposing six foot plus in height but had the slightly hunched shoulders of an asthmatic.[READ MORE]

Dr Tom Rees

Tom Rees matched Mike in good looks and has an equally beautiful wife, the indomitable Nan. Of Welsh coal-mining stock, his grandfather emigrated to Utah and staked out a ranch in the shadow of the Rocky Mountains. READ MORE.

Words on AMREF from Great African Statesmen

The late President of Kenya; Mzee Jomo Kenyatta in a speech read on his behalf by the Hon Dr Njoroge Mungai, on 25 June 1964 said,

“The Foundation itself makes its invaluable contribution to a wider and a more comprehensive network constituting the sum total of individual, private, voluntary and Government efforts to promote and maintain the health of the nation, on which the Government attaches great significance. We live in a world where maladies, diseases and other health problems exceed our present facilities and trained personnel. It is a matter of the utmost importance, therefore, that whatever facilities we have should be employed to the full avoiding duplication of effort and services whenever possible, to the extent to which private and voluntary organisations, such as the African Medical, and Research Foundation organisation co-operates with our administration and acts in consultation with it - we welcome their activities." –

President Julius K. Nyerere of Tanzania wrote,

"The work of the Foundation has my full support and I hope that interested people will give generously as Tanganyika urgently requires assistance in this way. The concept of mobile medicine with its radio and air links can do a great deal to overcome the problems of communication in Tanganyika and bring medical care and training to the remote parts of the country. In particular I would like to stress the advantages of medical research to Tanganyika. Anything you can do to expand this branch of your work would be greatly appreciated by my Government.”

President Kenneth Kaunda of Zambia, who came to see for himself the East African Flying Doctor Service, said at a press interview in Nairobi that he was very impressed with the Flying Doctor Service and that his country's interest in Kenya’s service was real.


AHA organogram

Amref Health Africa is governed by an International Board (IB) of Directors drawn from Africa, Europe and North America. The IB provides policy guidance, financial oversight, strategic orientation and fundraising leadership to the organisation. Reporting to the IB is the Group Chief Executive Officer (GCEO) who leads a Corporate Senior Management Team.

• Mr Omari - Issa Board Chair, President’s Advisor/Chief Executive of the Presidential Delivery Unit in Tanzania

• Judith Chinkumbi, Director Board member of Henley Academic Board, Amref Health Africa and Sešego Cares

• Timothy S. Wilson – Director, Managing Director and Co-Head of Global Risk Management Advisors

• Ms Kellen Eileen Kariuki – Director, Executive Director and CEO for the Unclaimed Financial Assets Authority (UFAA)

• Dr Teshome Gebre – Director, Chairperson of the National Advisory Council, Amref Health Africa in Ethiopia

• Mr Tjark R.C. de Lange – Director, Member of the Supervisory Board of the Van Gelder Group

• Mr Tito Alai - Director, Principal at Mimi Africa

• Jacques van Dijken - Director, Member of the Finance and Investment Committee as well as the Audit, Risk and Compliance Committee of Amref’s International Board

• Mary Ann MacKenzie – Director, Vice President Relationship Management at CIBC Mellon Global Securities Company in Canada

Amref Health Africa Global Offices

Amref Global Map as of November 2018
Amref Global Map as of November 2018

African RegionAmref Health Africa in Ethiopia, Amref Health Africa in Kenya, Amref Health Africa in Uganda, Amref Health Africa in Tanzania, West Africa Region (base for West Africa), South Sudan and Southern Africa (Malawi, Mozambique, Zambia)

Region of the AmericasAmref Health Africa in CanadaAmref Health Africa in the USA

European Region

Amref Health Africa in Austria, Amref Flying Doctors, France, Amref Flying Doctors, Germany, Amref Health Africa in Italy, Amref Health Africa, Monaco, Amref Flying Doctors, Netherlands, Amref Flying Doctors Nordic Office, Amref Salud Africa (Amref Health Africa in Spain, Amref Health Africa in UK

Our Global Strategy (2018-2022)

Our Corporate Strategy 2018-2022 was developed in cognisance of the fact that the Addis Ababa Action Agenda 2015 on ‘Financing for Development’ put emphasis on domestic resource mobilisation being central to the implementation agenda of the Sustainable Development Goals. In our new strategy, Amref Health Africa will continue to focus on these segments of the population and broaden our reach to adolescents.

Amref Health Africa is a strong partner to governments and implements programmes that support national health policies and complement public sector efforts in health care delivery.

This strategy is built on three Pillars: Human resource for health. Develop and sustain human resources for health (HRH) to catalyse the attainment of universal health coverage in Amref Health Africa target countries.

Innovative health services and solutions. Develop and deliver sustainable health services and solutions for improved access to and utilisation of quality preventive, curative, and restorative health services.

Investments in health. Contribute to increased investments in health to achieve Universal Health Coverage (UHC) by 2030.

Four cross-cutting themes of gender; research; policy and advocacy; and innovation and a focus on the following global goals: SDG 2: Zero hunger, SDG 3: Good health and well being, SDG 5: Gender equality, SDG 6: Clean water and sanitation and SDG 17: Partnerships for the goals which will be integrated to hold these three pillars together and to embed the strategy in the global agenda.

Amref Health Africa Social Enterprises:


Contacts: Amref Health Africa Headquarters, Wilson Airport, Langata PO Box 27691-00506 Nairobi, Kenya Tel: +254 20 6993000 Email: Website: +254206993000


Research papers:

See also


  1. ^ [Sources: An African Journey, Daktari, Go an Extra Mile, Amref Health Africa Archives]
This page was last edited on 19 November 2018, at 17:08
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