African Medical and Research Foundation (AMREF)

Member profile

The African Medical and Research Foundation (AMREF) is a non-governmental organization founded and based in Africa with 50 years’ experience in health development. Today, it is one of the continent’s leading research organizations. It implements projects through country programs in Kenya, Ethiopia, Uganda, Tanzania, Southern Sudan and South Africa; while training and consulting support are provided to 30 more countries. AMREF’s mission is to ensure that every African can enjoy the right to good health by helping to create vibrant networks of informed communities that work with empowered care providers in strong health systems.

Main activities

Knowledge is a core product of AMREF. It implements projects to learn, and shares this evidence-based knowledge with others to advocate for changes in health policy. The current strategy (2007-2017) explores ways to link health services to the people that need them by focusing more on people, and less on diseases – making responses tailor-made to specific community needs. The AMREF strategy has identified three pillars which, if used effectively, could galvanize collective action towards better health for Africa. These are: local partnerships; building capacity of both the community and the health system; and ensuring that health policy and practice create space for the people to participate and engage in strengthening the health system and promoting their own health.

Links to the health workforce crisis

With a range of short specialized courses, a world class library and information services and a continually growing collection of health learning materials, AMREF has become an African leader in the training of community health workers, all of whom play a vital role in the mission to eradicate poverty and change lives. AMREF provides mobile and clinic health services to Africa. It trains physicians and other health care workers to deliver primary health care. It expands disease control initiatives by advocacy and research with greater access to healthcare being the main goal. AMREF has a new eLearning program to train and update health care workers, especially in rural areas where access to treatment is most needed. AMREF’s International Training Centre in Nairobi has become known as an important institution for regional training of health workers. The Diploma in Community Health course has seen graduates from all over Africa, in turn spreading improved health practices and bettering the lives of many communities. AMREF joined the Alliance in 2007 as an implementing Partner.