Amref Health Africa
Stopping the spread of Covid-19 in Uganda by training healthcare workers and improving vaccine infrastructure
Improve access to healthcare
Africa and Middle East
UN Sustainable Development Goals
Africa is experiencing an acute shortage of health workers, with the deficit expected to reach 6 million by 2030. The Covid-19 pandemic has brought these inequalities into even sharper focus.
The pandemic has halted or reversed progress in health and life expectancy, with 90% of countries worldwide reporting one or more disruptions to essential health services. The threat posed to people in Africa is considerable – with a population of 1.2 billion people, under-resourced health systems that are already overburdened with ongoing disease outbreaks and other health issues are struggling to cope.
There is an ongoing need for Ministries of Health throughout African countries to scale up preparedness against Covid-19, in terms of both preventative measure and responses to outbreaks. Non-governmental organisations and charities are playing a key role in meeting this need – Croda Foundation is delighted to be supporting Amref Health Africa with this vital work in Uganda.
Amref Health Africa
Amref Health Africa is Africa’s leading health NGO, with a vision to create lasting health change across the continent.
Headquartered in Nairobi, Amref partners with communities in 35 African countries to sustainably strengthen health systems and improve access to high-quality care. They do this through solutions in human resources for health, health services delivery, and investment in health. Amref aims to bridge gaps between communities, health systems and governments, as well as acting as a leading advocate for health system reforms in Africa.
Amref has played a leading role in the continent’s response to Covid, with involvement in national taskforces in ten countries including Uganda, Tanzania and Ethiopia. More recently, the scope of their Covid work has expanded to include vaccination, where their aim is to tackle obstacles to access as well as advocating for the increased delivery of useable doses to Africa.
Amref Health Africa has a long history of successful public health interventions during epidemics, having previously supported the roll-out of control measures during Ebola outbreaks in Uganda, Senegal and Guinea, the 2017 cholera outbreak in Kenya, and a Lassa fever outbreak in Nigeria in 2018.
Croda Foundation has awarded a grant of £214,546 for Amref’s Coronavirus: Stop the Spread in Uganda project.
This money is being used to provide infrastructure and train health care workers across 20 districts in Northern Uganda, improving the health and wellbeing of 750,000 people. This will be achieved through training 15,000 village health team members and 500 frontline health workers on the prevention and case management of Covid-19 cases. This includes providing guidelines on specimen collection, storage and transport for safe delivery of samples to reference laboratories for confirmation amongst other activities.
The project leverages an innovative mobile technology platform developed by Amref, called Leap, which enables health care workers to educate communities on the virus and relevant prevention measures.
The mobile learning platform also enables healthcare workers to identify, isolate and refer suspected cases, as well as maintain safety standards at points of entry or high-risk areas to prevent possible transmission.
The content, which is suitable for basic phones and smartphones, is customised to fit the needs of target audiences, taking into account skill levels, language preference and preferred channels (text or audio messages). Because it does not rely on an internet connection, Leap is particularly well suited to rural settings where connectivity might be limited.
Looking ahead, Amref Health Africa is looking to integrate Covid-19 response mechanisms into their existing programmes. The impact of the pandemic – on health, lives, and livelihoods across the continent – will continue to define essential work on healthcare in Uganda, and Africa more widely, for years to come.
Supporting health workers and communities in 20 districts across Acholi and West Nile, Uganda
Training 15,500 health workers
Improving the health of approximately 750,000 people
100 health facilities reached
Croda Foundation, established in 2020, is an independent charitable company set up by FTSE 100 specialty chemicals company, Croda International Plc, and is registered in England and Wales (number: 1196455). The Foundation is solely funded by generous donations from Croda International Plc and led by an independent Board of Trustees