Long-term improvements in health will not be achieved through health projects alone. A key component of AMREF’s strategy to bring better health to Africa, is to influence those in power so that health policies, practices, and financing better serve the needs of the poor.
AMREF’s advocacy priorities include:
- Closing the health worker gap in Africa
AMREF considers the health worker shortage, particularly in rural areas, one of the major challenges facing effective health care in Africa. Health Systems Strengthening calls attention to the need for capacity building at all levels in order to close the gap of more than 1 million health workers needed for Africa to meet the Millennium Development Goals.
- Meeting the health-related Millenium Development Goals
The UN’s 2010 report finds that, globally, we are not on track to meet Millenium Development Goals 4 and 5 that focus on maternal and child health. Sub-Saharan Africa is the region that has demonstrated the least amount of progress. In 2008, the region accounted for half of the 8.8 million deaths worldwide of children under five; and in 2005 more than half of maternal deaths worldwide occurred in sub-Saharan Africa. Our policy work aims to accelerate the rate of meeting the Millenium Development Goals in this area of critical need.
AMREF has learned a great deal from its 50+ years of experience working in and with some of the poorest and most marginalized communities. Our advocacy work is imbued with lessons learned from AMREF’s African public health experts who directly serve these communities. Their first-hand experience reveals what practices create effective and sustainable care models; this evidence-based knowledge is, in turn, used to inform, influence, and advocate for change.
AMREF USA’s advocacy looks to American internal policy and decision-makers to give voice to the communities we serve in Africa. In leveraging policy as a vehicle for improving health for Africans, our outreach focuses on US Government and its affiliates including CDC, USAID, NIH, think tanks, Senators, and Congresspeople.
AMREF advocacy activities include:
- AMREF USA builds and participates in coalitions of organizations dedicated to achieving these shared goals. Visit Our Partners to see a list of our allies.
- AMREF meets with policy and decision-makers to provide expert recommendations. We hold briefings for legislators, make presentations, and participate in global health panel discussions and conferences.
- AMREEF staff experts provide expert testimony and recommendations for best practices and policies to improve health in Africa.
- AMREF ensures there is a research component to all of our projects. In this way, we contribute to the field of African health development and make sure our solutions are sustainable and appropriate for Africa’s specific health challenges.