Amref Health Africa GCEO & Interim VC Meet Chairperson of AMIU Council

Today, I met Prof Margaret Kobia, Inaugural Chair of the Amref International University Council accompanied by the Interim VC Dr Peter Ngatia. We congratulated her on the nomination to the Cabinet and handed over a copy of ‘No turning back’ by Sir M Wood – Dr Githinji Gitahi

Healthcare receives boost as more than 500 Amref Health Africa graduates join sector

31st graduation is the last for Amref International Training Centre as it marks its transition to Amref International University.

Kenya’s and Africa’s healthcare sector is today set to benefit from the fresh entry of 560 healthcare professionals with diplomas and certificates in community health, nursing, midwifery and other fields.

The professionals graduated from Amref International Training Centre in an elaborate graduation ceremony that drew the attendance of the Education, Science and Technology Cabinet Secretary, Dr. Fred Matiang’i, who was the Guest of Honour at the event.

This was the institution’s 31st graduation ceremony and its last as Amref International Training Centre. It will now transition into Amref International University after receiving the letter of Interim Authority from the Ministry of Education on August 1st 2017 upon the recommendation of the Commission of University Education.

Dr. Matiang’i commended Amref Health Africa for this transition, noting that he was confident that Amref would continue transforming the training of health workers in Kenya and the African continent as a whole.

Healthcare receives boost as more than 500 Amref Health Africa graduates join sector

Dr Fred Matiang`i hands over the letter of Interim Authority to Dr Githinji Gitahi during the graduation ceremony today

ALSO READ: Amref International Training Centre 30th graduation

The Education Cabinet Secretary also congratulated the 560 professionals who graduated.

“There is no doubt that these health professionals have acquired the necessary knowledge, skills and competencies to effectively play their role in the health sector of this country,” said Dr. Matiang’i.

Africa has a shortfall of more than 1.2 million health workers, underlining the need to expand training in the continent.  Amref Health Africa has been at the forefront in bridging the health worker gap through training, including mobile and e-Learning.

Healthcare receives boost as more than 500 Amref Health Africa graduates join sector

Dr. Githinji Gitahi, the Group CEO of Amref Health Africa, noted that the transition from a mid-level college to a university would play a crucial role in arming Africa’s healthcare workforce with additional skills and knowledge to help its people.

“Many of our diploma graduates will now be able to enroll at Amref International University to upgrade their qualification to degree and masters level. This will have a transformative impact on Kenya’s and Africa’s health system, which still grapples with workforce deficits,” noted Dr. Gitahi.

Speech by Fred Matiang’i, Cabinet Secretary, Education, Science and Technology 

Speech by Dr Githinji Gitahi, Group CEO Amref Health Africa

Speech by Dr Peter M. Ngatia, Director for Training, Amref Health Africa

Kenyan Government Authorises Amref International University

Nairobi August 4, 2017

Kenya’s Commission for University Education has given Amref Health Africa the green light to start and operate the Amref International University (AMIU).

The Commission has granted AMIU a Letter of Interim Authority (LIA) with effect from August 1, 2017.  The University will focus on health-related courses with a focus on public and community health.

Amref Health Africa Group Chief Executive Officer Dr Githinji Gitahi, said the university will focus on courses that respond to the severe shortage of health care providers and public health leaders in Africa.

“Today marks the beginning of an exciting journey for us.  The letter of Interim Authority we have received will enable Amref to address the high demand for medical and public health training across the continent,” said Dr Gitahi.

Dr Gitahi said quality health education is a key enabler to solving the health myriads of challenges that face the African continent.

“Universal Health Care will only be attained if we have adequate and well-motivated health workers. Attainment of Sustainable Development Goal Number 3 on Good Health and Wellbeing will be a distant dream unless the severe shortage of health workers is addressed,” he added.

The university will offer training in unique health disciplines such as Rehabilitation Medicine, Leadership, Management and Governance in health, among others.

AMIU is also expected to undertake high level heath systems research for policy formulation and improved practice and act as a hub of scholarship dedicated to community and public health in sub-Saharan Africa. The university will further promote application of relevant and innovative teaching and learning approaches in providing medical education and training.

“In order to achieve improved healthcare and awareness of disease prevention, the continent needs to fill the health workforce gap through innovative training and deploying highly skilled practitioners,” said Amref’s Director of Training, Dr Peter Ngatia.

The initial seat of AMIU is on Langata Road in Nairobi, at the current location of Amref International Training Centre.

Amref Health Africa is headquartered in Nairobi and is currently implementing projects that reach people in more than 30 countries across Africa, benefiting hundreds of  mainly  rural  and marginalised communities. This year alone its programmes have reached over 10 million people in Africa.

Say Yes! To Integration Of CHWs Into The National Health Workforce

Community Health Workers, commonly referred to as CHWs, are the bridge between communities and the health and social service systems. As a continent affected by an inadequate supply of doctors and nurses, Community Health Workers are necessary to act as the link for the affected communities.

Sadly, in most communities in Africa, CHWs drop out of the programme for lack of remuneration, with attrition level as high as 77{f77d86b8b02df11f5793c51c551cce3d9824437fe7b06daea7021af4609deccf}.

In this regard, Amref Health Africa seeks to have CHWs recognised as part of the national health workforce and adequately remunerated, both financially and morally.

We cannot do this without the support of well-wishers with the same vision for CHWs as we do. Community Health Workers matter!

Click here to register your endorsement and define your support. #CHWsMatter

Amref Health Africa Expands Facilities to Train Health Workers

Kenya’s Cabinet Mr James Macharia yesterday opened a newly constructed Annex at the Amref Health Africa Training Centre and Headquarters in Nairobi that will expand the organisation’s capacity to train health workers from across the continent.

The new building, funded by USAID’s American Schools and Hospitals Abroad programme at US$400,000, has a capacity of 215 students, as well as information and communications technology to support eLearning and mLearning.

Mr Macharia commended Amref Health Africa for its commitment to training health workers to meet the huge need for skilled health care across the continent, and to strengthen healthysystems. “Amref Health Africa recognises the fundamental importance of training in achieving sustainable development, and I appreciate the strategies it has put in place to address health personnel shortages.”

He added: “I believe that this learning hub will nurture generations of health care professionals who will make critical contributions at all levels of health care.” He noted that in Kenya, Amref Health Africa was expanding to meet the needs of the developed governments and also repositioning itself as a centre of excellence for training health workers in country and the region.

Amref Health Africa, said Mr Macharia, continued to play an important role in mobilising resources to improve health care, and had proved to be a trusted partner of the Government of Kenya for many years, with results evident in areas such as malaria, and Water and Sanitation. “The fact that international development agencies continue to entrust large amounts of funding to Amref Health Africa is a reflection of the integrity and trust that the organisation has built over the years,” he said.

Deputy Chief of Mission of the US Embassy in Nairobi Mr Isiah Parnell said that the US Government was committed helping build the quality and quantity of health care workers in Kenya.

“The funding USAID provided to expand this training centre complements the US Government’s broader investment of close to Ksh 45 billion in Kenya’s health system,” said Mr Parnell.

The Chair of Amref Health Africa’s International Board of Directors, Mr Omari Issa, announced that that the organisation’s International Board of Directors had decided to set up a university to train health workers.

The decision, he said, and construction of the new annex, were in line with Amref Health Africa’s plans to expand its training portfolio and increase access to health care training. “We are investing in training people because we recognise that people are the most important element of the health system.”

Amref to establish university for health education

International healthcare and development provider Amref Health Africa is seeking to establish an international university with focus on health-related courses to meet the need for public and community health experts for the continent. Amref has already applied for the Letter of Interim Authority and a charter to enable it to offer degree courses.

Director for Training, Amref Health Africa, Dr Peter Ngatia, said Amref is working closely with the Kenya government to ensure that it meets all requirements for the charter. He said the Ministry of Education is guiding Amref through the process.

Ngatia was speaking during Amref’s 30th Graduation Ceremony where 264 health workers (143 midwives, 21 community health specialists and 100 nurses) earned their degrees through a collaborative blended eLearning programme with the University of Nairobi’s College of Health Sciences.

Ngatia said the Nursing Council of Kenya (NCK) has also approved Amref’s pre-service Comprehensive Nursing training Programme.

“Our partners, Aga Khan University Hospital (AKUH), Karen Hospital, the Kajiado County Hospital, the Meridian-Equator Hospital, the Gertrude Children’s Hospital and City County of Nairobi health facilities contributed immensely to this accreditation,” said Ngatia.

The theme of this years’ graduation was Accelerating Sustainable Development Goals through Higher Education, underpinning the vehicle by which Amref Health Africa intends to reverse the crippling health trends in Africa.

Amref is currently implementing a portfolio of over 60 projects in 32 countries in Africa, which are benefiting hundreds of communities in rural and urban settings. This year, alone its projects have provided services directly and indirectly to over 20 million people in Africa.

In Kenya, it has projects in all counties, reaching close to five million people. Amref’s strength in designing upstream eLearning solutions has also led to Clintons’ Global Initiative (CGI) engaging Amref to train over 10,000 Community Health Workers (CHWs) in Kenya using the LEAP mLearning platform, which has already helped to train over 3,000 CHWs from 13 counties in Kenya in a span of three years.

393 graduate at Amref’s 30th graduation ceremony

Flushed faces and excited voices could be seen and heard from the gates of Amref Health Africa Headquarters on 6 December 2016. 393 students of Amref Health Africa, accompanied by their family members who came to witness the fruits of their hard work, received their certificates, diplomas and degrees.

“We are proud of all the graduands and appreciate their hard work,” stated Dr Nzomo Mwita, the Acting Head of Monitoring and Evaluation and Technical Specialist  – Training and Master of Ceremony of the day.
In attendance was Dr Miriam Were who is the Chancellor of Moi University, and also an Amref Ambassador. “I am encouraged by the number of graduands here today. We welcome you into the service as you increase the number of health workers in the country and in Africa in general,” she encouraged. The addition of more health care workers aims to help in the realisation of Sustainable Development Goal 3 (SDG 3); Good Health and Wellbeing, which is one of the core SDGs that drive Amref Health Africa.
The event, which attracted representatives from the Ministry of Health in Kenya, the Ministry of Health in Zimbabwe, the University of Nairobi and the Directorate of Nursing Services in Kenya among others, was the 30th graduation of its kind. With over seven countries in Africa represented, it was clear that the training imparted by Amref Health Africa would benefit Africa as a whole and not just Kenya.
Dr Fred Matiang’i, the Cabinet Secretary for Education in Kenya, expressed his confidence in the training offered by Amref Health Africa. “I have no doubt in my mind that they will use the myriads of skills and competencies acquired to turn around the glim statistics that we read about every day. You are equipped to make the difference! Why should this country lose 362 mothers for every 10,000 deliveries? You must change this! You must make a difference,” he articulated through Dr Chacha Nyaigotti Chacha, who represented him in the event.
Dr Matiang’i acknowledged and appreciated Amref Health Africa’s efforts towards transitioning into the Amref International University. “I applaud you on being visionary and responsive to societal needs. The continent of Africa has a shortage of more than 800,000 health workers. We need to increase our health workforce by 140{f77d86b8b02df11f5793c51c551cce3d9824437fe7b06daea7021af4609deccf} to meet the health needs of our people. You will, therefore, be filling a glaring gap in the training of health workers. You already know how; as demonstrated here today. I wish you success in your application for the Letter of Interim Authority,” he asserted.
Also present during the graduation was Dr Peter Ngatia, the Director for Training who affirmed that Amref has been using innovative solutions such as the eLearning and mLearning platforms to boost learning. His sentiments were echoed by Mrs Ednah Tallam Kimaiyo, the Registrar of the Nursing Council of Kenya who congratulated both the students and Amref Health Africa for their efforts.
“I thank Amref for showing us the way by using innovation in the classroom for effective and efficient learning. We need 35,000 midwives and nurses in Kenya today to realise our dreams as set out in the Kenya Vision 2030. Amref is significantly helping the country realise this dream, and for this, we are grateful. As you plan on transitioning into the Amref International University, know that you have the full support of the Nursing Council of Kenya,” she explained amid applause.
Speaking on behalf of the Group CEO, Dr Githinji Gitahi, and as the Chair of the Amref Health Africa in Kenya Board, Professor Richard Muga extended good wishes to the graduands in their careers. “The theme of the graduation today is Accelerating attainment of sustainable development through higher learning. This theme takes cognisance of the fact that education is fundamental to our wellbeing. At Amref, we truly believe that an educated population “manufacturers health at home and in communities and only takes it for repair in hospitals,” expressed Dr Gitahi.