30 years ago, Amref Health Africa and GSK joined forces to distribute bed nets to communities at risk of malaria. Since then, we have worked together continuously, supporting hundreds of communities across Eastern and Southern Africa on HIV prevention, sanitation, and non-communicable disease prevention projects. In 1998, we introduced the ground-breaking Personal Hygiene and Sanitation Education programme (PHASE) in Kenya, teaching children the importance of hand-washing and good hygiene practice. This programme has since been rolled out across 16 countries, reaching more than 1.5 million children.
Our partnership is focussed on three key areas: driving sustainable change, strengthening health systems, and making Universal Health Coverage (UHC) a reality. Since 2011, Amref Health Africa has acted as GSK’s implementation partner for the health worker programme in Eastern and Southern Africa, delivering programmes in 17 countries, training over 10,000 health workers and reaching over 4 million people.
The strength of our partnership is underpinned by our shared values – we understand the importance of frontline health workers and we believe that everyone should have access to quality healthcare. Living and working in the community, frontline health workers help build relationships and provide vital and much needed life-saving healthcare advice, medicines and vaccines.
Innovation is key to our programmes, particularly in the way we train health workers in remote areas. We’ve pioneered eLearning approaches in much of our health worker training, which means that even those in remote areas have been able to access the resources they need to deliver essential care to their community.
We’re also making the most of our varied skillsets, welcoming GSK staff with expertise in finance, communications and many more areas, into Amref offices across Europe and Africa, through GSK’s PULSE employee volunteering scheme.
There are, however, still many significant challenges in our work including huge shortages of health workers, insufficient training opportunities, high attrition rates, low job satisfaction, and poor distribution of existing human resources for health. Moving forward we are focusing our efforts on training and mentoring health workers, building capacity within training institutions and health facilities, and supporting Ministries of Health.
We celebrate our 30 years of working together in partnership and GSK is proud to be a Platinum Sponsor for the 2019 Africa Health Agenda International Conference in Kigali, Rwanda, from 5th – 7th March 2019. This is the third conference of its kind, which brings together leading stakeholders from health sectors throughout Africa and internationally. It is set to be an inspiring and thought-provoking event.
Please join us on 5th March from 8:30 – 10am when GSK’s Senior Vice President Global Health, Rogerio Ribeiro, will be taking part in a panel discussion – Strengthening Primary Health Care Systems to Deliver UHC in Africa.