21 November 2016
Amref Health Africa
The unacceptably high incidence of maternal death in sub-Saharan Africa can largely be prevented through basic emergency medical care provided by trained and skilled midwives. Unfortunately Africa has a critical shortage of midwives, both in numbers and competencies. The majority of midwives in Africa have only received basic training and require upgrading or further training to meet global standards for midwifery. Amref Health Africa’s core competency is training health workers.
Amref Health Africa, through its Stand Up for African Mothers campaign, commits to the Global Strategy (2016-2030) and has prioritized training of midwives as one of the key strategies to reduce deaths of mothers and newborns in the countries with the highest maternal deaths in Africa. In partnership with its donors and sponsors, Amref Health Africa will invest an additional US $20 million ($6.6 million per year over three years) in maternal and child health programs, specifically to re-train midwives in eight countries across Africa to upgrade their skills in saving the lives of mothers and newborns. This additional training will enable Amref Health Africa to reach, per year, four million women of reproductive age and assist in the delivery and care of 800,000 newborns. Amref Health Africa uses innovative technology such as mHealth to train midwives in hard-to-reach communities across Africa through eLearning, making scalability in reaching targeted goals an achievable commitment.
The African Medical and Research Foundation (AMREF), in partnership with its donors and sponsors, will be investing an additional US $20 million per year in maternal and child health programmes, in 20 countries in Africa, including the training of 600 new midwives annually, retraining of 5,000 existing midwives to update their skills in saving lives of mothers and newborns, and up to 10,000 community health workers to help families provide care to mothers and children at home, and link effectively with health facilities when needed. This new commitment also includes considerable expansion of service delivery in direct community interventions. All this will enable AMREF to reach an additional 0.5 million women of reproductive age and 1.5 million children with health-enhancing interventions that will contribute to progress towards MDGs 4 and 5.