Amref Health Africa in Canada

Creating Lasting Health Change in Africa

2015 Annual Review

Credits and Thanks

  • Mary Ann MacKenzie, Chair
  • Peter Bak, PhD
  • René Beaudoin
  • Ian Brenner, CPA, CA
  • Doug Heighington
  • Jette James
  • Diane MacDiarmid
  • Jeff Pentland
  • Muriel Truter
  • Dr. Ryan Wiley
  • Anne-Marie Kamanye, Executive DIrector
  • Kevin O’Neill, Director of Programs
  • Jennifer Foulds, Communications and PR Director
  • Onome Ako, Director of Strategic Partnerships
  • Shane Burt, Marketing and Fundraising Manager
  • Liz Doyle, Operations and Donor Relations Manager
  • Graham Atkinson, Programs Manager
  • Sean Power, Project Manager (part-time)
  • Tasneem Haiderbhai, Finance Manager (part-time)
  • Design: Timothy Arndt
  • Writer: Jennifer Foulds
  • Editors: Kevin O’Neill, Graham Atkinson, Anne-Marie Kamanye
  • Cover photo by: Anja Ligtenberg
  • David and Kate Angell
  • Jane Arthur
  • Bob and Susan Atkinson
  • Willian Baldwin
  • Wallace Bankert
  • Lynn Bayer
  • René and Lisa Beaudoin
  • Clarice Bennett
  • J. Edward and Margaret Boyce
  • Martha Jo Breithaupt
  • Ian and Miriam Brenner
  • Abram Buhler
  • Mark and Stephanie Bunting
  • David Burroughs
  • Duncan Burrill
  • Darryl and Donna Burt
  • John Campion
  • Terry Colgan and Donna Jez
  • Chris Crawford
  • Robert and Gayle Cronin
  • Gwynneth Evans
  • Alan Farber
  • Nancy Fitch
  • Richard Fletcher
  • David Fong
  • Reuben Ford
  • James Fraser
  • Mark and Maryann Gaskin
  • David Gelbart
  • Laurie Goldberg and Diane Spivak
  • Peter and Jill Goodman
  • Steve and Mary Hafner
  • David Hamilton
  • Joan Harrison
  • Jette and Peter James
  • Stewart Johnson
  • Lloyd Karges
  • Laurel Keenan
  • Jeremy Kroll
  • Arthur and Sonia Labatt
  • Olivier Laganiere
  • Thomas Lane
  • Margrith Loretz
  • R. Theodore Lutz
  • Mary Ann MacKenzie
  • Linda McCain
  • Sandy McFadden
  • John and Gloria Morrison
  • R. Mott
  • Gloria Myles and Bryan Walton
  • André Ndikuyeze
  • Robert Neish and Kelly Tooth
  • Mary Nixon
  • André Nowakowski
  • David Oxtoby
  • Mel and Lorna Peters
  • Randall Phillips
  • Tim and Frances Price
  • Alanna Rondi and Allen Garson
  • Lindsay Ryerson
  • Peter Sacks
  • Manjit Sidhu
  • Becky Sigmon
  • Suresh Singh and Nicole Koziel
  • Daniel Soper
  • Keith N. and Tanja Thomson
  • Alan and Susan Torrie
  • Muriel Truter
  • Hassan Valji
  • Ryan Wiley
  • Denise Young
  • Margaret Zeidler
  • Blossom Foundation
  • Ethiopiaid Canada
  • K. M. Hunter Charitable Foundation
  • Private Giving Foundation
  • The John Nixon Memorial Fund
  • The Toronto Community Foundation
  • Unifor Social Justice Fund
  • United Way of Greater Toronto
  • United Way of Ottawa
  • 401 Richmond
  • Askari Travel
  • Carbonfree Technology
  • CIBC Mellon Global Securities Services
  • Davies Ward Phillips & Vineberg Foundation
  • Lil’ Baci
  • Morneau Shepell
  • Northleaf Capital Partners Canada Ltd
  • Platinum Group Metals
  • Shift Health
  • Torys LLP
  • Wines of South Africa

Amref Health Africa in Canada acknowledges the financial support of the Government of Canada, which is contributing $24.9 million over four years to improve the health of mothers and children in Ethiopia, Kenya, Malawi and Tanzania and $2.9 million over one year to help create stronger health systems in South Sudan.

Health for Africa

Amref Health Africa partners with African communities to improve health. Learn more about our nearly 60 years of experience. Learn more (opens in a separate window).

Amref Health Africa, the largest African led international organization on the continent, provides training and health services to over 35 countries in Africa. Founded in 1957 as the Flying Doctors of East Africa to bring critical health services to remote communities, Amref Health Africa now delivers preventative, communitybased health care. With a focus on women and children, Amref Health Africa manages a full range of medical and public health programs tackling the most critical health challenges facing the continent: maternal and child care, HIV, TB and malaria, clean water and sanitation and surgical and clinical outreach.

Year in Review

A note from our Board Chair and Executive Director

We are pleased to share with you the highlights of 2015 - one that saw us recover from a challenging financial year in 2014 and be awarded two grants from the Government of Canada for life-saving projects in five African countries.

We have worked together as Board Chair and Executive Director for three years now, including through some challenging financial times as two significant Canadian-funded projects came to an end. Your continued support has made the world of difference, enabling our vital work to continue.

Beyond the Canada office, we have both been actively involved in the global Amref Health Africa family, participating as a volunteer member of the International Board of Directors and the North America/Europe staff representative on the global Executive Committee. Importantly, our participation has given Canada a stronger voice at the decision-making table. And, we’ve both had the opportunity to visit Amref Health Africa’s projects in dozens of communities, enabling us to see first-hand the life-saving work that Canadians support.

Here in Canada, we began a project in South Sudan in late 2015 at the state hospital in Yambio County, funded in large part by the Government of Canada. With ongoing conflict and humanitarian crises, South Sudan’s health care system continues to suffer leading to some of the highest maternal and child mortality rates in the world. You can read more about how our project will help to save lives on pages 5 and 6.

We were also successful in receiving Government of Canada financial support, through a competitive Calls for Proposal process, for a four-year project to improve the health of mothers, newborns and children in Ethiopia, Kenya, Malawi and Tanzania. We are working in partnership with other leading Canadian organizations – Centre for Global Child Health at The Hospital for Sick Children (SickKids), Christian Children’s Fund of Canada and WaterAid Canada – allowing us to combine our expertise to ensure the best possible outcomes. Pages 7 to 11 feature more details about this project, and the particular health challenges to be addressed in each of the four countries.

Your dedication, and these two new grants, allow Amref Health Africa to continue our fight for the rights of women and children to access health care, particularly those people who are vulnerable, marginalized and hard-to-reach.

Thank you for your generous support. You make lasting health change possible.

Mary Ann MacKenzie
Chair, Board of Directors

Anne-Marie Kamanye
Executive Director

2015 Accomplishments

Amref Health Africa in Canada is part of a global family – 11 offices in Europe and North America, seven offices in Africa (with reach in 35 countries) – that partners with African communities to create lasting health change.

With a global budget of more than $85 million USD, Amref Health Africa is the largest African based international organization. Since our founding as the Flying Doctors of East Africa in 1957, our way of working has always been “African solutions for African health challenges”.

By the Numbers

A snapshot of some of Amref Health Africa’s key global accomplishments in 2015 made possible by our supporters around the world.


People reached through our health-focused projects.


People received health-focused training through Amref Health Africa.


Patients provided with medical specialist treatment through our Medical Services Outreach Program, which carried out 192 outreach visits to 75 hospitals in Kenya, Tanzania, Ethiopia, Uganda, South Sudan, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Burundi and Rwanda. This free service provides surgeons and other medical specialists to hospitals in need, and trains local doctors.


Patients evacuated through our air ambulance service – AMREF Flying Doctors. This Amref Health Africa social enterprise provides evacuation insurance for a fee, with a percentage of the profits helping to fund our charity evacuations and other work.


Projects managed by Amref Health Africa in sub-Saharan Africa.


Charity evacuations completed in Kenya through AMREF Flying Doctors. These patients received life-saving air evacuation and medical support free of charge.

Annual Program Highlights

10,000 Girls Forgo Femaile Genital Mutilation

Working hand-in-hand with Maasai communities in Kenya and Tanzania, and with support from the Dutch Postcode Lottery in the Netherlands, Amref Health Africa has created an Alternative Rites of Passage for young girls to replace Female Genital Mutilation (FGM – also known as Female Genital Cutting).

To date, more than 10,000 girls have graduated through Alternative Rites of Passage program, avoiding the harm of FGM. Alternative rites are community-led and community-driven, with elders, parents, teachers, young men and girls all involved.

Full community participation is vital to eliminating FGM as it does not happen in isolation but includes violence, early marriage as well as underage pregnancies and the denial of young girls to achieve their full potential.

Photo by Anja Ligtenberg, Amref Flying Doctors.

Canadian Support Trains African Lab Technicians

Effective laboratory services are among the basic components of a strong and functional health care system. Laboratories play a critical role in disease control and prevention by providing timely and accurate information for use in patient management and disease surveillance. That’s why Amref Health Africa provides training for lab technicians with a focus on those working in rural and remote areas. Through the Canadian-funded John Nixon Memorial Fund, three lab technicians received financial support in 2015 to complete the training:

  • Nemata John, a Lab Technologist at the Mulago National Referral Hospital in Uganda
  • Kennedy Jomo Wambura, the SubCounty Medical Laboratory Technologist at Kehancha Hospital in Kenya.
  • Lawrence Kirimi Gitonga, the District Medical Laboratory Technologist at Mbeere District Hospital in Kenya.

Participants learn about waste management and biosafety.

Canadian Supporters Gather for MAMATOTO Gala

On a hot, sunny night in late May 2015, the sights and sounds of Africa came to downtown Toronto. 200 guests gathered to celebrate life for moms and babies in Africa, and to raise about $100,000 for mother and child health.

Dr. Makaziwe Mandela, Nelson Mandela’s eldest daughter, provided the keynote address while Amref Health Africa’s interim global CEO, Dr. Lennie Bazira Igbodipe-Kyomuhangi, touched people’s hearts with the story of a young mom Amref Health Africa had helped to safely deliver her baby.

More than 40 volunteers ensured a fun evening for everyone. MAMATOTO could not have happened without the support of our lead sponsor, Morneau Shepell, and all those who contributed to making the evening such a success!

Dr. Makaziwe Mandela speaks to guests at the MAMATOTO Gala. Photo by Jeff Hurst.

Strengthening Health Care Services for Women and Children in South Sudan

Yambio State Hospital is a vital service in South Sudan where the health care system has been significantly eroded by years of ongoing conflict and humanitarian crises. The hospital sits in Yambio County, home to about 186,000 people, in the southwestern part of the country near the border with the Democratic Republic of the Congo.

Pregnant women and children under the age of five face some of the greatest health challenges in this area of South Sudan, leading to maternal and child mortality rates that are among the highest in the world (2,327 deaths per 100,000 live births; 192 deaths per 1,000 live births respectively). For the most part, the deaths of mothers and newborns could be prevented through access to essential health care services we take for granted in Canada.

With financial support from the Government of Canada and Canadian foundations and individuals, Amref Health Africa is on the ground in Yambio County helping to improve the delivery of health care for women and children at the hospital and primary care levels. (Primary care is the first point of contact with the health care system, and is often through health posts or clinics).

A doctor Examines a young patient at a hospital in
South Sudan. Photo by Paolo Siccardi/SYNC

Expected Project Results

Reach more than 38,000 people directly with essential health care, including sexual and reproductive health and vaccinations for children.

Train more than 150 health care workers.

Help create stronger systems at Yambio State Hospital to better manage inventory and collect vital health data.

Improve health care services at community-level health posts and centres in remote villages throughout Yambio County.


Government of South Sudan

Yambio County Health Department


Canada-Africa Partnership to Create Better Health for Moms and Babies

There’s no doubt that significant progress has been made around the world in reducing the number of women who die in pregnancy or childbirth – the rate dropped globally by 43% between 2000 and 2015.

Yet, 550 women in sub-Saharan Africa continue to die every day from complications related to pregnancy and childbirth (compared to 5 in developed countries).

Newborns in Africa also continue to die in large numbers, with 985,000 dying in 2015 alone.

Mothers and newborns in remote, rural and fragile communities are at greatest risk because they lack access to basic, life-saving health care and everyday infrastructure, such as clean water and sanitation, so important for healthy living.

Amref Health Africa has brought together experts from Canada and Africa to tackle this enormous challenge in four African countries –Ethiopia, Kenya, Malawi and Tanzania. We know partnerships are vital to saving more lives and creating lasting health change.

With support of $24.9 million from the Government of Canada ( 85% of the total project budget), this four-year project aims to reach 1.7 million women, children and men across the four countries.

A doctor Examines a young patient at a hospital in
South Sudan. Photo by Paolo Siccardi/SYNC

Amref Health Africa needs to raise an additional $1.4 million over four years to fully fund its portion of the project.

Project Partners

Christian Children's Fund of Canada

Centre for Global Child Health at The Hospital for Sick Children (SickKids)

WaterAid Canada

This project is undertaken with $2.9 million in financial support from the Government of Canada.

Canada-Africa Partnership Profiles


Amhara Region

Amhara is about 90% rural and the majority of people are farmers who produce teff, barley, wheat, oil seeds, sorghum, maize, oats, beans and peas.

Afar Region

Afar is more than 92% rural, home to pastoralist (nomandic) communities who raise cattle, sheep, goats and donkeys.

Health Challenges

Less than 10% women in Afar and Amhara Regions give birth with the assistance of a skilled health worker (compared to more than 60% in the capital city Addis Ababa)

The martality rate for children under the age of 5 has improved since 2000 in Amhara and Afar Regions, but is still significantly higher than urban areas of Ethiopia (108 to 123 per 1,000 live births in Amhara and Afar vs. 53 in Addis Ababa)

About 33% of married women in Amhara Region and 9% in Afar Region use contraception (vs. more than 56% in addis Ababa)

Key Project Activities

Train nurses and modwives in basic and emergency care for mothers and newborns before, during and after delivery

Facilitate monthly Community Conversations with community members on prevalent gender equality issues

Train community health workers to provide cooking demonstrations to parents, highlighting balanced diets using nutritious food that is avaiable locally


Siaya County

Siaya County in western Kenya, bordering Lake Victoria, is more than 90% rural with fishing and agriculture (rice, cotton, coffie, sugarcane, tobacco, kale, indigienous greens, bananas, sweet potatoes and cassava) being the main economic activities.

Health Challenges

27% of pregnant women in Siaya County gave birth without assistance from a skilled health worker in 2014

Under-nutrition is a key concern for children under the age of 5, with nearly 25% classified as being chronically malnourished leading to stunting.

Female Genital Mutilation (also known as Female Genital Cutting) continues to be practiced in the region around Siaya Country with more than 32% of girls and women having undergone the practice as of 2014

Key Project Activities

Work with Traditional Brith Attendants to change their role from helping women to deliver at home, to accompanying pregnant women to the health facility to give birth with the assistance of a trained health worker

Train nurses on the treatment for malnutrition, educate community health workers on the role of proper nutrition in the health of infants and children, and hold community meetings focused on nutrients needed for good health

Partner with the elders and community leaders to provide education on the health consequences of harmful traditional practices such as FGM


Neno, Mwanza, Chikwawa, & Ntchisi

3 districts in the Southern Region (Neno, Mwanza, Chikwawa) and 1 district in the Central Region (Ntchisi). Malawi is the primary rural, with only about 16% living in urban areas, and is one of hte world's most densely-populated, least developed countries. The economy is primarly based on agriculture with tobacco, sugarcane, cotton, tea, corn, potatoes, cassava, sorghum, pulses, groundnuts, Macadamia nuts, cattle, and goats being the main products.

Health Challenges

About 26% of women in rural communities give birth at home, while 31% give birth without the assistance of a skilled health worker, and 59% do not receive post-natal care within the recommended two days of giving birth

Women in rural areas also report significant challenges with accessing health care, with the leading reason being: distance to the health centre (60%); having to take transport (58%); getting money for treatment (55%); concern that no provider is available (52%)

Malawi's Southern Region has the heighest rates of mortality for newborns, infants and children under the age of five (47,79,130 deaths per 1,000 live borths respectively)

Key Project Activities

Train nurses and clinicians on the best practices for newborn, infant and child health care using Amref Health Africa's e-Learning platform

Provide community health workers with basic health care kits for their house-to-house outreach

Support community meetings to talk to parents about the importance of vitamins and minerals, such as iodine and vitamin A, for the health of their children


Geita and Nyang'hwalie

2 districts in Geita Region (Geita District and Nyang'hwalie District), in northern Tanzania, bordering Lake Victoria. The region is primarily rural dominated by small-scale farmers, miners and fisheries.

Health Challenges

Geita Region has a significant shortage of health workers with only 49% of available positions filled

Only 33% of pregnant women gave birth in a facility in Geinta District, with women saying the long distance lack of transportation and unavailability of skilled staff are significant barriers

The mortality rate of children under the age of five in Geita Region is 90 per 1,000 live births, almost double Tanzania's national rate of 49

Key Project Activities

Train nurses and clinical officers to provide basic emergency care for pregnant women and newborns

Renovate health facilities in need of imporvements, with a particular focus on labour and delivery rooms as well as provision of clean water and sanitation facilities

Provide community health workers with essential equipment, such as bicycles

Financial Report 2015

Revenue 2015 2014
Institutional / Government of Canada Funding $1,504,808 $1,121,318
Corporate $15,672 $212,362
Foundation $75,950 $118,494
Individual $49,699 $54,059
Gala/Events $122,837 $24,565
Marketing Solicitation $158,780 $168,996
Administration Fees $2,336 $4,082
Contributions $870 $1,047
Other $(840) $65,545
Total Revenue $1,930,112 $1,770,468
Disbursements to Projects in Africa $1,051,240 $1,429,778
Project Support $178,295 $152,032
$1,229,535 $1,581,810
Public Awareness $72,982 $91,856
Fundraising Marketing Solicitation $32,087 $50,422
Fundraising Gala $35,528 -
Other Fundraising $17,558 $10,978
$158,155 $153,256
Administration $545,019 $452,986
Total Expenditures $1,932,709 $2,188,052
Surplus (deficit) ($2,597) ($417,584)
Statement of Financial Position 2015 2014
Operating Assets $93,840 $55,611
Restricted project funds available for disbursement $348,567 $142,479
Development Funds $546,795 $808,993
Capital Assets $9,567 $7,763
$998,769 $1,014,846
Liabilities $312,186 $325,666
Net Assets $686,583 $689,180
$998,769 $1,014,846


  • Public Awareness // $72,982
  • Fundraising // $85,173
  • Administration // $545,019
  • Programs and Program Support // $1,229,535
  • Total // $1,932,799

Amref Health Africa Canada

  • Amref Health Africa Canada
  • 489 College Street Suite 403
  • Toronto, ON M6G 1A5
  • Amref Health Africa is Africa’s leading health development organization, saving and transforming people’s lives in the continent’s poorest and most marginalised communities.