Mother and child in Tanzania

Mothers have the right to safe pregnancy.

201,000 women died in pregnancy or childbirth in sub-Saharan Africa in 2015 alone. That's 66% of all maternal deaths worldwide.

Amref Health Africa is bringing together Canadian and African expertise to create better health for moms and babies in Ethiopia, Kenya, Malawi and Tanzania.

Read more about this four-year project.

Please donate

#HealthWorkersCount: Rahma Salih, a midwife in Ethiopia

Published: 07 April 2017 Sean Power

Rahma Salih is a midwife in Afar region of Ethiopia. See how she is helping to improve the health of moms and babies, and why her work matters so much to her. Read more

Improving Maternal and Newborn Health in Underserved Areas in Tanzania

Published: 11 January 2017 Sean Power

The project aims to reduce maternal, newborn and child mortality rates in Simiyu region in Tanzania. Read more

350 young girls forgo FGM in Samburu County, Kenya; U.S. and Dutch Ambassadors witness Alternative Rites of Passage Ceremony

Published: 05 January 2017 Sean Power

In early December, U.S. Ambassador to Kenya Robert Godec and his Dutch counterpart, Frans Makken, witnessed over 350 girls from Samburu County in Kenya participate in Alternative Rites of Passage in place of Female Genital Mutilation (FGM, also known as Female Genital Cutting). Read more

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, in many communities in sub-Saharan Africa, the maternal and newborn mortality rates continue to be unacceptably high. Read more

The Economist brings much needed attention to a dangerous practice being carried out on young girls today – female genital mutilation (FGM) – despite it being illegal in most countries. In many African countries, the practice is interpreted as a ‘coming-of-age’ ceremony that marks the transition to womanhood. Globally, on average, young girls who undergo FGM are just 10-years-old. It’s disappointing that one glaring fact was neglected in the editorial in The Economist – that FGM is recognized internationally as a violation of the declaration of human rights. Read more

Amref Health Africa is targeting to train at least 8,000 midwives in the next three years in a move aimed at improving maternal health for at least four million women across the Africa every year. Read more

Amref Health Africa-trained Nice Nailantei Leng’ete has been selected to participate in the 2016 Mandela Washington Fellowship for Young African Leaders. Read more

Amref Health Africa is bringing together Canadian and African expertise to reduce the high rates of mother and child mortality within marginalized and remote communities in Ethiopia, Kenya, Malawi and Tanzania. Read more

As Amref Health Africa, we pledge to take a concrete step towards achieving gender parity more quickly to help women and girls achieve their ambitions. Read more

Amref Health Africa respects community cultural practices and encourages communities to continue with their rites of passage for girls but abandon the harmful cut administered to the external genitalia of girls, known as Female Genital Mutilation (FGM) or Female Genital Cutting (FGC). We do not support any form of alteration of the female external genitalia for non-medical reasons. Read more

Saving Lives in South Sudan

Published: 04 February 2016 Sean Power

Amref Health Africa is improving health care for moms and babies at Yambio State Hospital, South Sudan Read more

Female Genital Mutilation Has No Place in Africa

Published: 12 January 2016 Sean Power

Amref Health Africa asks the Government of Sierra Leone to protect girls from injury and death caused by the harmful practice. Read more

AMREF Flying Doctors – Amref Health Africa’s medical emergency evacuation service – yesterday evacuated a woman with a knife lodged in her head after she was allegedly stabbed by her husband in the remote and arid Wajir County in northern Kenya. Read more

On November 19, 2015, Amref Health Africa joins the rest of the world in marking the UN World Toilet Day. Sub-Saharan Africa has a mere 30 per cent coverage of safe sanitation facilities, a startling statistic that is only a four per cent increase since 1990. This is a serious concern due to the associated massive health burden. Read more

At a colourful event in Loitokitok, Kenya, near the border with Tanzania, 1,200 Maasai girls marked their transition to womanhood without experiencing Female Genital Cutting (also known as Female Genital Mutilation, or FGM). Read more

Stop Female Genital Cutting -- Join the Alternative!

Published: 26 August 2015 Sean Power

The largest Alternative Rite of Passage ceremony is happening in Loitokitok in southern Kenya, near Mount Kilimanjaro. More than 1,200 girls from Maasai communities are taking part in the Alternative Rite of Passage as a way to mark the transition from a girl to a woman. The public event replaces Female Genital Cutting, a practice that can have severe consequences for girls’ health. Read more

Amref Health Africa in Canada will lead a $29.3 million five-year project to improve the health of mothers and their children in Ethiopia, Kenya, Malawi and Tanzania, $24.9 million of which is provided by the Government of Canada through the Department of Foreign Affairs, Trade and Development (DFATD). Read more

Dr. Mandela was the keynote speaker at MAMATOTO, the African marketplace gala, a fundraiser for mother and child health in Africa organized by Amref Health Africa in Canada at Daniels Spectrum in Toronto on May 26. Read more

As governments fail to make good on healthcare funding promises, women in sub-Saharan Africa have a one in 16 chance of dying in pregnancy or childbirth. Read more

The theme of this year’s International Day to End Obstetric Fistula, “End fistula, restore women’s dignity”, resonates completely with women who recover from this debilitating condition. Not only are they physically sound again, but they are able to rediscover their dignity, regain their place in community and start life anew. For many years Amref Health Africa has implemented fistula repair programmes across East Africa, Malawi and other areas to promote safe motherhood and contribute to ending obstetric fistula. Read more

Every morning before sunrise, women and children in Kenya’s Samburu County embark on an arduous journey, one that takes them miles away from their homes in search of water. Read more

We mark 2015 International Women’s Day with the words and experiences of women who are at the forefront of creating lasting health change in Africa. Read more

Together the Maasai in Kenya, Amref Health Africa has developed an Alternative Rite of Passage for girls to transition to womanhood. Read more

The International Day against Female Genital Mutilation (FGM), also known as Female Genital Cutting, has been designated by the United Nations to raise awareness about the dangers of the practice. FGM is the intentional invasive injuring of the female genitalia for non-medical reasons. It has been recognized as a severe violation of the rights of women and girls. Read more

On the occasion of the International Day of the Midwife 2015, Amref Health Africa calls for Governments in Africa and foreign aid departments of developed countries to increase investment in scaling up education and training of midwives to increase access to quality health services and reduce needless deaths of mothers and their newborn children. Read more

Saving Lives: Moms and Babies in Tanzania

Published: 31 March 2015 Sean Power

Mothers and their children in the Simiyu region of northwestern Tanzania lack access to basic health care during pregnancy, delivery and the first few years of life. Focusing on five districts where mother and child deaths are high, Amref Health Africa in Tanzania is working to ensure quality health care is available to prevent unnecessary deaths. Read more

Let’s Make it Happen for African Women

Published: 08 March 2015 Sean Power

Amref Health Africa calls for elimination of sexual and gender-based violence as the world marks International Women’s Day. Read more

Through a programme funded by the Government of Canada through the Department of Foreign Affairs, Trade and Development (DFATD), Amref Health Africa has been able to support Community Health Workers in Tanzania in carrying out their work. Read more

Ugandan Government Honours Midwife Esther Madudu

Published: 23 October 2014 Sean Power

Esther Madudu, the face of Amref Health Africa’s Stand Up for African Mothers campaign has been recognized by the Ugandan Ministry of Health for her exemplary performance and commitment to work as a midwife. Read more

Health care remains a huge concern for African states, indicating an urgent need for governments to prioritize access to quality health care, and for private players to partner with public institutions in advancing the continent’s health agenda. The current Ebola outbreak in West Africa demonstrates the weakness and vulnerability of African health systems and the underlying social and economic challenges. Read more

Amref Health Africa International Health Conference

Published: 14 August 2014 Sean Power

Amref Health Africa is hosting its first international conference focused on improving health in Africa. The Conference, in partnership with the World Health Organization (WHO), will bring together government leaders, researchers, health professionals, community-based organizations, and local health leaders to explore the theme: From Evidence to Action: Lasting Health Change in Africa. Read more

Amref Health Africa in South Sudan

Published: 29 July 2014 Sean Power

Amref Health Africa has a long history in South Sudan, beginning in 1972 in what was then the southern region of Sudan. Over the decades, we have played a critical part in planning and developing the country’s health care system. Read more

Canada is committing another $3.5 billion to improve global maternal, newborn and child health, Prime Minister Stephen Harper announced today on the sidelines of the government's health summit in Toronto. Non-profit organizations, such as Amref Health Africa, have said it would be possible to achieve Millennium Development Goal No. 5 of reducing the maternal mortality rate by three-quarters (from 1990 to 2015) if the Muskoka Initiative was to be renewed with similar funding. Read more

Amref Health Africa (formerly the African Medical and Research Foundation) has received more than $15 million in federal government funding for two projects since 2011. One of its projects is to help rural communities in Tanzania access the formal health system by training nearly 4,000 volunteer health workers to go into communities to deliver services, along with creating a model to replicate those efforts in different regions. Read more

The Reality in South Sudan: Meet Nugent Manea Kalome

Published: 05 May 2014 Sean Power

Meet Nugent Manea Kalome, 56-year old midwife who was in the first group of midwives trained at Amref Health Africa’s National Training institute in South Sudan. Read more

Midwives Changing the World One Family at a Time

Published: 01 May 2014 Sean Power

On this International Day of the Midwife Amref Health Africa renews its commitment to work hand-in-hand with governments development partners and civil society organizations to train midwives. Read more

A Ray of Hope and Happiness

Published: 01 May 2014 Sean Power

Amref Health Africa is training midwives in rural Ethiopia to ensure more mothers and their babies have access to health care. Read more

Bye Bye Malaria!

Published: 21 April 2014 Sean Power

Christine Nasimiyu, a mother in Lurende Village, Bungoma County in Kenya describes how the community health worker in her village has helped her family prevent malaria. Read more

Dr. Brook Asfaw: Delivering Healthy Babies

Published: 11 April 2014 Sean Power

Dr. Brook Getahun Asfaw is the only obstetrician-gynecologist at Jinka Hospital in the South Omo region of southern Ethiopia. The hospital serves more than one million people. Read more

Clean Water and Maternal Health

Published: 01 February 2014 Sean Power

In Kenya, AMREF is partnering with communities to improve access to clean water and sanitation. Read more

Community Health Workers Save Lives

Published: 13 January 2014 Sean Power

Program to train community health workers helps create lasting health improvements. Read more

Better Health for Moms and Babies in Ethiopia

Published: 13 January 2014 Sean Power

Improving access to health care in the remote South Omo region of Ethiopia. Read more

AMREF and SickKids Join Forces to Improve Health

Published: 08 January 2014 Sean Power

SickKids’ experts train health professionals in Tanzania to improve care for newborns. Read more


Published: 13 September 2013 Sean Power

Women throughout Africa continue to die in pregnancy and childbirth at unacceptable rates. That's why Amref Health Africa started the Stand Up for African Mothers special project, aimed at training 15 000 midwives and health workers. Read more

Malaria Mother Co-ordinator: Hassena Foka

Published: 19 August 2013 Sean Power

"My name is Hassena Foka. I am 40-years-old and a mother of four boys and six girls. My family and I live in a small village called Yirgada in the Afar region of Ethiopia. The village is home to 300 pastoralist communities and has a health post and elementary school." Read more

Maria Gasingo lives in South Sudan, and just like so many women in Sub-Saharan Africa had no other option but to give birth at home. She ran into severe hemorrhaging complications during labour and immediately knew that her life and the life of her unborn child were at risk. Read more

Helping Communities Tackle Malaria: Resty Nsamba

Published: 19 August 2013 Sean Power

Resty Nsamba says that she is 30 years old, but her experiences and level of respect in her community suggest that she is much older. Read more

Christine Akello, 28, is a qualified enrolled midwife working in a remote sub county of Lalogi, Uganda where the health centre she works in is located, about 145 km from Gulu Town in the north. Read more

The World Needs More Midwives

Published: 24 July 2013 Sean Power

A motherless baby begins life at a disadvantage. In addition to missing maternal love, the baby is at risk for malnourishment, infection and a host of other problems. My skills as a midwife are vital to saving the lives of mothers every day, but they also go beyond delivering babies. I help to educate women with proper healthcare information and campaign for maternal health to be prioritized. Read more

AMREF and SickKids Join Forces for Child Health in Tanzania

Published: 07 February 2013 Sean Power

TORONTO – The African Medical and Research Foundation (AMREF) and The Hospital for Sick Children (SickKids) are joining together to combat the high mortality rate of children in rural Tanzania. Read more

Rush-hour blitz of key TTC subway stations draws attention to the unacceptable death rate of African mothers. Torontonians are being asked to Stand Up for African Mothers on Friday, December 7 to help combat the unacceptably high rate of deaths among moms in Africa. Read more

Chase Bank Foundation has launched a partnership with the African Medical and Research Foundation (AMREF) aimed at saving the lives of thousands of women and children. This is the first of many initiatives to be undertaken by the Chase Bank Foundation, which was registered last October under the Trustees Act in line with one of Chase Bank’s core values of social responsibility to improve the lives of those around us. Read more

Toronto, July 25, 2011 - AMREF Canada applauds the Canadian government’s international leadership in providing $50 million to relief efforts while also matching all eligible donations made towards AMREF’s efforts supporting people suffering from the severe drought across the Horn of Africa. Read more

Investing Donor Dollars in Africa: What Works

Published: 06 April 2011 Sean Power

Director General Dr. Teguest Guerma, MD and infectious disease expert of East African based, African Medical and Research Foundation (AMREF), will be in Ottawa available to speak with media on World Health Day (April 7, 2011). She will also be in Montreal on Monday, April 11 and Toronto on Tuesday and Wednesday, April 12 and 13. Read more

Traditional birth attendants have been a subject of discussion in the provision of maternal and newborn health care, especially in developing countries where there is a lack of infrastructure and trained health personnel. The objective of this study was to assess the role of trained traditional birth attendants in maternal and newborn health care in Afar Regional State. Read more


Kevin O'Neill
Director of Programs

Kevin O'NeillWant to partner with Amref Health Africa in Canada on a health project? Want to know more about our projects? Get in touch with our Director of Programs, Kevin O'Neill.