Hundreds of millions of Africans need routine medical care today: surgery, maternal care, HIV treatment, trauma — the same kinds of conditions which bring a Westerner to the doctor. According to the WHO, Sub-Saharan Afrca lacks 1.8 million health workers and the gap is growing. The major barrier to Africans receiving treatment is lack of health care capacity: too few health professionals, too little infrastructure, too few supplies. Many African countries have one doctor for every 30,000-40,000 people.
By the year 2050, the United Nations project that Africa’s population will double and comprise more than one-quarter of the world’s population. Despite current progress, without rapid and aggressive efforts to increase the quantity and quality of healthcare in Africa, the number of people who will die or suffer from under-treatment will dramatically increase over the next several decades.
The people of Africa deserve better. Africa’s citizens are bright, motivated, capable and passionate. We want to be part of developing Africa’s potential.
African mission hospitals are well-positioned to improve clinical health systems on the continent. They already provide one-third of the medical care in sub-Saharan Africa and arguably a higher percentage of quality medical care. They are also training centers, producing qualified nurses, physician assistants and, increasingly, doctors and specialists. Mission hospitals have long, deep roots in the local communities they serve, having survived wars, famine, epidemics, and poverty—earning the trust of the people in those communities.
While Christian medical missionaries and mission hospitals in Africa have proven very effective, support from their traditional sources has been waning. These Christian missionary physicians commit their entire careers towards treating patients, training African colleagues, creating systems and building institutions in very difficult conditions throughout sub-Saharan Africa. They routinely do what their colleagues in the United States regard as impossible when they learn about it. We believe that they provide an excellent foundation to build upon and warrant more support and investment. AMH provides them with much-needed resources, enabling these missionary physicians, their African colleagues, and the mission hospitals they serve, to provide quality and compassionate care for the African poor.
We believe that our approach is unique. We don’t offer a standard, easily repeatable solution; we spend time and resources identifying what is truly needed. AMH invests with trusted hospital partners, measuring the return in lives saved and changed.
We carefully select the hospitals with which we work, spend the time to understand and build relationships, and truly partner—not prescribing answers but together developing solutions. And we make decisions leveraging five distinctive values that maximize our impact in the African context: