Access to Surgery Changes Everything

For as little as $260 you can help a mother in critical need get an emergency C-section to safely deliver her baby.

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According to The New York Times, 56 million people in Africa need surgery now. AMH works with hospitals capable of meeting this need to help patients access these life-changing surgeries.

Kyomuhendo is a mother. She's also a small-scale farmer in Uganda. She works tirelessly in her fields, but even with her determination and the long hours of manual labor, she's barely able to afford the basic necessities she needs for her family.

She needed an emergency C-section and through the SAFE (Surgical Access For Everyone) program, delivered twin boys at Rwibaale Health Center. Without the help of compassionate partners like you, she would not have access to this life-saving operation.

Only 20% of the women in Uganda who need a C-section are able to get one. Together, we are working to change that reality. She is overjoyed to be able to welcome her babies safely into the world.

“My heart is filled with joy and excitement seeing that my surgery went on successfully. I am grateful and thankful to all the people in the SAFE program for the great work done in my life. I can’t thank you enough. May the good Lord always bless the work of your hands. After recovery, I will resume with farming and take care of my twins and their sibling."

- Kyomuhendo, pictured above with her twins

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SAFE: Surgical Access for Everyone

In 2011, African Mission Healthcare established its Surgical Access for Everyone (SAFE) program to provide critically needed surgeries to people facing extreme poverty in Africa.

Noted humanitarian Dr. Paul Farmer has called surgery the “neglected stepchild of global health."

Our SAFE program is one of several practical ways that AMH partners to expand access to high-quality and compassionate surgical care. Since the program’s inception and with support from donors like you, AMH has sponsored more than 18,500 surgeries and corrective procedures at an average cost of about $350. We regularly expand the range and complexity of the surgeries we sponsor to meet the growing needs of the hospitals and communities we serve.

We currently have 12 hospital SAFE sites in five African countries, involving more than 50 surgeons, 75 approved surgical procedures, and supporting long-term, hands-on training for nearly 40 surgical residents.

Your opportunity for impact is immediate.  

  •  85% of African children require surgery before age 15
  • More than 95% of children in Africa lack access to surgical care (WHO)
  • 1 in 25 deaths in Africa could be prevented by surgery
  • Less than 20% of women in rural Uganda who need a C-section actually get one
  • A life-saving C-section costs approximately $260 in Africa (in the USA it's $19,000)
  • Common surgical needs include C-section, orthopedic surgery, hernia repair, and burn scar treatment

Why Focus on Surgical Access?

Surgery is extremely cost-effective in low-income countries. The life of every single patient is impacted. Surgery is even more cost-effective than HIV treatment, which is considered a great success in global health. That impact is amplified as we combine SAFE with advanced training and investments in equipment and facilities at the same hospitals.

SAFE helps maximize these efforts by:

  • Helping advance training, expansion of critical services, and increased quality of care throughout the hospital
  • Strengthening relationships with local communities by extending compassionate, quality care to the most vulnerable
  • Improving each hospital’s surgical processes, quality measurement and cost

"Dr. Rhodes and others associated with AMH have put it all on the line to serve those in need without any regard for their personal safety or comfort.  It is a privilege to support work that brings together all races and religions in a way that brings care where there was previously no healthcare to be found. This is the definition of high impact giving."

- A Generous SAFE Donor whose last gift sponsored 43 operations in a surgery-starved region of Chad

Zakaria is a 30-year-old father of three.

Ten years ago, he developed a small growth in his right cheek, which grew to a frightening size and caused disfigurement. He tried in vain to get help from local hospitals.

Zakaria loves to read but stopped going to school. It became very difficult for him to speak. He and his family are barely able to survive on what he provides as a small-scale farmer in Chad. Zakaria longs to finish high school and go to university someday.

“I want to be able to talk clearly again and finish school and get a good job for my family so that life is not difficult,” he explains. 

Dr. Bill Rhodes, a plastic and reconstructive surgeon based in Kenya, traveled to Chad. After a 10-year wait, Zakaria finally got the life-changing surgery he needed and had the mass successfully removed. The tumor, called an ameloblastoma, is sadly common in Africa but is not cancerous. The remaining swelling will resolve with time. The operation changed Zakaria’s life and he can speak normally again.

Emergency C-sections Save 2,200 Babies & Mothers in Uganda

Instead of asking for wedding gifts, Rick Gerson, a long-time AMH supporter, and Ashley Stetts requested donations to support the SAFE Emergency C-section initiative to benefit women and their babies living in rural Uganda, where less than 1 in 5 women has access to this life-saving operation.

Through fundraising and personal gifts, Rick and Ashley helped:

  • Launch AMH’s emergency C-section program in Uganda
  • Sponsor more than 1,100 life-saving surgeries at an average cost of $260 per surgery.

Too often, because of the cost, women delay going to the hospital until it’s too late. But with SAFE these moms are able to get the life-saving care they need for themselves and their babies.

"I thank the SAFE program for having supported my surgery and pray that the good Lord may always reward you. Thank you so much for your generosity. After recovery, I will resume working in my fields in order to provide enough food for my children.”

- Kemigisa 

Kemigisa is pictured here with her new son.

Women and children are the future - and with so many dying needlessly in childbirth due to lack of equipment, doctors, and other necessary but extremely affordable elements, we wanted to spread the word that for only $260 you can easily save two lives.

Now expecting our own first child, I cannot imagine going into my own labor unsure if I and my baby would live or die.

Knowing that we have helped provide that reassurance, and hearing the stories of the lives that have been saved, has been incredibly rewarding. Of course none of it would be possible without the foundation built by the selfless people and doctors involved in AMH.”

— Ashley Stetts

Your Generosity Will Help Save a Life

Your gift to the SAFE program will help save lives. With your partnership, we can provide life-changing operations for children and families in critical need and invest in the long-term sustainability of local healthcare systems in Africa.

  • Your gift of $50 can provide medicine and supplies for a critically needed surgery.
  • Your gift of $100 can cover the costs of the hospital stay for a patient during surgery.
  • Your gift of $260 can save the life of a mom and her baby with the gift of an emergency C-section.

Your gift of any amount will help us bring surgeries to people in desperate need.

*Costs are approximate. Types of surgeries sponsored will vary with current needs.