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Responding to COVID-19

Discover how we are supporting Ministries of Health in Africa to train health workers, provide PPE, and strengthen diagnostic and testing capacity in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Responding to COVID-19

When the first cases of COVID-19 on the African continent were confirmed, Amref Health Africa was called on by the governments of ten countries to take a leading role in national efforts to stop the spread.

As part of our wide-ranging COVID-19 response, we have:

  • Supported the development of COVID-specific training content enabling health workers across the continent to carry out their duties in community education, health promotion, case detection, contact tracing and referrals
  • Trained 334,987 health workers in COVID-related topics – in person and through our digital training tools including mobile learning platform, Leap
  • Provided more than 164,000 health workers in Kenya, Guinea, Malawi, Rwanda, Senegal, South Africa, South Sudan, Tanzania, Uganda and Zambia with Personal Protective Equipment (PPE)
  • Facilitated full COVID-19 immunisations for 13.3 million people and administered a total of 15.2 million doses of the COVID-19 vaccine (including first, second and booster doses)

Data cover the period March 2020 – November 2022

Looking ahead

Looking ahead, Amref Health Africa will integrate COVID-19 response mechanisms into our existing programmes. We know that the impact of the pandemic – on health, lives, and livelihoods across the continent – will continue to define our work for years to come.

Africa is experiencing an acute shortage of health workers, with the deficit expected to reach 6 million by 2030. A public health crisis like the COVID-19 pandemic brings inequalities such as this into sharp focus – and demonstrates the need for Amref’s unique expertise.

Pictured: Lab technician Mercy Kibathi at work in the molecular section of the Amref Central Laboratory (ACL) in Nairobi (c) Kevin Gitonga, July 2021

Looking ahead
Community Health Worker Mumbi Malama, Zambia

Community Health Worker Mumbi Malama, Zambia

At the onset of the pandemic, “I used to feel [nervous]. But now I’ve decided: If I’m scared, how am I going to help other people? So I’m just strong. I mask up, I sanitise when I’m in the community.”

Meet Mumbi

By sharing our technical expertise and leveraging our strong relationships with communities, we continue to shape national strategies on COVID-19 that will influence future health systems strengthening policies.

All eyes are now on the development and equitable distribution of COVID-19 vaccines, a critical conversation that we cannot afford to be left out of if we are to ensure that the African continent can rapidly move towards a bright post-pandemic future.

Dr Githinji Gitahi, Group CEO, Amref Health Africa

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