APHRC Selected by Canada to Help Save the Lives of Women and Children

November 7, 2014

As part of the Innovating for Maternal and Child Health in Africa research program, launched in May 2014, Eastern and Western Africa Health Policy Research Organizations (HPROs) have been selected to bridge the gap between the research teams supported by the program and decision-makers in Africa.

The Eastern Africa HPRO is made up of a consortium composed of the African Population and Health Research Center (APHRC); the East, Central and Southern Africa Health Community (ECSA-HC); and Partners in Population and Development (PPD)

  • Kenya’s APHRC, founded in 1995 and headquartered in Nairobi, actively engages policymakers and other key stakeholders to achieve measurable policy impacts and ensure that decision-making across the continent is informed by evidence-based research.
  • The ECSA-HC, based in Tanzania and established in 1974, includes 10 member states and aims to foster and strengthen regional cooperation and the capacity to address the health needs of member states.
  • PPD’s Africa regional office opened in 2007 in Uganda. There are currently 14 member countries situated in Africa, while the wider PPD makes up a South-South alliance of 25 developing countries.

The West African Health Organization (WAHO) will represent the Western Africa HPRO.

  • Based in Burkina Faso, WAHO was established in 1987 when the Heads of State and Government from all 15 countries in the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) adopted the Protocol creating the organization.

aphrc.orgLaunch of the Health Policy and Research Organisations for the new innovating for maternal and child health in Africa program in Cape Town, South Africa. From left to right, International Development Research Centre’s (IDRC) Sharmila Mhatre, African Population and Health Research Center’s (APHRC) Pauline Bakibinga, IDRC’s Simon Carter, West African Health Organisation’s (WAHO) Laurent Assogba, and the Canadian Institutes of Health Research’s (CIHR) Nancy Edwards and Erica Di Ruggiero

The Innovating for Maternal and Child Health in Africa program is the flagship program of the Global Health Research Initiative (GHRI), a partnership of three Canadian government agencies. The made-in-Canada partnership includes:

  • Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR)
  • Foreign Affairs, Trade and Development Canada (DFATD)
  • International Development Research Centre (IDRC)

The program was announced in May 2014 by Canada’s Minister of Health, the Honourable Rona Ambrose, on behalf of the Honourable Christian Paradis, Minister of International Development and La Francophonie.

Innovating for Maternal and Child Health in Africa brings together leading Canadian researchers with counterparts and decision-makers in low- and middle-income countries to generate locally relevant, practical, and affordable innovations and solutions that can be replicated and expanded to other communities.

“Research must support decision-makers at all levels in the health care system to support sound decision making to improve population health,” said D. Xavier Crespin, Director General of WAHO. “This WAHO project supported by GHRI will allow this objective to be met for mothers and children in West Africa.”

“With APHRC’s strong research capacity, PPD’s long-standing experience in high-level policy engagement, and ECSA-HC’s robust convening role in Eastern and Southern Africa, this South-South cooperation will significantly address the key maternal, newborn, and child health challenges facing the region,” said Dr Alex Ezeh, Executive Director of APHRC.

“This made-in-Canada collaboration brings leading Canadian researchers together with their colleagues in the developing world to improve the lives of women and children,” said IDRC President Jean Lebel. “The program will make health systems stronger and more accessible to these marginalized communities, particularly in the area of frontline, primary health care.”

Maternal, Newborn and Child Health

GHRI contributes to Canada’s leadership in maternal and child health and delivers on the country’s key innovation, international development, and foreign policy priorities. Focused on sub-Saharan Africa, it also strengthens Canada’s scientific base by creating research opportunities for Canadian scientists, with the potential to produce results that will also benefit Canadians.

The program will generate new research on which health systems interventions work and under what conditions. It will focus on four maternal, newborn, and child health priorities by:

  • implementing and evaluating technologies and services that directly affect maternal, newborn, and child health, by working through the communities they live in
  • ensuring that high quality health care is delivered in clinics and hospitals
  • working with policymakers and decision-makers to help make the best health policy decisions, and,
  • identifying how nurses, doctors, and other health professionals can better deliver the care that is needed.