Healthcare of Excellence in Africa
The African Network of Medical Excellence aims to create medical Centres of Excellence that are capable of responding to health needs on a regional level.
In 2007, EMERGENCY embarked on a profoundly innovative healthcare cooperation project: to bring healthcare of excellence to Africa, affirming in practice the right of every human being to receive free, high-quality medical care. EMERGENCY’s Salam Centre for Cardiac Surgery in Khartoum, Sudan, was the first completely free heart surgery centre in Africa to provide high-level medical and surgical assistance to children and adults suffering from congenital and acquired heart diseases.
On the basis of the experience of the Salam Centre, EMERGENCY brought together Ministers of Health of nine African countries in 2008 to discuss how to guarantee African citizens the right to free, high-level medicine. That meeting led to the Manifesto for a Human Rights-Based Medicine, which states the need to build health systems based on equality, quality and social responsibility (EQS). On the basis of these principles, the African Network of Medical Excellence (ANME) was established in 2010, with the aim of building Medical Centres of Excellence to strengthen health systems across the continent, creating a common strategy to respond to local health needs.
The Children’s Surgical Centre in Entebbe represents the second important step in the construction of the African Network of Medical Excellence. The facility offers free paediatric surgical treatment to children and adolescents suffering primarily from congenital malformations, urological and gynaecological problems, anomalies of the gastro-intestinal tract, biliary system pathologies, and cheiloschisis – medical needs that do not have other reference facilities in the country to treat them.
The ANME (African Network of Medical Excellence) Model
Free treatment and medical excellence are the foundations of the healthcare model that the members of our network are working to implement in their countries.
Free healthcare is the essential prerequisite for providing prompt treatment to anyone who needs it.
Medical excellence guarantees high clinical standards for individual procedures and promotes the training of qualified healthcare professionals, research development and local healthcare systems.
In February 2010, EMERGENCY and the Sudanese Ministry of Health organised a regional meeting in Khartoum, attended by ministers and health authorities of 11 African countries, to strengthen collaboration between the countries that form the African Network of Medical Excellence (ANME). The meeting produced this joint appeal to the international community.
Signed on Thurday, 11 February 2010 – Khartoum, Sudan. On behalf of the Ministries of Health of: the Central African Republic, Chad, the Democratic Republic of Congo, Djibouti, Egypt, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Somalia, Sudan, South Sudan, Uganda.
On 13 May 2022, one year after the Children’s Surgical Hospital in Entebbe, Uganda, began activities, EMERGENCY hosted representatives from 12 African Health Authorities to outline the achievements of the African Network of Medical Excellence (ANME), and shape its future path.
The ‘Building Medicine of Excellence in Africa’ international workshop, organised by EMERGENCY, the Ugandan Ministry of Health and the Ugandan Ministry of Foreign Affairs, was attended by representatives of health authorities in Burundi, Chad, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Djibouti, Central African Republic, Somalia, South Sudan, Sudan, Tanzania, Uganda and Zimbabwe.
We, Ministers of Health and representatives of the Health Authorities of: Burundi, Central African Republic, Chad, Djibouti, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Somalia, South Sudan, Sudan, Tanzania, Uganda, Zimbabwe, meet today at the “Building Medicine of Excellence in Africa” international workshop, jointly organised by the Republic of Uganda’s Ministry of Health, the Republic of Uganda’s Ministry for Foreign Affairs, and the international NGO EMERGENCY, on the occasion of the celebration of one year of activities at the Children’s Surgical Hospital in Entebbe, Uganda,
Bearing in mind that strengthening national health systems in middle- and low-income countries is a commonly recognised critical factor in striving to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs);
Reaffirming the principle that healthcare is a fundamental right of every individual, as stated in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights;
Recalling the principles of Equality, Quality and Social Responsibility stated in the Manifesto for a Human Rights-Based Medicine, calling for the delivery of high-quality and free of charge healthcare for all;
Acknowledging the lack of facilities that can provide free of charge treatment to common complex diseases in our countries;
Recognising the need to establish Centres of Excellence in Africa to address relevant health priorities providing high standards of medical treatment through secondary and tertiary facilities, to complement disease prevention and primary healthcare delivery;
Appreciating that patients suffering from severe conditions require access to long-term continuity of care that will considerably improve quality of life;
Underlining the importance of developing future generations of health workforce to address the main epidemiological conditions in the African region, thus building more resilient health systems and mitigating brain drain;
Highlighting the fundamental role that Centres of Excellence can have in guaranteeing an adequate platform to provide specialist training;
Understanding that the management of complex systems delivering specialised care should be based on the principles of transparency and efficiency in order to provide effective and equitable services to all patients;
Embracing the crucial role of fruitful regional cooperation in order to ensure proper access to specialised care for patients, knowledge sharing, and guaranteeing the circulation of human resources;
Considering the experiences of the Salam Centre for Cardiac Surgery in Sudan and the Children’s Surgical Hospital in Uganda as an example that this model can be feasible, sustainable and replicable;
We hereby, commit to:
Promote the ANME model inside our own countries to build a deeper knowledge of the system and to foster a higher level of political endorsement;
Identify relevant health priorities that can be addressed by a cooperative and comprehensive response, and that allow for the referral of patients from across the region;
Improve regional cooperation amongst ANME countries and partners in order to reinforce the network and all its components;
Advocate jointly to promote the ANME model within the international community;
Join and strengthen efforts to mobilise resources from governments, international institutions, and donors to guarantee the long-term financial sustainability of the African Network of Medical Excellence.
Dated Friday 13th May 2022. Entebbe, Uganda
Ministers of Health and representatives of Health Authorities of:
Somalia: H.E Dr. Nur Fawziya Abikar
South Sudan: H.E Dr. Yolanda Awel Deng Juach
Sudan: H.E Dr. Heitham Mohammed Ibrahim Awadalla
Uganda: H.E Dr. Jane Ruth Aceng Ocero
Burundi: Dr. Jean Baptiste Nzorironkankuze
Central African Republic: M.me Chantal Manzibahi Nee N’droumokato
Chad: Dr. Francine Mbaidedji Dekandji
Djibouti: Dr. Saleh Banoita
Eritrea: Dr. Yohannes Teclegiorgis Tewelde
Ethiopia: Dr. Abas Hassen Yesuf
Tanzania: Dr. Januarius Joseph Hinju
Zimbabwe: Dr. Israel Dube
The Salam Centre for Cardiac Surgery
The fulcrum of the EMERGENCY cardiac surgery Regional Programme, the Salam Centre is the only free hospital specialising in cardiac surgery in an area home to over 300 million people.
The regional network of Cardiac Surgery
The Salam Centre is connected to a network of facilities across Africa and beyond where our international cardiologists perform screening and follow-up checks for patients who need surgery.