Participants during the AAHCI Health Symposium in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania.
The Aga Khan University (AKU) has been named as the inaugural Regional Office for Eastern Africa of the Association of Academic Health Centers International (AAHCI).
This makes AKU an academic health centre which will support institutions to educate and mentor the next generation of health professionals to conduct relevant education and biomedical research and to provide quality care in the region.
“In this globally networked role, AKU will seek to build a learning community working to strengthen the linkages between universities and the institutions responsible for delivery of care so that they become an important contributor to universal healthcare,” said Prof William Macharia, Associate Dean, Research at the Aga Khan University.
AAHCI has concurrently established a program (ALI) designed to catalyze the work of academic health center leaders from Lower and Middle-Income Countries (LMICs) to foster cross-border learning and networking, and to share best practices in building academic health center infrastructure globally.
Kenyatta University, Kenya Medical Research Institute (KEMRI), Kampala International University (KIU) and Makerere University College of Health Sciences School of Public Health will be the initial beneficiaries of ALI sponsorship in the region.
AKU became a member of AAHCI in 2012, and has hosted two meetings in the region under the umbrella of East African Community Health Research Symposia. The first meeting was held in Bujumbura in 2017 and a second meeting was held in 2019 in Dar-es-salaam.
“We are now challenged to demonstrate our leadership’s ability to mobilize AAHCI members to contribute towards improvement of healthcare systems in the region,” added Prof Macharia.