Grants to Americares, AMPATH Kenya, Amref, Sightsavers Inc. and USA for UNHCR are expected to impact nearly 2.7 million lives
NORTHBROOK, Ill., Dec. 14, 2022 /PRNewswire/ — The Astellas Global Health Foundation (“Foundation”) today announced it is providing five new grants for a combined $3.9 million to organizations focused on improving access to health, community resilience and disaster support for people in the Dominican Republic, El Salvador, Honduras, Guinea Bissau, Kenya, Senegal and Uganda.
The grants will allow the Foundation to continue its efforts to help improve health access, build resilient communities and provide disaster support for populations with a high-need for care within low- and middle-income countries where Astellas does not have a business presence.
Over the next three years, the initiatives funded through these new Foundation grants are expected to impact nearly 2.7 million lives:
Americares: The Foundation will provide Americares with a one-year, $345,000 grant to bring disaster risk reduction and mental health programming to partner health centers support efforts and reinforce a capacity-building program for mental health and psychosocial support in the Dominican Republic, El Salvador, and Honduras to help patients affected by poverty and extreme weather caused by climate change.
Americares expects the project to benefit up to 3,600 people across the three countries by preparing health workers for climate-related emergencies, including coping with trauma and anxiety in the aftermath of disasters. This is the second grant the Foundation has awarded Americares; the first grant, for $600,000, supported the organization’s disaster relief and community resilience efforts in El Salvador in 2019-2021. Learn more.
AMPATH Kenya: A two-year $1.07 million grant from the Foundation will help expand access to mental health and substance abuse services for more than 200,000 youth, adolescents and adults in western Kenya. This is the second grant the Foundation has provided to AMPATH through the Indiana University Center for Global Health. The initial grant, for $1.35 million, was announced in early 2020 to help AMPATH build and launch the MTRH Nawiri Recovery & Skills Centre, the first recovery home and skills center in Kenya for men and women with severe mental health disorders. Additionally, the grant supported capacity building and mentorship of health care workers in primary care settings, provided for community awareness on mental health and supported community-based alcohol support groups. A portion of the earlier grant was also re-allocated to support mental health services in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. Learn more.
Amref Health Africa: The Foundation will provide Amref Health Africa with almost $1.7 million over three years to help improve access to health for children in Senegal, specifically in the Kolda and Sédhiou regions where low immunization rates, lack of qualified health care workers and scarcity of food and clean water have combined to cause high infant and child mortality rates. The grant will help Amref train and deploy skilled health workers and expand access points for child health services in these under-resourced regions of Senegal, impacting more than 340,000 children.
Sightsavers Inc.: A one-year $536,700 grant to Sightsavers will support the organization’s efforts to deliver more than one million treatments for four neglected tropical diseases (NTDs) in the six endemic areas in Guinea Bissau. This program focuses on four diseases in Guinea Bissau – river blindness, lymphatic filariasis, schistosomiasis and soil transmitted helminths – working to help eliminate NTDs through the delivery of preventive chemotherapy treatments and training community volunteers to distribute NTD treatments.
USA for UNHCR, the UN Refugee Agency: The Foundation is providing a one-year, $345,000 grant to USA for UNHCR to help aid community resilience initiatives in Uganda. Uganda has the largest refugee population in Africa, with more than 1.5 million refugees who fled war and persecution in South Sudan and the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC). UNHCR’s programs are designed to promote and provide mental health and psychosocial support for refugees, within five settlements in Uganda and their surrounding host communities, through a community-based approach. UNHCR will provide refugees with training to enable them to provide basic psychosocial support and make referrals for mental health and psychosocial support (MHPSS), build the capacity of community mental health organizations on suicide prevention and response, and support mental health front-line workers to foster their resilience.
“We are extremely grateful for the continued support from the Astellas Global Health Foundation as we seek to reduce stigma and improve mental health care access in Western Kenya that enables people to receive critical medical support and live as valued and respected members of their communities,” said Edith Kwobah, MBChB, MMED, psychiatrist and head of mental health at Moi Teaching and Referral Hospital (MTRH) in Kenya and the Kenyan medical leader of the MTRH Nawiri Center.
“The new grant is an exciting next step for us as we work to help develop, implement, and sustain a mental health care program in the public health system in western Kenya that improves access to services and health outcomes for vulnerable adolescents, youth, and adults,” added Matthew Turissini, MD, assistant professor of clinical medicine, Indiana University School of Medicine, and co-leader of the AMPATH mental health initiative.
“Access to mental health services is a prominent concern in Uganda, and this grant can make a powerful difference in refugee settlements where it is so urgently needed,” said Carol Sparks, head of external engagement for UNHCR in Uganda. “With the new funds from the Astellas Global Health Foundation, we look forward to training community members and local mental health workers and building community support systems to help 42,200 people in five refugee settlements in need of mental illness interventions.”
Programs that receive Foundation funding are designed and implemented by non-profit organizations and are in alignment with the Foundation’s Social Contribution Policy and corporate sustainability focus on improving access to health. Success is defined by each program’s ability to make a meaningful impact and actively contribute to the achievement of the UN Sustainable Development Goals, particularly Goal 3: Ensure healthy lives and promote well-being for all at all ages.1
“This year’s grant recipients will help us continue to make a sustainable impact on the health of people around the world,” said Shingo Iino, Ph.D., president of the Astellas Global Health Foundation. “We are proud to support these organizations as they work to provide much-needed care for children, people living with mental health challenges, communities impacted by neglected tropical diseases and populations affected by disasters.”
About the Astellas Global Health Foundation
The Astellas Global Health Foundation is a tax-exempt, non-profit corporation that awards grants to support charitable purposes with a focus on improving access to health in underserved global communities, building resilient communities and providing disaster support in order to make a sustainable impact on the health of people around the world, working toward “One World, A Healthier Tomorrow.” The Foundation’s grants are made to charitable programs outside of Astellas Pharma Inc.’s (Astellas) therapeutic areas, in low- to middle-income countries where Astellas does not have a business presence, and in alignment with Astellas’ corporate sustainability focus on Access to Health and consistent commitment to making a sustainable impact on the health of vulnerable populations around the world. To learn more about the Astellas Global Health Foundation please visit www.astellasglobalhealthfoundation.org.
Americares is a health-focused relief and development organization that saves lives and improves health for people affected by poverty or disaster. Each year, Americares reaches 85 countries on average, including the United States, with life-changing health programs, medicine, medical supplies and emergency aid. Americares is one of the world’s leading nonprofit providers of donated medicine and medical supplies. For more information, visit americares.org
The Academic Model Providing Access to Healthcare (AMPATH) is a partnership among Moi University, Moi Teaching and Referral Hospital, a global network of universities led by Indiana University, and the Kenyan Government. Working with the Kenyan Ministry of Health, AMPATH created one of Africa’s largest, most comprehensive, and effective HIV/AIDS management and treatment models. AMPATH has transitioned its successful HIV approach into a comprehensive primary health care system, now serving a population of 24 million people in western Kenya. In addition to providing direct patient care, AMPATH trains health care leaders in North America, Europe and sub-Saharan Africa, provides supportive services to help communities sustain their own success, and conducts research. To learn more about AMPATH, visit ampathkenya.org.
About Amref Health Africa
Amref Health Africa is the largest Africa-based healthcare nonprofit, serving millions of people every year. Amref Health Africa began on the continent as the Flying Doctors, bringing surgical services to remote communities using light aircraft. Their priorities have since expanded to strengthen health systems and train African health workers to respond to the continent’s most critical health challenges. Their approach is community-based and makes the people they reach partners rather than just beneficiaries. Over 97% of their global staff are Africans, so they are always tackling African challenges with African expertise. Amref Health Africa is headquartered in Nairobi Kenya with programs in 35 countries in sub-Saharan Africa. Learn more about their programs at amrefusa.org.
About Sightsavers Inc.
Sightsavers is an international organization that works in more than 30 countries to prevent blindness, restore sight and advocate for social inclusion and equal rights for people with disabilities. Globally 2.2 billion people have a vision impairment and of these, at least 1 billion people have a vision impairment or blindness that could have been prevented or is yet to be addressed. Learn more at sightsavers.org.
About USA for UNHCR
USA for UNHCR protects refugees and empowers them with hope and opportunity. Supporting UNHCR – the UN Refugee Agency – and its partners, we provide lifesaving essentials including shelter, water, food, safety, and protection. Around the world, we help refugees survive, recover, and build a better future. Established by concerned American citizens, USA for UNHCR is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization. Learn more at unrefugees.org.
1 World Bank website. Tracking University Health Coverage: 2017 Global Monitoring Report. Accessed on November 16, 2022. Link: https://documents1.worldbank.org/curated/en/640121513095868125/pdf/122029-WP-REVISED-PUBLIC.pdf
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