ANME Promotes the Construction of Medical ‘Centers of Excellence’ Across Africa.
The African Network of Medical Excellence (ANME) is an innovative model of humanitarian healthcare designed by EMERGENCY, with multinational support from the Health Ministries of the Central African Republic, Chad, Democratic Republic of Congo, Djibouti, Egypt, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Rwanda, Sierra Leone, Somalia, South Sudan, Sudan, and Uganda. The aim of ANME is to develop an integrated network of medical centers of excellence across the African continent.
‘Absence of Charge’ and ‘Excellence of Treatment’ are the foundations of the healthcare model that ANME members intend to build. Absence of charge is a fundamental prerequisite, ensuring that everyone can access the treatment they need. Excellence of treatment guarantees high clinical standards throughout our projects and promotes the training of qualified medical personnel, along with the development of scientific research and local medical infrastructure.
The Salam Centre for Cardiac Surgery in Khartoum, Sudan, was the first of the facilities in the ANME network, and opened in 2009. To date, patients with acquired or congenital cardiovascular diseases from a total of 28 countries – in both Africa and further afield – have been treated at the Salam Centre.
The Salam Centre for Cardiac Surgery is a highly innovative model of humanitarian intervention. The aim of the project is to bring high-quality healthcare to the region, while concurrently asserting the right of each and every human being to receive high-quality treatment, free of charge. Thanks to the ‘Regional Programme for Cardiac Surgery’ – and in collaboration with numerous local authorities – EMERGENCY’s international team of cardiologists identify patients from a vast area who require transfer to Khartoum for urgent cardiac surgery, and guarantee the necessary follow-up care for patients who have already been operated on. To discuss this model, in May of 2008 EMERGENCY invited delegations of the Health Ministries of eight African countries to the island of San Servolo in the Venice Lagoon, for an international seminar entitled ‘Building Medicine in Africa’. Together with EMERGENCY, representatives discussed how best to guarantee citizens across the African continent the right to high-quality, free healthcare. The conclusions of the seminar formed the basis of our Manifesto for a Human Rights-Based Medicine, in which the signatories outline a healthcare centered on the joint principles of Equality, Quality and Social Responsibility (EQS). Outlined in the manifesto, these principles require:
Equality: every human being has the right to be treated, without discrimination of any kind. In order for care to be accessible, it must be completely free.
Quality: healthcare systems need to be of high-quality and based on the needs of everyone. Only healthcare of a high-quality is effective. Healthcare provision must not be shaped or determined by industry-based lobbies or corporations.
Social Responsibility: governments must consider the health and well-being of their citizens a priority, and provide public healthcare services accordingly.
The EQS model promotes the ‘right to be treated’ as a ‘fundamental and inalienable right belonging to each member of the human family’, in accordance with the stipulations of the 1948 Universal Declaration of Human Rights. This is why, every day, EMERGENCY practices medicine based on the above principles.
The Centre of Excellence in Paediatric Surgery in Entebbe, Uganda, will be the second major project under the jurisdiction of the ANME.
The Italian Agency for Development Cooperation (AICS), as part of its Regional Humanitarian Aid Programme in Sudan and Eritrea (AID 11721), is funding the “Emergency project to support the opening of a cardiac OPD at the Orotta Hospital in Eritrea” which is part of our regional cardiac surgery programme.