Where We Work

BÉNIN

CACHA has developed a strong bond with Bénin since our exploratory visit in 2002. Through close collaboration with our sister NGO, the Canada-Bénin Community Health Alliance, we have created a long-lasting and cooperative relationship with two isolated rural communities—Aklampa and Anoum—chosen for their lack of access to primary health care. Since 2002, CACHA has brought in $1,300,000 worth of donated medical and hospital material to various facilities in the country.

Aklampa is an isolated community located in hilly central Bénin. Anoum is in northern Bénin near Djougou. CACHA medical teams have visited these two communities since 2003 one or twice a year. CACHA is now planning its 10th medical mission to Benin in November 2012.

Typically during a medical mission, a group of African and Canadian health professionals, logisticians and medical students treat around 3500 patients over eight days of clinics. The scope of our interventions also includes surgeries, dental care and ophthalmology (eye care). Thanks to our many donors, the team often writes 14,000 prescriptions totalling over $110,000. Many schools are also visited to discuss topics such as HIV and safe sex.

In Aklampa, CACHA is striving to meet the needs of 51 vulnerable children in the following ways:

  • Providing of basic necessities such as food, clothing, medical care;
  • Ensuring that orphans and vulnerable children receive education through provision of school fees, school uniforms and school lunches;
  • Meeting the social and emotional needs of the children through recreational activities and psychosocial support;
  • Utilizing tracking systems to ensure monitoring of support, periodic home visits, transparency and appropriate distribution of resources among children according to their different levels of need;
  • There are over 300 orphans and vulnerable children living in Aklampa and surrounding areas, children living with grandparents, extended family or in child headed households with no adult care.

Also in Aklampa, our partnership with the 'Better Africa' Foundation gives us access to an unused hospital where we can perform more extensive procedures. And, in partnership with the sanitary zone hospital of Dassa, our volunteer Canadian, and Gabonese surgeons perform free surgeries on Aklampa patients in cooperation with the local surgeon. The Dassa hospital desperately needs our support to improve its medical equipment.

In Anoum, we helped the villagers build and equip a dispensary. Since July 2006, CACHA has supported a local state nurse or physician to staff it and to assess the health needs of the community. We hope to help build a wing for surgeries and childbirth in the future.

TANZANIA

CACHA’s work in Tanzania started out like the other caravans in Gabon and Bénin which were oriented towards the general health of the population. However, a completely different set of circumstances that surround the HIV/AIDS problem in the area targeted by CACHA provoked the organization to rethink their approach. As result, a more holistic solution was implemented and new partnerships were forged to address the growing concerns in that country with regards to the HIV/AIDS epidemic. The model that CACHA has implemented not only focuses on the disease but also tries to take in hand the impacts on the lives and families of those who have contracted the disease.

The causes of HIV are multiple and varied so the solutions offered must also be multiple and varied. While it is important to tackle the causes, CACHA’s holistic approach also addresses the effects and outcomes of this epidemic on the socio-economic aspects of the society. To that end, the medical missions have today become a plethora of core and non core projects to tackle the multitude of problems left in the aftermath of the HIV/AIDS outbreak in that country.

CACHA is working with several local partners to attack HIV/AIDS in the region from several angles:

  • Treatment – ARV program, HIV Centre
  • Prevention – ARV program, pMTCT, voluntary counseling and testing (VCT), prevention messaging, community outreach caravan
  • Women’s rights/children’s rights – women’s rights workshops, women’s microfinance
  • Economic security – vocational training, women’s microfinance
  • Food security – OVC Support program
  • Education opportunities – OVC Support program, vocational training


The first CACHA-led Outreach Caravan took place in February of 2006. Since then CACHA has been back for 13 medical missions. Each trip has brought more and more patients and the promise of free consultations and free medications in their own village has continued to lure the local people out to seek help. On average, 4,000 patients are treated on each trip with an average of 14,000 prescriptions dispensed. These volumes have been increasing with the activities on Ukerewe Island and at Shirati District Hospital.

From 2005-2007, CACHA invested $235,000 CAD in constructing an HIV Care and Treatment Centre in Kilema (now under the management of Kilema Hospital) which is offering comprehensive HIV-related services to the local community, including testing, diagnosis, counseling and treatment.

Medical Missions and Community Outreach Caravans

The first community outreach caravan was implemented in February of 2006 by bringing frontline medical care to 9 village dispensaries in the Moshi Rural district. Following an overwhelmingly positive response, 2 back-to-back caravans were organized in February of 2007, totalling 18 clinic days throughout the district and a fourth caravan took place in February of 2008. Today, CACHA organises seven medical missions per year to Tanzania as well as two infrastructure missions. See our missions and get involved pages for the latest announced mission dates to Kilema District Hospital, Ukerewe’s Nansio Hospital, the PTE Women’s Health missions, and Shirati KMT Hospital.

UGANDA

Ottawa-based Friends of the Ugandan Child (FOUC) is a project under the umbrella of the Canada-Africa Community Health Alliance (CACHA). Since 2007, FOUC has been working in partnership with the local community-based organization Care for Your Life (CFYL) in the village of Kamengo. The goal of the project is to address the educational, health and social needs of individuals and youth in this rural community. FOUC and CFYL are committed to developing long-term programs and services that are locally-based, sustainable and which encourage self-reliance and advance economic and social equality. We accomplish this by engaging community members and youth in every aspect of our work.

FOUC and CFYL programs are dedicated to supporting emerging young leaders, promoting academic achievement and innovation, raising awareness about HIV and promoting collaboration between different sectors of the community including community-based organizations, educational institutions, local authorities and faith-based organizations. Key objectives are to strengthen the capacity of community members and orphans and vulnerable children to better manage the daily challenges they face and to increase the number of orphans and vulnerable children in Kamengo who receive educational and psychosocial support through the Kamengo Education Fund.