Model & Strategy
Despite the significant progress of global development over the last two decades, at least half of the world’s population lacks access to essential health services. Deep human suffering persists in communities where conflict, environmental degradation, migration, and other challenging circumstances leave communities inaccessible and marginalized. One such community is Idjwi Island, located in Lake Kivu, which straddles the borders of eastern DRC and Rwanda. Known as “Africa’s Forgotten Island,” many decades of limited government support, poor infrastructure, and deficient health systems have had profound, multi-generational effects on the island’s approximately 300K inhabitants. Idjwi experiences one of the highest infant and maternal mortality rates worldwide, a life expectancy of just 25 years, and a birth rate of more than eight births per birthing person. Until recently, there was no coherent health system: health outposts lacked basic equipment, reliable drug supply, running water, and electricity. The three mission hospitals on the island were poorly staffed and under-resourced.
Starting with basic health infrastructure, Amani Global Works has successfully implemented a strategic set of health system interventions to provide access to quality primary and maternal health care to the entire island’s inhabitants and populations on the mainland. Amani Global Works operates a replicable primary health care model through the interconnected services of community health workers (CHWs), health clinics, and referral hospitals. Additionally, Amani supports children suffering from malnutrition by providing fortified meals in clinics and communities. Amani has trained more than 200 CHWs (over 80% women) who are paid and supervised to provide household-level care to mothers and children under five. CHWs refer patients to one of Amani’s 21 primary health clinics on the island, staffed by nurses and midwives who are jointly paid and supported by the government and Amani. CHWs refer most patients who visit the clinic, and those with cases too complex to be treated at the clinics (e.g., where surgery is required) are referred to the hospital.
Delivering quality at a lower cost than the government, Amani Global Works sees tremendous potential in bringing their CHW model to much of the rest of the DRC’s 89M residents and nearby countries. Amani has developed a proof of concept for providing dignified health care to the most underserved communities in the world. This model can serve as a blueprint for similarly complex regions where tens of millions of people lack access to the basic human right of health care. Ultimately, they aim to demonstrate the impact and cost-effectiveness of their model at scale and use these results to inform regional and national policy on building out healthcare infrastructure.
Husband and wife duo, Dr. Jacques Sebisaho and Mimy Mudekereza, founded Amani Global Works in 2010 to provide healthcare for the people on their home island of Idjwi.
Dr. Jacques’ Sebisaho holds a Medical Degree from the National University of Rwanda, a Master of Public Administration from Baruch College, a Bachelor’s degree in Biomedical Science from Catholic University of Bukavu and a diploma in Philosophy from Grand Seminaire Monseigneur Busimba in Goma. He completed his internship in Internal Medicine at the Cliniques Universitaires Saint-Luc de Louvain in Brussels and specialized in Health Care Policy at Baruch College in New York. In his dissertation for his Biomedical Science degree, Dr. Sebisaho examined the impact of the Rwandan refugee influx in 1994 on the Congolese health care system in providing vaccinations for children. As part of his clinical medical school training, Dr. Sebisaho spent six months in rural Rwanda providing prenatal care, family planning, nutrition and Malaria prevention education to women, and worked with HIV-infected children in Butare.
Mimy Mudekereza is the Co-Founder & Director of Health Programs of Amani Global Works. She is also a clinical nurse manager in the Emergency Department at New York Presbyterian Hospital / Columbia University Medical Center. Previously, she was the Administrator & Manager of Ifendula Hospital in the Eastern Democratic Republic of Congo where she managed finance, human resources, development, operations, and community initiatives. During her graduate studies in the Democratic Republic of Congo, Mimy was the President of Catholic Students and President of the Economic Forum. She has spoken at various national and international events, including the 2006 International Prayer for Peace in Washington DC, about the role of women in peace and development in the Great Lake Region of Africa.
Amani Global Works recently experienced 5x growth through operational expansion throughout DRC and by playing a critical response role during the May 2023 flooding crisis.
By the end of 2023, Amani Global Works reached 3.3M adults and children with primary health coverage.