About us

About the IMCHA Initiative

The Innovating for Maternal and Child Health in Africa (IMCHA) initiative is an eight-year partnership co-funded by Global Affairs Canada, the Canadian Institutes of Health Research, and Canada’s International Development Research Centre. The initiative seeks to improve maternal, newborn, and child health by using primary health care as an entry point to strengthen health systems, and ensure they are more equitable.

IMCHA supports 19 research teams in 11 countries in sub-Saharan Africa and two health policy and research organizations (HPROs). One of the roles of the HPROs is to facilitate the use of research evidence to inform policies and practice to strengthen health systems. For more information about the IMCHA initiative, you can visit the IDRC website.


  • High impact, community-based interventions;
  • Quality facility-based interventions;
  • Enabling the policy environment to improve healthcare services and outcomes; and
  • Human resources for health.


To promote the uptake of research findings so that they influence national and regional policies and practices, each research team works closely with a health policy and research organizations:

  • The West African Health Organization (WAHO) based in Burkina Faso; and
  • The East Africa Health Policy Research Organization, a consortium of the African Population and Health Research Center (APHRC), based in Kenya; the East, Central and Southern Africa Health Community (ECSA-HC), based in Tanzania; and Partners in Population and Development (PPD)– Africa Regional Office, based in Uganda. 


The initiative is expected to:

  • Address critical knowledge gaps and increase awareness among policy- and decision-makers about affordable, feasible, and scalable primary healthcare interventions to improve maternal and child health delivery and outcomes;
  • Build individual and institutional capacity for gender-sensitive health systems and solution-oriented research, and enhance the uptake of relevant and timely research that informs policy and practice;
  • Strengthen collaborations between Canadian and African researchers, working in partnership with African decision-makers, to implement and scale up high-quality and effective medicines, services, and technologies that improve maternal and child health outcomes.

duration: From 2014 to 2021.

Geographic scope: sub-Saharan Africa, with a focus on Burkina Faso, Ethiopia,Kenya, Malawi, Mali, Mozambique, Nigeria, Senegal, South Sudan,Tanzania and Uganda.


CA$0 Million

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