IMCHA Overview

About the IMCHA Program

The Innovating for Maternal and Child Health in Africa (IMCHA) program seeks to address critical gaps to inform the reduction of maternal, newborn, and child deaths that occur in sub-Saharan Africa. The program seeks to improve maternal, newborn, and child health by using primary health care as an entry point to strengthen health systems, ensuring they are more equitable.

IMCHA is a seven-year partnership in 11 countries that 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. It is funded by Global Affairs Canada, the Canadian Institutes of Health Research and Canada’s International Development Research Centre.

The IRTs’ work is complemented by two African health policy research organizations, whose role is to ensure evidence generated by the research teams informs decision-making in programming and policy development so as to strengthens health systems.To promote sustainability, researchers will also explore how successes can be scaled up to improve health equity for women and children. This program is fully funded by IDRC. Go to IDRC Website.

The program will focus on four priority research themes:

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

A Unique Model to Promote Research Uptake

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

  • The West African Health Organization (WAHO) based in Burkina Faso; and
  • The Eastern Africa 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), based in Uganda. 

Overall goal of the Program

The program 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;
  • Promote 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.

Program duration: From 2014 to 2020.

Geographic scope: sub-Saharan Africa, with a focus on Burkina Faso, Ethiopia, Malawi, Mali, Mozambique, Nigeria, Senegal, Sierra Leone, South Sudan,Tanzania and Uganda.
CA$0 Million