Health Action International (HAI) Africa is a growing regional network of consumers, NGOs, health care providers, academics and individuals in more than 20 countries in Sub-Saharan Africa promoting increased access to essential medicines, the essential medicines concept and the rational use of both modern and traditional medicines. (Image copyright WHO/P. Virot)
HAI Africa's strength is the sharing of accurate information and collaborating together for policy changes and improved health for all. HAI Africa promotes the rational use of medicines: that all medicines marketed should meet real medical needs; have therapeutic advantages; be acceptably safe and offer value for money. At a time when the market is increasingly flooded with non-essential, ineffective and even dangerous medicines, HAI Africa promotes the essential medicines concept (that less than 350 medicines are necessary to treat more than 90 percent of health problems requiring medicines). HAI Africa is a member of HAI global network that includes three other regions: HAI Europe and North America, based in Amsterdam, The Netherlands, HAI Latin America based in Lima, Peru and HAI Asia/Pacific, based in Colombo, Sri Lanka.
The vision of HAI Africa is a world in which all people - irrespective of their disease or social status -- have access to essential medicines.
HAI Africa works as a pan-african network to improve access to quality and affordable medicines. HAI Africa collaborates with state and non-state actors, professionals and health advocates through research and policy analysis to monitor and address the challenges that hinder people's access to essential medicines, and mobilizes networks of civil society organizations and activists in the region to carry out evidence-based advocacy and action.
A world where the HAI Africa goal has been achieved is one where all consumers have access to good quality, affordable medicines that are rationally prescribed and used. Thus this is the organization's goal.
Within the philosophy of health as a human right, HAI Africa works to achieve a more balanced structure of power within the medicines sector, as a consequence of stronger medicine-related civil society organizations (CSOs) and activists that empower consumers and promote competent providers, well informed donors and governments.
HAI Africa partners recognise that poverty and social injustice are the greatest barriers to health and sustainable development. Partners are working for just societies where people can participate equitably in all decision making that affects their health and well being, including the allocation of resources.
STRUCTURE AND GOVERNANCE
HAI Africa is managed by a small staff working from the coordinating office located in Nairobi, Kenya. A board of directors meets to advise staff about issues and to set the annual work plan for the network. Working groups and other ad hoc arrangements are used as needed to respond to network priorities. Volunteer focal points (organisations or individuals) facilitate communications within the region.
HAI Africa is a registered, non-profit organisation under Kenyan law.
HAI Africa is an informal network, and participation is voluntary. Collaboration is based on mutual interests and common positions regarding the need to increase access to essential medicines and to increase the rational use of medicines. HAI does not accept any financing from the pharmaceutical industry. The working language for regional network communications is English.