The Aga Khan Foundation (AKF), with branches in Kenya, Tanzania, Uganda, Pakistan and India, works with a variety of grantees, including AKHS, to improve the health of vulnerable population groups, especially mothers and children, and to promote health services development at national and regional levels.
The AKDN aims to assist countries in building effective, sustainable health systems linking different kinds of services and levels of care. For more information, please visit the AKDN website.
Activities of the AKHS are conducted parallel with other health-related activities of the Aga Khan Development Network. The overall aim is to raise the health status of people in the developing world. The emphasis in current projects is on strengthening health systems development.
AGA KHAN HEALTH SERVICE
The Aga Khan Health Service (AKHS), with 325 health centres, dispensaries, hospitals, diagnostic centres and community health outlets across Asia and Africa, is one of the largest and most comprehensive private, non-profit health networks in the developing world. It provides primary health services and curative medical care in India, Pakistan, Kenya, Tanzania, Syria, Tajikistan and Afghanistan. It includes nine general hospitals, several maternity homes and 187 health centres and dispensaries.
Prince Aly Khan Hospital is a part of the Aga Khan Health Service. India (AKHS, I), a non-profit, non-governmental health service provider working to increase access of disadvantaged communities to high quality, affordable and comprehensive healthcare. AKHS, I help promote physical, social and mental well-being in the target populations through a sustainable health care system, including the Prince Aly Khan Hospital and community-managed rural health and diagnostic centres that are based on the principles of volunteerism and community participation.
From its base in Mumbai, the Community Health Division of the Aga Khan Health Service, India (AKHS,I) operates through a team of almost 1500 volunteers and 100 staff members. Six Regional Health Boards and 30 Local Health Boards are responsible for programme implementation. The Local Health Boards manage preventive and promotive health services through outreach activities, which are delivered and implemented by lady health visitors and multi-purpose workers. There is a total of 216 health committees involved in disease prevention and health promotion, which field staff visit regularly. There are four health centres and three diagnostic centres, most of which are located in Gujarat.
The Community Health Division seeks to achieve its objectives by improving the health behaviour of the population in relation to hygiene, use of oral re-hydration, immunization, maternal care, prevention of risk factors for non-communicable diseases and tuberculosis by providing information and services for child spacing. In each region, a systems approach with a three-tier service is adopted, integrating primary care (promotive, preventive and basic curative), developing facilities for diagnostic and emergency care and a referral mechanism for hospital based care.
The focus of health promotion efforts is being extended to include the prevention of non-communicable diseases, AIDS and gender-sensitisation activities. Research priorities include risk factors for mental illness, influencing behaviour in relation to HIV and TB, and health financing. Improving human resource management is a priority. A training unit has been instituted to serve the needs of AKHS, I as well as to provide training for government and other NGOs.