African Women Alliance AWA


Current situation

Chances are that while you are reading this a newborn African baby dies. Or his mother. Or maybe both. African women have no fear of pain when giving birth. They fear death. In 2008, the number of women dying in childbirth per 100,000 live births ranges from over 200 in South Africa to over 1,000 in Chad. In fact, in maternal mortality in Africa has actually doubled since 1990. These statistics are both frightening and  unacceptable.

Easy access to health information

The partners of the African Woman Alliance are both local African partners and partners in the Netherlands, including BMA. Our joint-mission is in full sync with the United Nations Millennium Development Goals: Reducing the maternal death rate and bringing down child mortality.

The African Woman Alliance wants to help by giving African women early and easy access to the health information and healthcare services that we take for granted. The task ahead of us is immense.


The AWA-concept is founded on internet-based monitoring and coaching between centres of expertise (universities, hospitals, etc.) in Africa and the Netherlands and rural delivery centres and maternal clinics in sub-Saharan Africa. Pre- and postnatal care will be provided by mobile units to reach remote areas. These units are equipped with intelligent software designed to guide local paramedics and midwives through the protocol-based care process. Satcom and solar energy will enable us to operate independently of local telephone and power infrastructures.

The task ahead of us is immense. We have both the knowledge and technology to make a difference. We want to make a difference, and we can!

The African Woman Alliance is an initiative by Peter Kenemans, professor of obstetrics and Gynaecology at the VU Medical Center  (Amsterdam), Cees Hamelink, professor of healthcare and human rights at VU University  (Amsterdam), and Ab Engelsman, chairman of Triple Jump’s board, former director of  ASN Investment Funds and chairman of the  Netherlands Platform Microfinance.


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