Africa Health Placements

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The AHP Logo

Africa Health Placements (AHP) is a “social-profit” organisation that aims to create equitable access to healthcare in South Africa by reversing the present exodus of health professionals from public healthcare facilities.

Etymology and Origin[edit]

Africa Health Placements (AHP) is a descriptive title, which refers to the organisation's role as a recruiter of local and foreign health workers into southern Africa's public health sector. The organisation was originally formed in 2005 as a joint venture between the advocacy group, RHI (Rural Health Initiative) and the Foundation for Professional Development (FPD) – a private university focused on creating skills for the public health sector in southern Africa.

As of the 1st of April 2012, Africa Health Placements NPC was launched. This newly found independence ensures the improvement of governance structure through a board with legal and fiduciary responsibility that also represents executive management. Likewise, the new AHP will provide a vessel into which AHP can directly raise funds, set up policies, systems, processes that are specific to the operational and strategic direction of the company, as well as allow the organisation to further develop its own distinct and renowned culture. Furthermore, this move fulfils an obligation to The Atlantic Philanthropies, one of AHP’s largest donors, to set up an independent entity.

The Need[edit]

With 20% of the world’s population, sub-Saharan Africa languishes with only 2% of the world’s physicians. Attracting and retaining health workers and competent management is critical to solving the massive public health issues in this region. AHP aims to enhance the healthcare delivery system in Africa through the provision of human resource solutions and services. Recognising the value of relationships, we conduct our work through people networks that allow us to mobilise resources within Africa and across the world.


To support and enhance public healthcare systems in Africa through the provision of human resource solutions and services. These extend beyond the recruitment, placement and retention of management and staff, to include services directed toward building sustainability, such as consulting, information services, advocacy and marketing. Recognising the value of relationships, we conduct our work through people networks that allow us to mobilise resources within southern Africa and across the world.

Expertise and Services[edit]

Staffing: Recruitment and registration of local and international health workers and managers to work in permanent or volunteer posts in government and NGO facilities. Recruitment is supported by creative award-winning marketing campaigns involving local and international advertising, conference attendance and media promotions, as well as tapping a growing social network through online portals, alumni and a massive health worker and manager database.

Workforce Support: Orientation and ongoing support for public sector health workers, with a focus on rural areas. Orientation includes clinical, cultural and logistical support. Health worker support is aligned with government policies and NGO programme commitments, and focuses on improving retention through continued professional development, troubleshooting critical retention issues, and working to fix the systems that are creating recurring issues that impact on retention.

Consulting and Advocacy: Helping governments, regulatory bodies and civil society institutions to make themselves competitive in attracting scarce and mobile health worker and manager resources. This includes understanding the drivers of career choice, translating policy into practice and providing on-the-ground resources to help identify and unblock bottlenecks.

Strategic Information: Extensive ongoing monitoring and evaluation, as well as focussed research. This allows AHP to provide detailed intelligence to partners and funders, and to continuously improve upon what we


AHP is run by a team of recruiters, researchers and advocacy specialists situated in offices in South Africa, the United States of America and the United Kingdom. They communicate with hospital managers across South Africa and then market the opportunity to work in South Africa to health professionals around the world – largely via the web, specialist journals and conferences. A zero-fee placement service is delivered to all qualifying candidates. This includes the management of all necessary immigration administration, as required by the South African Department of Health and the Health Professions Council of South Africa. AHP's recruiters also facilitate the orientation of all health workers that are placed into rural health facilities.

AHP's management also conducts advocacy amongst civil society organisations, private companies and various government bodies, identifying systemic issues that are driving health professionals away from the region, and advising on how to address them.

See also:

  • The Rural Health Advocacy Project (RHAP)
  • The Rural Doctors Association of Southern Africa (RuDASA)
  • The Foundation for Professional Development (FPD)
  • The Health Professions Council of South Africa (HPCSA)

External links[edit]