INDIANAPOLIS – In conjunction with World Cancer Day, Eli Lilly and Company announced a commitment of $1 million to AMPATH in Eldoret, Kenya. The funding, provided by the Lilly Foundation, will help equip a new oncology center, hire additional staff and train local health care professionals — ultimately allowing AMPATH to screen, treat and provide palliative care to more people, many of whom lack access to quality health services.
AMPATH (Academic Model Providing Access to Healthcare) was created in response to the HIV crisis in Western Kenya in 2001. It is built on a partnership with Moi Teaching and Referral Hospital and the Moi University School of Medicine in Eldoret, Kenya, and a consortium of North American academic health centers, led by Indiana University School of Medicine. AMPATH has continually expanded its successful HIV approach to include more diseases, including diabetes, hypertension and cancer. It now provides health care services to a population of 3.5 million in Western Kenya.
As an extension of this work, the AMPATH Oncology Institute was launched in 2009 — with a single physician and nurse. Public-private partnerships have allowed the institute to expand its staff and services to a current team that includes 10 clinicians, six core nurses and an oncology pharmacist. The institute received nearly 10,000 patient visits last year and screened more than 10,000 women for breast cancer and 20,000 women for cervical cancer. But demand far outstrips supply: the institute is one of only two cancer centers in Kenya, meaning that nearly half of the country’s 42 million people must rely on the AMPATH Oncology Institute for screening and care.
Much of this screening and care is provided in substandard facilities — including a tent. That will change with the opening of AMPATH’s new four-story Chandaria Cancer and Chronic Diseases Center later this year.
The Lilly Foundation’s funding will help equip the center’s new oncology outpatient center and allow for the hiring of additional doctors, physicians’ assistants and other staff to screen and treat more people. Additionally, the funding will support the creation of a research and training institute focused on cancer prevention, screening, treatment and supportive care. The institute will help build much-needed capacity among local healthcare providers.
The $1 million commitment will be paid out over four years, from 2015-2018. This new funding builds on a longstanding partnership between Lilly and AMPATH. Since 2002, Lilly has donated nearly $60 million in medicines to AMPATH to improve health for people with diabetes, mental illness and cancer.
To learn more about this ongoing partnership as explained by one of the program’s founders, Joe Mamlin, M.D., professor emeritus of medicine at the IU School of Medicine and AMPATH field director, view this short video.
“AMPATH continues to demonstrate that it is possible to provide quality care and services—even in the toughest settings, for people in great need,” said Sue Mahony, Ph.D., senior vice president and president, Lilly Oncology. “We are honored to further our collaboration with AMPATH and be part of this growing oncology effort. It’s exciting to be able to make a meaningful difference for people in Kenya today, while finding new ways to help more people tomorrow.”
In addition to the $1 million in funding, AMPATH and Lilly are exploring opportunities for Lilly employees to participate in skills-based volunteer assignments in conjunction with the AMPATH Oncology Institute.
“To me, one of the most important words for this partnership is rafiki, meaning ‘friend’ in Swahili,” said Patrick J. Loehrer, M.D., director of the Indiana University Melvin and Bren Simon Cancer Center, associate dean for cancer research and co-founder of the AMPATH Oncology Institute. “All successes in AMPATH and AMPATH Oncology stem from belief in an authentic international partnership, based on committed friendship and trust, that serves cancer patients wherever they live.”
About AMPATH AMPATH, the Academic Model Providing Access to Healthcare, is a partnership between Moi University School of Medicine, Moi Teaching and Referral Hospital in Eldoret, Kenya, and a consortium of 11 academic health centers led by Indiana University. Together with Kenya’s Ministry of Health and the U.S. government, AMPATH delivers health services, conducts health research and develops leaders in health care for both North America and sub-Saharan Africa.
About AMPATH Oncology Institute The cancer care services of AMPATH have evolved from a targeted program in HIV/AIDS cancers to providing general cancer care. Driven by the needs of the Kenyan health care providers, AMPATH Oncology offers cancer care that would otherwise be out of reach for most patients. The comprehensive multidisciplinary program offers screening, diagnosis, treatment and palliative care. The AMPATH Oncology Institute provides access to quality cancer care to the 18 million people residing in western Kenya.
About Eli Lilly and Company Lilly is a global healthcare leader that unites caring with discovery to make life better for people around the world. We were founded more than a century ago by a man committed to creating high-quality medicines that meet real needs, and today we remain true to that mission in all our work. Across the globe, Lilly employees work to discover and bring life-changing medicines to those who need them, improve the understanding and management of disease, and give back to communities through philanthropy and volunteerism.