Africa Health is the principle output of African Centre for Global Health and Social Transformation (ACHEST) an initiative promoted by a network of African and international leaders in health and development. It is an independent Think Tank and a network.
The journal was launched in 1978 by IPC Middle East Publishing Co Ltd (now a part of Reed Elsevier) from an office in Morden, South London. The first editor was Ken Edghill who employed Bryan to be the Feature Writer for the title at its launch. Bryan took over as Editor in 1983 and then in 1985 effected a management buyout to set up what is now FSG Africa Ltd as an independent entity. Paul Chinnock edited the title for much of the 1990s including a period when the company was bought by MediMedia International and expanded to cover the Caribbean region as well. MediMedia was then bought by Vivendi Universal (in 1999). Then with Vivendi imploding, Bryan Pearson bought the title back at the end of 2001, relaunched FSG Africa Ltd, and took over again as editor in a slimmed down operation.
The print run was more than doubled and a complex system of distribution was developed which involved having a group available in every country to clear copies from customs and then effect a largely hand delivered in-country distribution. The channels exist, you just have to go and find them.
Critical support funding was provided through leading donors such as the UK’s Department for International Development (DFID), Japan’s JICA, the Global Health Workforce Alliance (GHWA), Norway’s NORAD and others. Each respected the role the journal was playing in delivering valuable CPD to a very under-served group of health professionals.
In 2009, an evaluation revealed that whilst the journal was still highly valued, much of the original research content was not being read by the majority of the readership. What they wanted, was more review material. More continuing professional development. This was very much in line to the trend across the continent as governments started to get to grips with the human resources for health crisis, and realise the importance of CPD and in-service training and support. Many health workers had migrated because they simply felt undervalued and neglected.
In September 2009 Africa Health was relaunched as a CPD stand alone journal, and its first web site was devised to provide an open access opportunity for readers to access the content.
The journal has filled an important gap in the literature in Africa and for many readers it has been the only CPD publication received.
Today, African Centre for Global Health and Social Transformation (ACHEST) remains a publishing company, dedicated to healthcare publishing and continuing professional development in Africa.
This enhanced website was launched at the end of 2015.