What We Do

Jamii Health International is an international non-profit organization dedicated to creating self-sustaining health care systems throughout the world. We focus on under-served areas with sufficient population base to support a program based around a health-care facility, whether it be a clinic or a hospital.

We create and build the facility and the system, with the full participation of the local community, who within ten years take it over and continue its growth. We work with local doctors, nurses, clinical officers, researchers, Ministries of Health and other government officials to ensure the success and ongoing life of each project.

Training of doctors, nurses and other affiliated health personnel is done on several levels: we teach on-site at the bedside, we conduct courses, and we have volunteers share knowledge and experience while they provide service in the communities.

Self-sufficiency is created on several levels as well: through the local health care professionals via rentals, laboratory fees, procedure fees, imaging fees; pharmacy; an affiliated café/restaurant; patient fees (needs tested based upon ability to pay and we use a sliding scale); and a local industry which can range from manufacturing mosquito nets to oral rehydration solution to cocoa, coffee or tea sales.

By creating a self-sufficient health care system, there is no worry about foreign aid fluctuations. The community cares for itself (with perhaps occasional outside help) which gives dignity and health to the members of each community. Community health leads to economic health and economic health can lead to peace.

Global Health is a hot topic and getting more so: there are many organizations and governments trying to play the global health game. There is a need, as the developing world has serious ongoing health needs. Throughout the world, communities vary in disease burden and ability to cope. NGOs (non-governmental organizations, a fancy name for charities) have good intentions, but not always the right solutions. While there are many charities building clinics, hospitals, water and sanitation systems, as well as schools among other projects, there is a weakness:  people love to donate to build a structure but rarely to maintain it – because it isn’t sexy. Many vaunted projects have failed from neglect and local inability to maintain systems. 

“Give a man a fish and he eats for a day; Teach him to fish and he eats for life”

Abraham Lincoln   

A New Paradigm is needed: Self-sufficient community-based health centers. Health Care systems are needed that “stand and stay.” While charity is good for initiating the process, but not realistic for maintaining projects through the long-run.  A community should be responsible for keeping projects going.  A well-integrated approach, with a international network, can create a clinic or hospital in a needy community, train the local population to take it over, and create income streams for future sustainment. The bulk of the cost is in initiating the system and creating the infrastructure: once it is up and running, the money needed to keep it going is much less and much more manageable for local communities. The income is reinvested into the infrastructure.

Ongoing Income Streams:

Charge physicians for lab/imaging/procedures

Patient fees: care is not free, but cheap—based upon the ability to pay and payment in kind is acceptable, such as eggs, fruits, etc.


Rental fees for private physician offices

Rental fees for storefront spaces


Locally-based projects: e.g. make mosquito nets, ORS, coffee/tea, etc


Jamii Health International’s goal is to build community-based health centers and have them self-sufficient within 5 years. By then, local administrator/group takes over, and JHI remains available as consultant and for ongoing research as well as quality control. During the incubation period, we aim to integrate local and foreign health care workers. The health of the community improves through medical treatment combined with education of the community and preventive measures to avoid sickness. Each site also becomes a research center, identifying the local health issues through science and epidemiology, so that efficient and effective measures can be made without wasting money in pursuit of good community health.

 Health care is a combination of treating diseases, education and prevention. There is a strong relationship between one’s environment and disease problems. Every community faces not just human diseases, but also veterinary ones which are significant in areas that depend upon livestock as well as agricultural ones affecting crops which are for local consumption and for sale. Having good health leads to a good economy and a good sense of community.

In the developing world (once called the Third World but which is more properly the Two-Thirds world as 2/3s of the world’s population lives in these places) diseases vary tremendously with geography, environment, climate, trade, genetics and a host of other key interacting elements. It is important to know and understand the diseases in each locale. Diseases may arise from inhalation, from direct contact with ill patients, from nutritional deficiencies, from animals, from water contact, from insects and from genetics.

One can group the most common health areas as follows, with examples:


 Insect-transmitted        Malaria             Yellow Fever     Dengue                                                 

Respiratory:                   Measles            Influenza          Tuberculosis

Gastrointestinal:           Cholera            Dysentery         Worms

Zoonoses:                     Leptospirosis  bola                   Brucellosis        

Sexual & Body Fluids:   HIV                   Syphilis              Hepatitis

Water/soil contact:       Schistosomiasis Hookworm    Guinea Worm


Maternal-Child Health