The West African Health Foundation (WAHF) is a non-profit, non-governmental organization formed in New York on February 17, 2001 by a group of physicians who were concerned with the poor health and nutritional status of the people, particularly children and women of the West Africa sub-region. WAHF recognizes that the major causes of mortality and morbidity in this sub-region could be prevented or reduced substantially through effective health and nutritional education at a fraction of the cost currently expended by the governments and individuals in managing these problems.
Over the past two to three decades, the idea that preventive and primary level care are more successful and cost-effective on a population-wide basis has gained currency and general acceptance especially in the economically distressed countries of sub-Saharan Africa. Governments in these countries have discovered that Hospitals constitute a financial burden and drain on their fragile economies absorbing 40 to 60 percent of the recurrent expenditure on health services.
Despite all these financial sacrifices, the Hospitals in these countries have had a limited, and in some instance even a negative, impact on the health of the population. In Ghana, the press has dubbed Hospitals, "killing fields." The reasons for the perilous state of the Hospitals are protean. Staff is under-paid, under-employed, and demoralized; buildings and equipment are decrepit, services are poor and graft is rampant.