Global Healthy Living Foundation Joins Forces with Darna Center to Advance Women’s Health Equity in North Western and Eastern Africa


The Global Healthy Living Foundation (GHLF), an international U.S.-based non-profit organization committed to improving the lives of people with chronic disease through better access to care, education, support, advocacy, and patient-centered research, has announced a new partnership with Darna Center, the Global Center for Gender, Race and Health Equity, a U.S.-based center with a mission to improve gender, race, and, health equity for women in Africa. Darna means our home in Moroccan dialect.

GHLF and Darna Center’s partnership pays particular attention to North Western and Eastern Africa where women’s health issues are at the forefront of concern. As emphasized by The World Health Organization (WHO), there is an immediate need to address the unique challenges women in this region face — from sexual and gender-based violence to poor maternal and perinatal services, to a lack of equal access to health services and care.

Darna Center’s mission addresses the unique challenges that impact overall quality of life of African women, especially women living in and affected by poverty. Its aim is to dismantle the gender and racial disparities that severely restrict their equitable access to health services. By working together with communities around the world, Darna Center strives to be a catalyst for change through transformative research and policy, advocacy and education, and community engagement.

“There is a dire need to address the long-lasting effects of systemic inequities on the lives of African women, especially women who are affected by poverty, and migrant women who face the added burden of racism and xenophobia,” said Dr. MahaMarouan, PhD, Founder of Darna Center.

“In Moroccan dialect, ‘Darna’ translates to ‘our home,’ which describes a collective space of belonging where one feels safe, secure, and cared for. We want Darna Center to be that space, one that provides assistance to vulnerable women by addressing their unique challenges, including health, so they can have a sense of home and belonging. Our mission, however, extends beyond health solutions — we are building a home of hope, dignity, and opportunity for women in the region who need it,” Dr. Marouan said.

The announcement of the partnership between GHLF and DarnaCenter comes at a pivotal time, following the news of the devastating earthquake in Morocco, which has exacerbated health access issues for women in the area. “This earthquake is a tragedy of scale that should concern us all,” said ShilpaVenkatachalam, PhD, MPH, GHLF’s Director, Patient-Centered Research Operations and Ethical Oversight and President of GHLF North Africa.

“The health care infrastructure and the people of Morocco will have to bear a burden that must not be faced alone, especially given that resources and facilities will be under extreme strain. As a global organization, we feel it’s our responsibility to step in and help alleviate some of those strains and to support any relief efforts that we can to the best of our ability. We stand with unified efforts to lift a community of people who have been struck by this terrible disaster.”

With this new partnership, GHLF expands its ability to help and connect with patients across the world. GHLF currently serves North and South America, Western Europe, Japan, Australia, and Nepal.

Teaming Up to Give Back

GHLF and Darna Center have teamed up with the National Association of Doctors, a local Moroccan physician organization, to raise funds to assist those urgently in need of medical support after the disastrous earthquake. Funds contributed will be given to the National Association of Doctors to provide the essential medical help and supplies to the Moroccan community. “The impact of this earthquake will have long-lasting effects, so your help is never too late,” said Dr. Venkatachalam. Donations are tax deductible in the United States. Contributors outside the U.S. should consult with their tax advisor or local laws.

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