Jefferson Consortium for African Partnerships

At Jefferson, we believe that in order to truly improve health outcomes on a global scale, it is imperative that we have a presence in Africa. It is in this spirit that we launched the Jefferson Consortium for African Partnerships (JCAP), focused on developing strong clinical, academic, and research collaborations with hospitals and universities in countries like Rwanda, Malawi, Uganda, and South Africa. It’s no secret that practicing medicine in Africa comes with many unique challenges, but we are poised to leverage our unique infrastructure, distinguished faculty, and strategic global partnerships to bring revolutionary care to the continent. Philanthropy is central to our global mission, helping us launch high-impact initiatives in key areas like emergency medicine, maternal-child health, and care access for informal settlements, motor vehicle accident research, new advances in imaging, and much more.

JCAP’s mission is to organize, support and collaborate with African coursework, research, and practice. The collaborative is deeply rooted in the belief that health equity is a human right, and because of this, Jefferson has a compelling interest in partnering with African counterparts in mutual academic and intellectual pursuits.

Together, partners in the collaborative target policy structures, disrupt systems and, ultimately, save lives. Current ambitions are centered in the four primary sites of Rwanda, Malawi, Uganda, and South Africa. 

Center Director

Chris Harnish

  • Associate Professor, Architecture Program
  • Director, Health and Design Collaborative
  • Director, Jefferson Consortium of African Partnerships
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Malawi Health & Design Collaborative (MHDC)

Malawi Health and Design Collaborative (MHDC) brings expert doctors and design professionals from the Sidney Kimmel Medical College, the College of Population Health, and the College of Architecture and the Built Environment together to form a transdisciplinary center of excellence. The MHDC targets specific international development goals that shape healthy human development, including the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (among others). 

Road to Safety: Motorcycle Helmet Initiative

Under the leadership of Dr. Elizabeth Krebs, JCAP is analyzing crashed motorcycle helmets from Rwanda, with the support of medical students from University of Rwanda. Despite nearly 100 percent helmet use compliance, motorcycle crashes are a predominant cause of brain injuries in Kigali, Rwanda. Dr. Krebs and engineering colleagues are exploring if helmets could be optimized to more effectively prevent traumatic brain injuries. Support of this important research highlights Jefferson’s growing commitment to global health.


Collaborative projects have included:

  • Support of PPE and tech equipment to Kamuzu Central Hospital’s surgery department COVID response
  • Assessing architectural design factors of delivery suites influencing quality of healthcare & patient outcomes at Queen Elizabeth Central maternity ward
  • Tele-ultrasound mentorship program for Rwanda EM residency
  • Research study evaluating the use of ultrasound as first-line screening for pulmonary tuberculosis, funded by Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation in conjunction with African Health Research Institute in Durban, South Africa & the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine
  • Tele-ultrasound mentorship program for Uganda emergency medicine residency program in Mbarara


  • The Kamuzu Central Hospital
  • Queen Elizabeth Central Hospital
  • The Malamulo Mission Hospital
  • University of Malawi College of Medicine and College of the Built Environment
  • Government of Malawi Department of Buildings and Department of Health
  • University of Malawi, The Polytechnic

In addition to these, JCAP has organizational partnerships in the countries of Burkina Faso, Burundi, Cameroon, Ethiopia, Ghana, Kenya, Mozambique, Nigeria, Senegal, Tanzania, Zambia, and Zimbabwe.