Founded in New Jersey, Health Africa was established in 2013 after our owner, Dr. Bernard Ogon, returned from Nigeria. During his trip, he saw that the country lacked a basic health care delivery system.
He became aware of this problem upon visiting a friend who was unfortunately admitted to a medical center in a rural area. Dr. Ogon was shocked at how there was a shortage of basic amenities including water, electricity, and medicine. Not having a physician within miles of the health care facility only made matters worse.
Dr. Ogon’s friend eventually had to be transferred to the only hospital in the state, which was an eight-hour drive away. Fortunately, he received treatment as soon as possible.
What Drives Us
Dr. Ogon’s friend was lucky. However, there are still many people who are not as lucky as he; there are individuals who have to rely on the resources and services provided at these underserved medical centers.
The outcomes are predictably dismal. Yearly, thousands of lives are lost to malaria, typhoid fever, chronic illnesses like hypertension and diabetes, and other treatable or avoidable diseases. Not surprisingly, the infant mortality rate in Nigeria and other Sub-Saharan countries is alarmingly high at 7 1.20/1000 live births.
After consulting with few individuals of like mind, we decided to form a nonprofit organization to raise funds for building health care centers. Located at strategic places, these are open to people throughout Sub-Saharan Africa.
In the end, our aim is to save lives by providing a responsive health care delivery system. More importantly, we want to act as a catalyst for the development of programs that benefit these inadequately served areas.
About Bernard Ogon, MD
Born in Bronx, New York, he is a husband, father, top physician, philanthropist, and community organizer. He finished medical school at the University of Calabar Nigeria. Later on, he completed his residency in family medicine at Jackson Park and Medical Center in Chicago, Illinois.
Dr. Ogon received his fellowship training in geriatric medicine at the University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey (UMDNJ). The institution is also now known as the Robert Wood Johnson Medical School.
Having served in the United States Air Force as a flight surgeon, he was awarded a medal for combat service during Operation Enduring Freedom. Currently, he works in several different capacities, including helping in the treatment of veterans and other with opioid addiction.