Our History

CACHA was founded in 2001 during “Les Jeux de la Francophonie", when the University of Ottawa Health Services had the privilege of hosting the medical care facility for athletes and their physicians. Dr. Don Kilby, UOHS Medical Director, met with African care providers to discuss a range of issues – including health care in remote African communities.

To address immediate needs, the African care providers were sent medical equipment; supplies; and HIV/AIDS educational material upon their return home.

A few months later, a small group associated with the University of Ottawa Health Services received $75,000 under the HIV/AIDS Small Grants Fund Stage II, in order to launch 7-10 medical expeditions into remote Gabonese communities.

The initial trip was so successful, the group returned to Gabon nine times. In the process, the team went on to form CACHA. As of 2017, we have:

     *Donated over $7.5 million in medical supplies and infrastructure

     *Treated over 200,000 patients

     *Supported over 900 orphans and vulnerable children

     *Built schools, mobile clinics and youth facilities

     *Created training centres to empower and inspire women and youth

     *Helped build healthier and stronger communities

Our Founders

Dr. Don Kilby
President of the Board

Dr. Kilby is a recognized expert in the discipline of HIV/AIDS. With over 25 years of experience in the field, he has planned and administered many programs, committees, lectures and publications.

In 2001, Dr. Kilby founded the Canada Africa Community Health Alliance, building strategic and strong alliances between Canadian and African community-based organizations and governments. Dr. Kilby and his team have extensive experience with underserved, hard-to-reach populations.

Marcel Hamelin

Marcel Hamelin is a historian by training and taught at the University of Ottawa for more than 35 years. He became Chair of the Department of History (1968-1970), Vice-Dean of the School of Graduate Studies and Research (1972-1974) and Dean of the Faculty of Arts, a position he held for sixteen years, beginning in 1974. In 1990, he was appointed Rector and Vice-Chancellor of the University of Ottawa.

Throughout his university career, Mr. Hamelin developed many exchange programs and collaborations with African universities where he came to understand the challenges the people of Africa face. In 2001, after leaving his position as Rector, Mr. Hamelin contributed to the formation of CACHA in collaboration with Dr. Don Kilby.

Antoinette Strazza

Antoinette studied Correctional Intervention and Psychology and obtained her Master's Degree in Education, leading her to build a professional career in the education of health issues for various populations. She held the position of health promotion coordinator at the University of Ottawa Health Services, helping to coordinate and set standards for all health promotion programs, intent on providing a variety of avenues to disseminate health information to students. In 2001, along with Dr. Kilby and Marcel, Antoinette helped form CACHA.