American Initiative for Health and Wellness in Africa (AIHWA)

AIHWA is a collaboration between Africans and Americans to improve the health of Africans through healthcare that integrates body, mind, and soul.


Phone: 1 970-903-1317

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Patient Prisoner

In many parts of Africa, patients who cannot pay their bills are detained in the hospital until the account is settled. This situation applies to both the living and the dead:  hospitals won't release the bodies of loved ones until all medical bills incurred before death are paid. There is a health insurance system in Nigeria, but it is for the very rich.

The burden of payment usually rests on the patient's family — who may have to sell property or valuables. In addition to debt, patients often leave the hospital with shame and anxiety that leads to mental health issues. The powerless poor are most affected.

This is where AIHWA's Patient Prisoner program steps in. In 2018 alone, AIHWA secured the release of  54 patients from hospitals through the Patient Prisoner program at an average cost of only $103 per patient. Your generous donation to this program goes a long way — helping both patients and their families.

Here are publicized Nigerian patient prisoner cases:

Meet Patient Prisoners

All of the photos are of those helped by AIHWA's Patient Prisoner program. Click on the photo to read their story.

You Can Help

AIHWA needs donations for the Patient Prisoner program. 

This program is seen as nearly a miracle by community leaders and advocates for the poor.


Mike and Jennifer Candelaria, AIHWA donors and supporters of patient prisoner program, were honored with the highest chieftain titles in Igbo land (Eastern Nigeria).

You might not become a chieftain, but your generous donation will certainly make an enormous difference in someone's life.