In many African countries facing severe shortages and poor distribution of health workers, faith-based organizations (FBOs) provide between 30%-70% of health care services. Moreover, FBO facilities often serve remote and rural areas where governments have the greatest difficulty in attracting and retaining health workers. Yet FBO health workers frequently remain under-recognized for their contributions and uncounted in national statistics.
FBOs are major contributors and key players not only in health service delivery but also in health worker preservice education and in-service training in many developing countries. Nevertheless, in some countries FBO institutions are not well integrated into the overall health system led by the Ministry of Health. CapacityPlus engaged in an ongoing effort to develop and strengthen partnerships among FBO health care delivery organizations, facilities, and training institutions and national ministries of health in support of integrated human resources for health (HRH) systems. Through the Africa Christian Health Associations Platform (ACHAP) and a project-supported HR technical advisor, CapacityPlus strengthened faith-based health care by sharing information and HR expertise among ACHAP members as well as the larger community, and by promoting improved integration of FBO policies, procedures, and HR management systems with ministries of health.