Faith-Based Organizations

Looking Back and Encouraged to Press On for the Health Workforce in Africa

Patrick Kyalo and Doris MwareyThe Africa Christian Health Associations Platform (ACHAP) Human Resources for Health Technical Working Group (HRH TWG) serves as a technical reference group on HRH issues identified as key and common among Christian Health Associations. It was set up in 2007, supported by IMA World Health and the USAID-funded CapacityPlus project until June 2014. IMA World Health continues to provide support.

IMA World Health sponsored a dinner meeting for the ACHAP HRH TWG on February 24, 2015, in Nairobi during the 7th ACHAP Biennial Conference, providing a good opportunity for the TWG to reflect on its activities over the last two years.

Participants included representatives from Lesotho, Ghana, Cameroon, Uganda, Zambia, Kenya, Nigeria, Tanzania, and Malawi as well as other invited representatives including the ACHAP board chair Mrs. Karen Sichinga, IMA World Health President and CEO Rick Santos, and the Christian Health Association of Malawi (CHAM) Executive Director Dr. Mwai Makoka. Key among the major highlights for the day included a background on the history of the TWG and updates on the TWG Chair Mr. Samuel Nugblega’s October 2014 visit to the USA, where he represented ACHAP and the TWG at a CapacityPlus event on the role of African faith-based organizations (FBOs) in strengthening the health workforce. Read more »

iHRIS Champions in Ghana Share Success with Using Health Workforce Data

Gracey VaughnLike many of his fellow Ghanaians, Obeng Asomaning wanted to use his skills to help his country. As a new graduate with a degree in health service planning and management, he landed a job at the Ministry of Health’s Regional Health Office in Ashanti Region. Quickly he saw that the office was struggling to access information about the health workforce. How many midwives worked in the regional hospital? How many vacancies were there in Kwabre District? How many health workers will likely retire next year? The paper-based information system yielded no quick answers.

Answers to these kinds of questions are important because the country has a critical shortage of health workers. There are only 13.6 health workers for every 10,000 people, well below the minimum recommended threshold of 22.8 health workers per 10,000 population. To improve the population’s health outcomes, Ghana needs to make the most of the health workforce it currently has while working to increase their numbers. Read more »

HR Management Policy Implementation at Presbyterian Church of East Africa Kikuyu Mission Hospital

In Kenya, faith-based organizations make a major contribution to health service delivery. The Christian Health Association of Kenya (CHAK) and the Kenya Conference of Catholic Bishops provide an estimated 30% of health care in the country through their more than 800 affiliated facilities. With assistance from the Capacity Project and subsequently from CapacityPlus, CHAK released a comprehensive HR management generic policy document in 2008. The document outlined organizational HR policies, procedures, and guidelines with the aim of strengthening human resources management (HRM) at affiliated facilities. The following post originally appeared in Hotline HRH, a publication of the Africa Christian Health Associations Platform.

Inside the gate of the hospitalPresbyterian Church of East Africa Kikuyu Hospital is one of the oldest hospitals in Kenya, having been founded in 1908 by Scottish missionaries led by Dr. Arthur. The aim of the missionaries was to educate the young boys and girls as health workers, among other objectives.

Growing only slowly over the early years from its beginnings as a small first-aid centre, the hospital received a major boost in 1975 from the late President Jomo Kenyatta, who seconded medical staff to the hospital from the Government. In the same year, the first ophthalmic work was done at the newly-founded Eye Unit. Read more »

Responding to the Rise in Noncommunicable Diseases

Doris MwareyAre health workers around the world equipped to handle the increasing burden of noncommunicable diseases (NCDs) that are on the rise?

NCDs such as heart disease, stroke, cancer, chronic respiratory diseases, and diabetes are the leading cause of mortality in the world. According to WHO (2010) statistics, 36 million of the 57 million deaths in 2008 were due to NCDs, and the number of people, families, and communities afflicted by NCDs is increasing.

What about in sub-Saharan Africa?
The WHO statistics also show that 12 of the 15 countries with over 800 NCD deaths per 100,000 population in 2008 were in sub-Saharan Africa. Read more »

Keeping Smiles on Their Faces

Doris MwareyIt's been about three weeks since I was in Malawi, and I haven't stopped thinking about the smiling faces of the health workers at the Pirimiti Community Hospital. As I watched them go about their work, I wondered what it was that kept the smiles on their faces.

CapacityPlus is helping the Christian Health Association of Malawi (CHAM) strengthen human resources management in affiliated health facilities. I was visiting the hospital to better understand needs at the facility level.

One of the nurses I was observing approached me, and asked me if I needed any assistance. It was about 1:30 p.m. and the human resources officer and medical director that I was waiting to see had not yet arrived from their lunch break. The nurse offered to show me around the hospital as I waited. Read more »

Linking Faith-Based Health Care with Ministries of Health

Wilma GormleyOver the past year and a half, CapacityPlus has supported faith-based organizations’ (FBOs) ability to manage their health workforces and provide high quality care to underserved populations. Recently, we held a side session as part of the Second Global Forum on Human Resources for Health to help strengthen linkages between the FBO community and ministries of health and provide strategies and tactics for how to bring about this increased integration.

With these objectives in mind, the group discussion centered on two key questions:

  • What should the FBO community do to promote the integration and linkages between them and national-level health workforce policies and practices?
  • What should workforce decision-makers and human resources professionals within ministries of health do to strengthen linkages with the FBO community?

Faith-Based Organizations Tackle Women’s and Children’s Health

Africa Christian Health Associations Meeting participants, Kampala, UgandaIn February 2011 the Africa Christian Health Associations (ACHA) Platform will sponsor the Biennial Africa Christian Health Associations Meeting in Accra, hosted by the Christian Health Association of Ghana. Highlighting faith-based organizations’ work toward achieving Millennium Development Goals 4 and 5, this year’s theme is “Improving Women’s and Children’s Health in Africa: FBO Response Towards the MDG Targets.”

The meeting will bring together over 100 individuals from Christian Health Associations, international FBOs, and nongovernmental organizations to learn how various organizations are tackling these two Millennium Development Goals and brainstorm ways to adapt their interventions for other countries or contexts.

Faith-Based Organizations: Serving and Uniting the Health Sector

Friends Kaimosi HospitalRecently on the HIFA2015 listserv there has been discussion on the role of mission and faith-based health care facilities in the developing world. Statistics vary from country to country, and even region to region within a country, but the most common statistic for countries in sub-Saharan Africa is that mission and faith-based health facilities provide approximately 40-70% of health care.

Rural and isolated areas

As has been noted, these mission and faith-based health facilities have a long history of providing services in the most rural and isolated parts of the countries—places where government health care personnel often aren’t. Read more »

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