Strengthening Christian Health Associations in Africa

The Africa Christian Health Associations Platform (ACHAP) Workshop brought together 40 participants from 16 Christian Health Associations (CHAs), the ACHAP Secretariat, and three development agencies—ICCO, Cordaid, and CapacityPlus partner IMA World Health. CapacityPlus staff Doris Mwarey reported, “It was exciting to learn how most of the CHAs have integrated their health management information systems with the Ministry of Health systems.”

Doris MwareyThe three-day workshop was held in Kampala, Uganda. “Most of the CHAs are continuously finding ways of improving their information systems and adopting Open Source systems, web-based systems, and collaborating with other partners in their countries,” said Mwarey.

The CHAs shared their experiences on various health management information systems (HMIS) and how they coordinate data and information-sharing. Some participants committed to reviewing their current HMIS needs and being open to new technologies and current trends.

In the governance session, Japheth Kato, chief executive officer of the Capital Markets Authority Uganda, delivered the keynote address on the value of sound governance in any institution—whether private, public, or faith-based. To enhance accountability, Kato emphasized the need for institutions to have a clear process and structure to direct and manage their business affairs.

Representatives from Ghana, Zimbabwe, Kenya, Nigeria, Uganda, Sudan, Lesotho, and Malawi shared their experiences and challenges in governance. “To manage the board, the CHA secretariats need to be proactive and decisive, and provide all relevant information in a timely manner that will facilitate effective and timely decision-making,” suggested one participant.

Linly Bakaimani, a Christian Health Association of Malawi board member, found the workshop useful. “This has been a good opportunity for me, and I realize that there is a lot we can do as board members to support the secretariats, members, and our affiliate churches.”

From the discussions on governance, it was clear that not all CHAs work within the same contexts, and CHAs with similar board structures will continue to exchange ideas. To aid with the follow-up process, a summary sheet was prepared with various board characteristics, providing a snapshot of the 16 CHAs’ governance structures, including their similarities and differences.


Photo of Doris Mwarey by Erika Pearl