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.

Africa Christian Health Associations Platform
Since 2005, Christian Health Associations from across sub-Saharan Africa have come together biennially in different countries to network and learn from one another, and in 2007 they formally organized the ACHA Platform. The Platform works year-round to link associations from across the continent through exchange visits, newsletters, and topic-specific forums, and helps to create a stronger voice for national and international health care advocacy.

Human Resources for Health Technical Working Group
In addition, the ACHA Platform has a technical working group on human resources for health that focuses specifically on HR issues. Working group members have helped with the following HR-related accomplishments:

  • The Christian Health Association of Kenya and the Kenya Episcopal Health Conference Health Commission—with technical assistance from the Capacity Project—developed HR documents to guide their respective memberships on HR issues.
  • The Christian Health Association of Kenya, Kenya Episcopal Health Conference, and the Supreme Council of Kenya Muslims signed a memorandum of understanding with the Ministry of Health outlining their health sector partnership.
  • The Christian Social Services Commission of Tanzania successfully mapped 100% of their member facilities, incorporating the new HR data into an HR database as an advocacy tool.
  • The Christian Health Association of Lesotho published an article on their human resources for health (HRH) initiatives in the online journal health exchange.
  • Technical working group members presented at the June 2009 World Bank-sponsored FBO meeting on HRH, held in Accra, Ghana.
  • From 2006-2010, the Platform produced and disseminated 52 editions of the monthly eNewsletter Hotline HRH.

Getting involved
Learn more about how FBOs are strengthening countries' national health workforce capacity. And stay tuned for more information on the 2011 Biennial Meeting in Accra.


Photo: Africa Christian Health Associations Meeting participants, Kampala, Uganda, 2009