Sharing knowhow and joining forces towards Health for All

The role of faith based health services in contributing to universal health coverage in Africa

The role of faith based health services in contributing to universal health coverage in Africa

Nairobi, 23-26 February 2015. The Africa Christian Health Association’s Platform (ACHAP) hosted a successful 7th Biennial Conference of the Africa Christian Health Associations at the Safari Park Hotel, Nairobi in collaboration with ACHAP Secretariat and funding support by various partners.

The Conference theme was "The role of the faith based health services in contributing to universal health coverage in Africa”. The conference which attracted 126 delegates from Africa, Europe and USA discussed global commitments and developments towards universal health coverage and the opportunities for faith based health services in scaling up their contribution towards UHC.

The conference objectives were to:

  • Strengthen the knowledge base of Africa Christian Health Associations and Church Health Networks and participants on global perspectives of universal health coverage
  • Share country experiences in national health sector reforms towards universal health coverage and discuss strategic involvement of FBO health sector
  • Identify and discuss approaches for sustainable health financing within the FBO health sector
  • Discuss health systems strengthening and partnership opportunities for universal health coverage
  • Provide an opportunity for ACHAP to hold its 7th General Assembly business meeting to review and adopt its five-year Strategic Plan for the period 2015 – 2019

The key note address was delivered by Dr Custodia Mandlhate, WHO Country Representative for Kenya which covered global perspectives on the evolution of health services from the advent of primary health care in 1978 to the current focus on universal health coverage. She acknowledged the critical role of faith based health services in Africa; “The World Health Organization, which I represent here, recognizes the critical role played by Christian Churches in providing important health services particularly to the poorest and needy populations in Africa”.

Prof. KhamaRogo from World Bank Group delivered a presentation on financing models for UHC in which he highlighted the various financing sources for health services that FBOs can leverage towards UHC in Africa. He further challenged FBO health facilities to strengthen governance and management to enhance efficiency.

Bishop Michael Sande, Chairman of CHAK led the conference opening devotion in which he gave the Biblical foundation for the health ministry of the Church making reference to the Book of Ezekiel. He observed that individuals and families were getting impoverished by the burden of health care hence the conference theme was most relevant and timely.

The official opening address was delivered by Dr Nicholas Muraguri, Director of Medical Services, Ministry of Health Kenya. In his address, the DMS provided Kenya progress with health sector reforms and the roadmap towards attaining universal health coverage.

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