Sharing knowhow and joining forces towards Health for All

Kampala Conference 2004

The Healing Ministry of the Church in the English speaking African countries at the dawn of the third millennium: challenges and opportunities. Kampala, Uganda, 22nd - 24th March 2004

Anglophone Africa Consultation of Bishops responsible for Church Health Institutions, convened by the Anglophone Africa regional Bishop Conference, organised by the UCMB with technical assistance of Medicus Mundi International (Cordaid, MM Switzerland, MM Spain)


From the 22nd and 24th of March, AMECEA (Association of Members of Episcopal Conferences of Eastern Africa) and Medicus Mundi International hosted a conference in Kampala. Nine Anglophone African Episcopal Conferences sent their delegates. In its presentation, the Pontifical Council for Health Pastoral Care underlined the importance of the theme of the conference: “The Healing Ministry of the Church in the English speaking African countries at the dawn of the third millennium: challenges and opportunities”.

The conference discussed the viability and sustainability of catholic health services, and took due notice of the rapid changing circumstances in which they have to be provided. At the same time the need for the church’s contribution to health care provision was re-affirmed. The need is felt in particular to preserve and promote the Church’s contribution to cater for unmet needs of the poor and the vulnerable, and to enable them to fully exercise and enjoy their basic right to health. This requires structural reform, calling for a new leadership role, with “stewardship” as the preferred style, as well as professionalism in the organisation and the services provided.

The conference was concluded with a statement, containing a number of commitments.

The Kampala Statement acknowledges the persisting relevance of the 2000 Soesterberg Statement and endorses it. It reconfirms the unique identity of Catholic health care, so closely linked to the Ecclesial Mission. However, in view of recent developments in the environment in which church health services operate, a more pro-active attitude of the church is required.

The Kampala Statement contains a number of resolutions that have been adopted by the delegates of the participating Episcopal Conferences. To mention but a few:

  • To foster stewardship as the most appropriate way to exercise the ownership function the church leaders have inherited;
  • To install professional coordinating bodies and equip these with a strong mandate to translate in operational terms and policies the Mission of the Church and the vision of its role in health care and to contribute to renewal of such guiding principles;
  • To design strategies aiming at developing institutional capacity with the ambition to guarantee an acceptable quality of health care, accessible to all needing it;
  • To engage into partnerships with various stakeholders in the field of health care, and in particular with the Government, using the “contractual approach”, while prudently avoiding compromising the Church’s identity in the process.
  • To engage in lobbying and advocacy, addressing the right to health, and to seek participation in debates on health policies at the national and international level.

The implementation of these resolutions not only requires a strong coordinating mechanism at the national level, but also service facilities at the regional and continental level for the purpose of collecting, filtering and exchanging relevant information and experience.

The Kampala Statement contains an agenda for action, describing strategies for dissemination, for implementation and for monitoring. The agenda for action provides a time schedule and assigns responsibilities for the implementation of the agenda to individuals and institutions. The Kampala Statement was endorsed by the delegates of the nine Episcopal Conferences represented, under the leadership of Msgr. Bakyenga, President of AMECEA, and convenor of the conference.

Results of the Conference

  • Conference Report (PDF)
  • Bishops' Declaration (PDF)

Introductory Documents

The following introductory documents are available online:

  • Introductory Texts. A compilation presented by Edgar Widmer (PDF)
  • The Alma Ata Declaration on Primary Health Care. WHO-Unicef, 1978 (PDF)
  • Contracting NGOs for Health. MMI advocates contracting as an efficient method for the integration of NGO health services into the District Health system. Address of MMI to the WHA, Geneva, 2000. (PDF)
  • Human Resource Development (HRD), a continuous concern. In: MMI Newsletter no 69, 2002 (PDF)
  • Brain drain and health professionals. In: MMI Newsletter no 69, 2002 (PDF)
  • HRD at level of Diocesan Health Co-ordination. In: MMI Newsletter no 69, 2002 (PDF)
  • Promotion of “Contracting”, a framework of activities. In: MMI Newsletter no 69, 2002 (PDF)
  • The role of contractual arrangements in improving health systems performance. Resolution WHA 2003 (PDF)
  • Which role for MMI in Human Resource Development? A study by G. Kegels and B. Marchal, MMI-Tropical Institute Antwerp 2003 (PDF)
  • Cordaid’s policy on Health Care and Care and Technical Assistance. In: MMI Newsletter no 70, 2003 (PDF)
  • R.Santingh, S.Rypkema: The NGO-Hospital and the District Health System in Africa. Memisa – WHO 1994 (PDF)
  • Marieke Verhallen: Involving private voluntary health care providers in Better Health for Africa. In: MMI Newsletter no 61 page 9-21 (PDF)
  • Updating health care Co-operation. MMI – Cordaid Partner Consultation in East Africa, Dar Es Salaam, 1999 (PDF)
  • The Contractual Approach. Guidelines for contract procedures for a health care structure in a district MMI – CIDR Vol. I (PDF) and Vol. II. (PDF)
  • The Church and its Involvement with Health: the healing ministry. Statement by the participants of Memisa’s 75 Jubilee Working Conference, Rotterdam/Soesterberg 2000 (PDF)
  • Edgar Widmer: The Healing Ministry. Memisa 75 Jubilee working conference of African bishops, Rotterdam/Soesterberg 2000 (PDF)
  • Fiorenza Deriu: Bishops Conferences and Catholic Health Institutions. A survey of Roman Catholic Health Services. Dolentium Hominum no 52, Vatican, Rome, 2003 (PDF)
  • Bernd Pastors:  Health and Power. Practical Actions to be promoted in Relation to the Power of Pharmaceutical  Industries. XVI International Conference, Pontifical Council for Health Pastoral Care, Vatican City, 2001. In: MMI Newsletter no 68 (PDF)
  • Edgar  Widmer: Health and Power. Practical Actions to be promoted in Relation to Hospitals and other Health Centres. XVI International Conference, Pontifical Council for Health Pastoral Care, Vatican City, 2001. In: MMI Newsletter no 68 (PDF)
  • Which role for MMI in Human Resources Development. A research study by G.Kegels and B.Marchal. MMI - Tropical Institute Antwerp 2003 (PDF)
  • John Kipo Kaara/Stefan Marx: Health is Wealth, a community based health insurance scheme. Action Medeor, AGEH, 2001 (PDF)
  • Michael D. Place: The International Ministry. Reflections on the XVII International Conference of the Pontifical Council on Health Pastoral Care. In: Dolentium Hominum 52, 2003 (PDF)
  • Marieke Verhallen: Structuring Public – Private collaboration in Health Care: Review of experiences and lessons.  (PDF)
  • Marieke Verhallen: Formalizing Partnership relationships and working arrangements between Public Health Authorities and Private Not for Profit Health Care Providers. (PDF)
  • Marieke Verhallen: Contracting in Health Care - a Tool to enable NGO partners to play a significant role in Health Care provision. (PDF)
  • Nuamah Donkor, Minister of Health Ghana: Contracting with Christian Health Associaton District Hospitals in Ghana, Presentation at MMI Technical Meeting, World Health Assembly 1999 (PDF)
  • Partnership between Government, NGOs and WHO in the AFRO Region. The Dakar declaration. Conference on improvement tripartite cooperation for health development in Africa. Dakar 1997 (PDF)
  • The Future of Christian Hospitals in Developing Countries: The Call for a New Paradigm of Ministry. A publication of Christian Connections for International Health Promoting International Health and Wholeness  from a Christian Perspective. In: CCIH FORUM, Issue #8 - August 2000 (Link to external Website)
  • Edgar Widmer: Preparing a Working Conference for Anglophone African Bishops in Kampala, March 2004, on the Healing Ministry and on the Strengthening of the Co-ordination of the Churches Health Activities. A compilation of introductory texts (PDF)
  • Edgar Widmer:  The Healing Ministry of the Church at the dawn of the Third Millennium: Challenges and Opportunities in English speaking African Countries (PDF)
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