Recent survey provides insight on scope and scale of Christian healthcare in Africa

Archbishop Jerome Lloyd OSJVPosted by

Christian Connections for International Health

Recent survey provides insight on scope and scale of Christian healthcare in Africa

October 11, 2022 By RNS Press Release Distribution Service

The Christian Health Asset Mapping Consortium (CHAMC) released a data brief revealing there are more than 8,000 Christian health assets in 15 African countries. 

The health assets include: 

  • 1,167 hospitals
  • 6,497 health centers or clinics
  • 287 community programs
  • 341 health training institutions
  • 39 drug supply organizations

How Data Was Collected

Data was collected through two efforts. First, IMA World Health partnered with the Africa Christian Health Associations Platform (ACHAP) to engage 11 Christian Health Associations (CHA) in a COVID response effort from March 2020 through September 2021. ACHAP reached out directly to the 11 CHAs in two rounds of data collection. Christian Connections for International Health (CCIH) supported the second effort by reaching out directly to two CHAs and accessing information through the websites of two additional CHAs in March 2022. Together, ACHAP, CCIH, IMA, and the World Council of Churches (WCC), reviewed the combined results.

Why Data Was Collected

Christian organizations provide a substantial share of health services in health facilities, community-based programs, and churches across the globe, often serving populations that might not otherwise have access to health care. Unfortunately, a lack of data about these facilities, community programs, training institutions, and drug distribution networks leads to undercounting of Christian health assets and exclusion from planning, partnerships, funding, and research.

“These facilities are a mix of locally developed facilities and ones started by overseas missions and now run by local Christians,” said Doug Fountain, Executive Director, CCIH. “Maua Methodist Hospital in Kenya, for example, was founded nearly one hundred years ago by British Methodist Missionaries and is now operated by the Methodist Church of Kenya. But others such as Mboppi Baptist hospital in Daoula, Cameroon, or St. Joseph’s Hospital in Moshi, Tanzania were created more recently by health leaders. It is important to remember that overseas partners had, and have, an important role to play in supporting local health services, but equally, the world is not waiting for American missionaries to solve their problems.”

To help meet the pressing need for more information about Christian health services’ scope, location, nature, and ways to efficiently contact local and global Christian health organizations for partnerships, CCIH and partners launched the Christian Health Asset Mapping Consortium (CHAMC) in January 2022. 

“’If it’s not written, it did not happen’ is a very common quote about documentation,” said Nkatha Njeru, Coordinator and CEO, ACHAP. “ACHAP recognizes the enormous work put in by church health services because we interact with them daily, however, the mapping is important to us to help support our advocacy, and it also helps global appreciation of the effort, the needs, the gaps, and challenges of this great work.”

CCIH serves as the Secretariat for the consortium, which also includes founding partners ACHAP; the Catholic Health Association (US) International Outreach (CHA-US); the International Christian Medical and Dental Association (ICMDA); The Dalton Foundation; and the World Council of Churches (WCC). 

The CHAMC shares summary data like this to improve the scope and quality of data on faith-based health systems flowing into global databases. Learn more about the Christian Health Asset Mapping Consortium and its work.

Photo Caption: An urban hospital in Yaounde, Cameroon where the Cameroon Baptist Convention Health Services coordinates many health facilities. Credit: CCIH

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Christian Connections for International Health (CCIH) is a global network of Christian organizations and individuals committed to advancing health and wholeness. Inspired by our Christian faith and committed to evidence-based practice, CCIH envisions a world where all have access to quality healthcare and prevention services. CCIH has over 100 organizational and 200+ individual members operating in more than 90 countries.

Contact:
Kathy Erb
Christian Connections for International Health
+1 301-525-2881
kathy.erb@ccih.org

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