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The ACHAP’s Biennial Conference and General Assembly meeting in Yaoundé, Cameroon from February 25 to March 1, 2019

The ACHAP’s Biennial Conference and General Assembly meeting in Yaoundé, Cameroon from February 25 to March 1, 2019.

Theme: Re-Igniting Primary Health Care: The role of ACHAP.

In 1978, World Health Organization (WHO) collaborated with the World Council of Churches to formulate the Alma-Ata declaration, which affirmed Primary Health Care (PHC) as a vehicle to guaranteeing access to health care as a fundamental human right. The vision as interpreted intended to keep people healthy and productive within their communities. The assumption too was that a majority of the health needs of communities could be met within a well-functioning primary health care system that would guarantee access to quality affordable health services-promotive, preventive and curative services. Yet, to date, there are still fundamental gaps in providing access to affordable quality health services to needy populations.

Over the years, Christian faith-based health providers (FBHP)/CHAs, financed their health programmes and hospitals mainly by external assistance (medical supplies, medicines, missionary/expatriate medical staff, etc.), and to a limited extent out-of-pocket payment from patients, albeit heavily subsidized. However, due to changes in development paradigm, FBHPs/CHAs are facing dwindling or withdrawal of donor support for both capital and recurrent expenditure. This has culminated into a search for sustainable and alternative funding mechanisms to support the Church’s mission in health. These include, but not limited to, new models of health financing being experimented by some FBHPs. Given the need for financial sustainability of the Church in health, ACHAP needs to explore/appraise the feasibility of innovative financing models for PHC.

Historically, CHAs have always contributed significantly in responding to demographic and epidemiological transitions especially in fragile settings in sub-Sahara Africa. Hence, CHAs have always served as buffers of country health systems.  Therefore, in implementing PHC for UHC, the role of CHAs cannot be overemphasized.

Generally, the faith-based health systems, spearheaded by CHAs, are noted for innovations with potential assets that could be leveraged to optimize primary health services, deliver public value and complement national health systems. Accordingly, ACHAP recognizes the need for innovative partnerships, responsive and resilient health systems especially in re-engineering PHC towards achieving Universal Health Coverage/Sustainable Development Goals (UHC/SDGs).

Hence, the conference theme: Re-Igniting Primary Health Care: The role of ACHAP.

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