Theme:Improving women’s and children’s health; FBOs response” for the conference. 

In 2010, countries and the UN Agencies took stock of the progress made towards the attainment of the MDG goals at country level and globally. An MDG Summit was held at the UN in New York in September 2010 attended by Governments, UN Agencies, Donors, FBOs and civil society organizations to take stock of the progress made 10 years after the MDGs were launched. While significant progress has been achieved in some MDGs, it is of great concern that many countries especially in Sub-Saharan Africa have made little progress on MDG 4 & 5 (Maternal Health and Children’s Health).

The UN Secretary General launched a Global Strategy on women’s and children’s health with a call to action made to various stakeholders to scale up coordinated actions towards better health for women and children. The UNDP also launched an MDG campaign aimed at mobilizing and sustaining commitment on maternal and child health. Similarly, the World Council of Churches (WCC) is calling upon Religious Leaders and communities to utilize their space of influence to mobilize communities and advocate with Governments and partners towards increased investment and coordinated action to achieve better health for women and children.

In response to these calls, ACHAP members, acknowledging their unique dual role of advocacy and service delivery towards improving access to quality health care in general including maternal and child health services ACHAP dedicated the 5th Biennial Conference and General Assembly meeting, held in Accra in February 2011, to MDG 4 & 5. A planning meeting for the 5th Biennial ACHAP Conference held in Kampala in September 2010 identified the theme of “Improving women’s and children’s health; FBOs response.”

The conference provided an opportunity for CHAs to take stock of where different countries were with regard to CHAs contribution to the MDGs and discuss opportunities for strengthening capacity, partnerships and health systems for quality, accessible and sustainable maternal and child health service delivery through the faith-based health networks in Africa.

The 5th Biennial Africa CHAs Conference was hosted in Accra, Ghana by the Christian Health Association of Ghana (CHAG) in collaboration with ACHAP Secretariat/CHAK, WCC, Cordaid, ICCO, Miserior, Difaem, CCIH and IMA World Health/Capacity Plus Project[funded by USAID] from 21-24th February 2011. 75 participants from various countries of Africa, Europe and USA attended the conference.

The participants at the conference benefited from the  inspiring inputs of resourceful  facilitators including; Dr. Douglas Huber (CCIH), Jeanette Cachan (IRH), Professor Henry Mosley (Johns Hopkins School of Public Health), Dr. Robert Mensah UNFPA Country Director Ghana and Dr. Susan Brems  & Ari Alexander of USAID both  from USAID Washington.