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.

 

8th Biennial Conference, Maseru, Lesotho, 2017

ACHAP members, acknowledging their unique roles as service delivery agents including achievement of SDG’s have dedicated their 8th Biennial Conference and General Assembly meeting to be held in Maseru, Lesotho in February 2017 to discussing “Building partnerships for FBO Health Systems Strengthening towards achievement of Sustainable Development Goals”. The conference aimed to create an opportunity for CHAs to reflect on their current contribution to health service delivery, the new global SDGs context, the challenges and the opportunities to scale up their contribution through building effective partnerships for capacity development, resource mobilization and systems strengthening.

The Conference objectives:

  • Reflect on the context of the SDGs and the implication to FBO health services in Africa
  • Discuss new challenges and opportunities towards universal health coverage
  • Share best practices in addressing critical health challenges · Discuss strategic partnership opportunities for health systems strengthening for SDGs
  • Identify mechanisms for building/documenting evidence base for FBOs contribution in health including building consensus on indicators ACHAP 8TH BIENNIAL CONFERENCE. MASERU.LESOTHO
  • To highlight and share successes of existing effective partnership frameworks/models between CHAs and governments, donors, academia, private sector and other CSOs.
  • To identify issues for joint regional and global advocacy for ACHAP and partner organizations · Provide opportunity for ACHAP to hold its 8th General Assembly business meeting and review progress made on the five-year Strategic Plan 2015 – 2019

The conference was an opportunity for participants, CHAs-ACHAP members to enhance their knowledge as well as strengthening their capacities on SDGs, partnerships and health systems. During the conference, a Consensus on indicators for FBO health services contribution documentation and strategy for data collection and processing were obtained. Another highlight from the conference was a conference statement with key messages and commitment for CHAs and Partners covering; Partnerships, resource mobilization, capacity building, advocacy and accountability.

5th Biennial Conference, 2011, Kampala, Uganda

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.