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[afro-nets] Impact of Christian Medical Professionals...(3)

Impact of Christian Medical Professionals on HIV/AIDS pandemic (3)
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Dr Agizew asks an important question - the reality is that
Christian health professionals in Africa and Asia are often
working in remote mission and church hospitals that are often in
the poorest and most heavily affected areas of Africa (and
Asia), so are often dealing with large numbers of people affect
by HIV/AIDS, but with few resources.

A piece of research by Christian Connections for International
Health in the USA last year (Lee, C (2003) 'Global Fund Respon-
siveness to Faith-Based Organizations: An Update', CCIH & Ecu-
menical Pharmaceutical Network) suggests that most FBOs still
have little idea how to access the Country Coordinating Mecha-
nisms that lie at the heart of the Global Fund's grant alloca-
tion process. Yet my dealings with those working close to the
Global Fund and the WHO 3x5 Programme suggest that both are
highly responsive to working with Christian organisations of all
sizes. So one challenge for Christian health professionals is to
find ways of accessing these new funds for HIV care and treat-
ment.

Another area where Christian hospitals and health professionals
have been leading the way so developing community based models
of healthcare for people with HIV/AIDS across Africa. The Salva-
tion Army Hospital at Chikankata, Hospice Africa and the Mildmay
International Centre in Kampala are but three examples of Chris-
tian health services providing low cost care by training and
working closely with local communities ­ letting the community
set the agenda as far as identifying needs and working with
those communities to identify key people to train in care and
treatment provision at a local level.

This is not, of course unique to Christian agencies and indi-
viduals, but as Claire Short, the former Intentional Development
Secretary in the UK said last year, the church is the largest
and most connected NGO in the world. Church hospitals and Chris-
tian health professionals have huge networks to plug into, share
experience and skills and knowledge. So if there is a once sen-
tence answer to your initial enquiry, Dr Agizew, it would be
that Christian health professionals have global and local net-
works that can enable us to learn from each other and mobilise
resources very effectively, if we put our time and effort into
it. In a climate where international bodies are becoming aware
of the valuable contribution of FBOs, we should be being highly
active in speaking to these bodies.

Steven Fouch
Director
MMA HealthServe
First Floor, Barker House
106 - 110 Watney Street
London, United Kingdom, E1 2QE
Tel: +44-20-7790-1336
Fax: +44-20-7790-1384
mailto:steve@healthserve.org
http://www.healthserve.org

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