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Ccih2019 health-promoting-churches-mwai-makoka


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Mwai Makoka, MBBS, Program Executive for Health and Healing at the World Council of Churches dives into case studies of health-promoting churches, including churches in Tonga, Kenya, South Africa and North Carolina.

Published in: Health & Medicine
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Ccih2019 health-promoting-churches-mwai-makoka

  2. 2. Introduction • The World Council of Churches is a fellowship of churches which confess the Lord Jesus Christ as God and Saviour according to the scriptures, and therefore seek to fulfil together their common calling and towards visible unity. • Established 71 years ago, the WCC is a fellowship of 350 churches in 110 countries with over half a billion members
  3. 3. The beginnings of ACHAP
  4. 4. What is our motivation? • The Christian ministry of healing belongs primarily to the congregation as a whole, and only in that context to those who are specially trained • The medical institution and the church on the national and more particularly on the local level have traveled too often in separate directions • Mission programmes should reasonably be expected to become an integral part of the life and witness of the local church.
  5. 5. What is our motivation?
  6. 6. What is our motivation? Ecumenical study on health, healing & wholeness 1978 – 1989 Congregations should engage in PHC: • To correct unjust distribution of health resources • Empower people vs. over-medicalisation and commercialisation of health • Reduce heavy dependence on professional and institutional health services, allowing them to provide expert care for complicated illnesses for which they are trained
  7. 7. Case studies of health promotion, prevention, treatment and support through churches
  8. 8. TONGA A health education session in a Church, facilitated by a Church volunteer trained by the Ministry of Health.
  9. 9. TONGA An aerobics session in a church.
  10. 10. TONGA Church-based screening for NCDs and risk factors. Cholesterol and glucose done by MoH, easier ones done by the churches
  11. 11. North Carolina, USA An aerobics session in AME Zion Church
  12. 12. North Carolina, USA Effectiveness of the programme
  13. 13. South Africa NCD support group in Methodist Church of Southern Africa, Durban – providing adherence support, treatment monitoring and literacy.
  14. 14. South Africa Diary of health education sessions
  15. 15. Kenya “Health tip for the week” in Church liturgy/ bulletin
  16. 16. • A “health-promoting churches” model programme • Biblical reflections on health
  17. 17. Toolkit to accompany churches DApplications CAdministration BAnalysis AActivities Establishing the core wellness program activities and interventions that will make a lasting and measurable impact on the target population Implementing the best monitoring & evaluation tools, standards, and skills to benchmark our progress and define success Reaching consensus on the governance, management and coordination structures that are required for the program to succeed, and documenting them Discovering, piloting and deploying information technology solutions that would support an effective and data-driven implementation of the wellness program
  18. 18. 4 x 4 model for NCDs Food and Nutrition Physical activities Tobacco Alcohol Health education Healing & practical action Lobby and advocacy on PSE Empowerment for public witness The congregation as a place of health education: learning about health and ill- health from both medical, social, and theological perspectives. (Health Education) The congregation as a place of healing: taking practical action at the personal, family, and community level. (Healing & Practical Action) The congregation as a place for caring: advocacy for peace, justice, and care for creation. – Policy, Systems, Environment - PSE (Advocacy) The congregation as a place of empowerment: taking positive and bold action at the workplace/marketplace within the members’ realm of responsibility and influence. (Empowerment)
  19. 19. Handbook for HPC • Practical handbook • Simple, user-friendly structure • Rationale • Steps to follow • Tools and resources • Standards of success (key indicators) • Annexes
  20. 20. Focus group discussions • On-going process to: • triangulate the model • explore areas of potential traction and challenges • obtain additional insights • So far conducted in: • Johannesburg, South Africa • Accra, Ghana • Freetown, Sierra Leone
  21. 21. Next steps • Finalise the handbook • Develop IT platform • Print • Translate into other languages • Regional and national sensitisation workshops • Leverage CHAs as entry points at national level • Frontrunner churches, e.g., ELCA, MCSA, UMC Peru, MCSL • 4 x 4 x 4? To reach 4 million people by 2021
  22. 22. Biblical reflections on health • <1,000 words • A 10-minute read during church service • In-depth discussion at other church fora, e.g., Bible study • Commemorative health days • Format • Key medical issues (cause, prevalence, diagnosis, treatment, prevention) • Key socio-economic issues (determinants) • What does the Bible say (or doesn’t say) on the topic… • Contextual issues, including SDGs • Proposals of practical actions “What can churches do…”
  23. 23. Expected outcomes • Promote health education • Facilitate practical action • Stimulate conversations on health issues in church circles
  24. 24. Next steps • Finalise the write-ups • Proof-read and edit • Print • Translate into other languages • Disseminate and promote, including digitally • Receive and manage feedback
  25. 25. Thank you “Everywhere people are dying from diseases that are preventable. Christians can lead the way in providing models of a comprehensive approach that can remove the burden of preventable death. Thus, prevention becomes a tool for healing.” HHW Available for free download in English, French and Spanish at