Global Ministries

The United Methodist Church

Connecting the Church in Mission

Global Ministries’ Global Health Unit Hosts Health Summit

By Bella DiFilippo*

This year, Global Health hosted its fifth Pan-African Health Summit in Johannesburg, South Africa April 24–26. Partners from 20 countries were invited to present their best practices and successful models that have been implemented within their local communities. Attending guests included health coordinators, United Methodist Committee on Relief field office staff, as well as General Board of Global Ministries’ missionaries. The summit brought together organizations from Africa and Asia to evaluate the work, as well as to promote ongoing training.

Health projects on raising awareness and promoting malaria education, mother and child health, HIV and AIDS education, food security and agriculture programs, as well as water, sanitation, and hygiene (WASH) were featured. Partners collaborated over ways to improve in the year ahead, discussing matters of fiscal management, best practices on the field, maximizing community engagement and support, and how to better document how projects impact beneficiaries around the world.

GH-Pan-Africa-Forum-Dr Simbo.jpgGlobal Health hosts Pan-African Health Summit conference 2017 in Johannesburg, South Africa. Dr. Olusimbo Ige speaks to participants about successful, implemented projects. PHOTO: CYNTHIA MACK

Partners also shared success stories from their projects. Some of these highlighted stories are the following:

• Global Ministries’ missionary Kennedy Cruz (Advance 3091583), shared about the progress being made through Community Health and Agricultural Development (CHAD) in Cambodia. Through CHAD (Advance 14916A), integrated programs provide healthcare access, food security, income generation, as well as holistic ministry to local communities. This program has seen remarkable success, improving the living conditions of at least 19,605 individuals in 2016.

• Participants also highlighted work in North Katanga, Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) where health coordinators and missionaries are bridging the gap between rich and poor communities by providing healthcare services all under one facility. This is being done through a sliding scale system to balance cost of treatment.

• Representatives from Sierra Leone shared about ongoing work in self-sustaining communities. These highlighted communities are generating sufficient local resources to cover the costs for individuals visiting hospitals and clinics.

GH-Pan-Africa-Forum-SA-presentations.jpgPan-Africa Health Summit summit participants collaborate on integrated projects before presenting creative solutions. PHOTO: CYNTHIA MACK

Joyce Madanga, a health coordinator from United Methodist Church of Nigeria said, “As partners, we may be working in different countries, but we have the same goals and the same projects. We can all share different strategies to achieve the same goals.”

A common issue that partners shared about was local community involvement. One participant noted, “Communities have to be involved, and they have to be committed, so that at the end of the day, the program is theirs. Otherwise, implemented programs become a welfare program that the community will not take ownership of. If the community is involved, and they own the implemented projects, they will keep it, and will sustain it.

GH-Pan-Africa-Forum-SA-Dr Simbo presents.jpgDr. Olusimbo Ige presents to Pan-Africa Health Summit attendees. PHOTO: CYNTHIA MACK

“This Pan-African summit has been an incredible experience for us. It’s really helped us gain a better understanding of how high the standards are that Global Health maintains so that whenever donors give money, we are truly accountable for it, and that it really goes to serve God’s purposes in everywhere possible. It’s really been a blessing to connect with so many healthcare workers, missionaries, and those who work in agriculture to see what’s successful, what works for them, how God’s working in them, and through them.” Elizabeth McCormick – Global Ministries’ missionary in Mozambique (Advance 3022180).

GH-Pan-Africa-Forum-SA-group photo.jpgGlobal Health hosts Pan Africa Health Summit conference 2017 in Johannesburg, South Africa. A group photo was taken at the awards ceremony the last night of the pan-Africa Health Forum. PHOTO: CYNTHIA MACK

Global Health is proud to partner with so many organizations around the world. “These are the real people doing the work on the ground,” said Dr. Olusimbo Ige, executive director of Global Health. “We want to give them proper recognition that is due to them. They are out on the field, being the hands and feet of these projects.” Your donations to the Global Health unit make it possible to fund these international projects.

Please consider giving today to this vital global health ministry. (Advance 3021770)

*Bella DiFilippo is Program Area Liaison from Communications, for Global Ministries