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Half a Century Young: The Christian Health Associations in Africa

Dimmock, Franck and Olivier, Jill and Wodon, Quentin (2012): Half a Century Young: The Christian Health Associations in Africa.

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Abstract

Christian Health Associations (CHAs) – umbrella networks of faith-inspired health providers – have become a solid presence in the collaborative environment of African health systems. Established through sometimes trial-and-error attempts to draw together disparate faith-based health providers who were disconnected from each other, and also unaligned with national health systems, CHAs have evolved into a particular kind of collaborative effort with a very specific role. CHAs now network faith-inspired health providers and facilities; advocate for a proper recognition of their work; negotiate with governments; build capacity among members; and in some cases now channel and report on substantive funds. In this paper we provide a brief recounting of the history of the CHAs and how they were established, as well as a basic typology of CHAs according to three (highly stylized) conceptual stages of their development. This is followed by a discussion of some of the challenges facing CHAs today, based on self-reports from the CHAs.

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