2009 Annual Medical Mission Institute Summer Event
Posted in General by Cavin Otieno on June 29th, 2009
The German Technical Cooperation Health Sector Programme GTZ HSP), Kenya, Participated in the 2009 Annual Medical Mission Institute Summer event that was held in Wuerzburg, Germany. GTZ HSP made a presentation on ‘Experiences in Policy Dialogue between Government and Church Health Services in Kenya. The event was graced by the presence of His Eminence Polycarp Cardinal Pengo from Dar es Salaam, Tanzania.
The theme of the event was â€œOpportunities and Challenges for the Christian Health Care in the 21st centuryâ€. This theme is informed by the increasing challenges faced by the Christian health care services especially in Africa due to the worsening burden of illness and dwindling flow of resources from the West.
The event was attended by more than one hundred members of the Medical Mission Institute (the majority of them are medical mission doctors). The invitation of Dr. Gisela Schneider, the director, German Institute for Medical Mission, from Tuebingen as the key speaker of the day was a significant indicator of the increasing collaboration between the protestants and Catholics in Germany. This gesture from the Medical Mission Institute could act as a lesson for the Kenyan context where the collaboration between the Catholics and the Protestants in health service delivery could benefit from a closer collaboration and mutual trust between the two agents.
GTZ has provided technical and financial support to strengthen the dialogue between the Kenyan government and the Faith Based Health Services since 2006. The objective of these efforts is to expand access to quality health services to the poor in Kenya. In the last two decades, the Faith Based Health Services have been strategically positioned in remote, hard to reach geographical locations in Kenya and complement public service delivery by up to 40%. A situational analysis, supported by GTZ in 2006, reveled that, in addition to other sector related challenges, the faith based health services, have experienced dwindling financial resources flows from international sources while government’s support had ceased and in-kind support was insignificant. Consequently, the user fees charged to clients has increased constantly overtime at all levels of service delivery, effectively creating a barrier to access for the poor.
GTZ supported a study tour of five African countries in 2007; Ghana, Uganda, Tanzania, Malawi and Zambia to expose high level policy makers in government and in Faith Based Health Services network to models of collaboration in the region. The outcome of the tour was the establishment of a formal process by the government to delineate a policy framework for the collaboration between the government and the church
The presentation by Cavin Otieno, the FBO/CSO coordinator at the GTZ Kenya Health Programme highlighted the potential of such dialogue and collaboration in improving the utilisation of Faith Based Health services by the poor and helping to address some key institutional challenges such as human resources and supplies.
The presentation was received well, especially against the background that Church authorities have become less skeptical of collaboration with governmentÂ and are increasingly advocating for increased access to Public resources by faith based health services to keep the commitment of delivering health services to the poor achievable.
Follow the link to download presentation by Cavin Otieno, GTZ HSP, flyer and an article regarding the forum (last two documents are in German)
MMI Presentation 27.06.2009.ppt