I received medical training from the University of Malawi and post-doctoral training in medical and public health microbiology from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, USA. Besides clinical work, I have taught in the University of Malawi medical school, worked in the national HIV programme, and served as head of the Christian Health Association of Malawi. Working with WCC since 2016, I am liaison with WHO, and also serve on boards of several ecumenical health organisations.
Mwai Makoka, “Health-Promoting Churches: a model for effective and sustainable health promotion ministries”
“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.” (WCC, 1990).
The WCC has affirmed that the healing ministry of the church belongs to the whole congregation, and that it must be integral to the life and witness of the church. However, this is not fully realised.
From 2017 to 2020 the WCC Health and Healing Programme has studied church health ministries in several regions, held consultations and workshops, and has now developed a model called Health-Promoting Churches (HPC). The model aims to accompany churches to establish and run effective and sustainable health promotion ministries. The model has four key interventions, namely: health education, practical action, advocacy, and public witness.
The hub of HPC is the church health committee, which should comprise a diversity of the congregation and is tasked with championing, planning and leading congregation-based health promotion activities, and tracks progress of the ministry.
Tools for baseline assessment, planning, monitoring and evaluation are provided, with step-by-step guide from initiation to full implementation.
The church minister who is keen to start an effective and sustainable health promotion ministry is no longer at a loss of where to start and what to do. The WCC HPC model is here to accompany them!