Hiv and the Church

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A purpose‐driven response: Building united action on HIV/AIDS for the church in Mozambique Geoff Foster (Family AIDS Caring Trust, Mutare, Zimbabwe) and Carina Winberg, Earnest Maswera, Cynthia Mwase‐Kasanda (all from Tearfund, Mozambique) This is a summary of a presentation made at the ARHAP Conference ‘When Religion and Health Align: Mobilizing Religious Health Assets for Transformation’ 13 ‐ 16 July 2009 in Cape Town. The full paper with the same title is forthcoming in 2010. Background Churches represent potentially powerful allies in Mozambique’s HIV/AIDS strategy. Government and international partners increasingly recognize that faith leaders and institutions are key actors. Faith‐ based organisations (FBOs) reach the poorest who fail to access formal health infrastructure. Over one half of the population are affiliated to churches, many providing care and prevention and shaping popular attitudes. Capacity is limited. Few churches receive external support or participate in local networks. Lack of coordination, collaboration and harmonization characterise church and FBO interventions. Mozambique’s size combined with its lack of transport and communication infrastructure is an impediment to effective networking. Networks could assist churches in HIV service provision and help them to develop and strengthen their activities. Networks can increase advocacy by FBOs and the profile of the faith sector at provincial and national levels. The study was conducted to facilitate national network development of FBOs involved in HIV activities. Methods Data was collected in March 2009. Tools included questionnaires for churches leaders (41 people), intermediaries (20) and policy organisations (5) and discussion guide (6 groups). Most questionnaires were completed during discussion…...

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