Last month, Gradian sponsored and attended the biennial Africa Christian Health Association Platform (ACHAP) conference in Maseru, Lesotho. Convening faith-based member organizations from 28 African countries, ACHAP enables knowledge sharing, partnership opportunities and advocacy among Christian Health Associations and Networks, which provide up to half of all health services across sub-Saharan Africa. Over the years, Gradian has worked closely with ACHAP members in several countries on distribution, training, service and advocacy initiatives, and ACHAP remains one of our most effective partners.

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As part of the conference, Gradian – together with the G4 Alliance and the Churches Health Association of Zambia (CHAZ) – hosted a workshop on the importance of surgery and anesthesia in achieving the Sustainable Development Goals, and the role of faith-based organizations in that effort. The event featured attendees from 13 countries and a diverse set of expert speakers:

  • Karen Sichinga, Executive Director of CHAZ
  • Professor Pankaj Jani, President-Elect of the College of Surgeons for East, Central and Southern Africa (COSECSA)
  • Dr. Augustine Hellar, Safe Surgery 2020 lead from Jhpiego Tanzania
  • Dr. Mwemezi Kaino, Head of Anesthesia and Intensive Care at Kilimanjaro Christian Medical Centre (KCMC)

We explored the shared challenges of providing safe surgical and anesthesia care in low-resource settings, covering specific barriers from global policy to national programming to facility- and provider-level operations. The workshop sparked a fascinating discussion that reinforced the value of engaging the often-overlooked faith-based sector in safeguarding this crucial health service. We look forward to continuing to engage these organizations as we work to expand access to safe surgical care throughout the continent.

Additionally, Gradian’s Vice President of Market Strategy, Lina Sayed, joined leaders from Joint Medical Store (Uganda), the Christian Health Association of Nigeria and the Christian Social Services Commission (Tanzania) on a panel to highlight challenges and solutions for distributing and assuring the quality of medical supplies and equipment across Africa. We congratulate ACHAP on another successful conference that continues to be a resource for partner organizations to improve the availability and quality of health services in their network.

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