Local, national, and international faith-based organizations and health care COVID-19 response
Christian Connections for International Health (CCIH) and the Joint Learning Initiative on Faith and Local Communities (JLI) wanted to learn how faith-based organizations and health care providers in international development have used their specific skill sets, partnerships, and assets to counter the spread of COVID-19. Previous research shows that these actors are highly influential and trusted in communities where faith is important and engagement with religious leaders and faith communities has been game-changing in previous epidemic responses, such as Ebola in West Africa in 2014-2015. Not only are faith-based health care providers responsible for a substantial percentage of all health care in many countries (depending on context) around the world, faith-based organizations at local, national, and international levels find ways to reach out to communities to help prevent the spread of the virus.
CCIH and JLI circulated a survey through their networks to identify current activities and unmet needs for support among faith-based health providers and organizations during the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak.
- Community-based education, prevention, and public health promotion are the foremost ways in which faith-based organizations are currently responding to the COVID-19 crisis.
- These organizations need increased access to personal protective equipment (PPE) but are also interested in more support around preparedness for outbreaks and surge capacity, as well as their ability to help counter stigma and discrimination.
- Funding is a clear challenge, both for routine programs and covering emergency COVID-19 response.
- Local religious leaders and faith communities remain highly involved in FBO programs, including spreading public health messages through radio, televised prayer, PA systems, phone calls, SMS, and WhatsApp.