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MA World Health (IMA) and CEO Rick Santos are participating in and co-sponsoring the “Religion & Sustainable Development: Building Partnerships to End Extreme Poverty” conference and the launch of The Lancet Series on Faith-based Health Care at the World Bank Group Headquarters in Washington, D.C.Screen Shot 2015-07-07 at 12.31.44 PM

The Opening Session and the launch of The Lancet Series will be 4–6 p.m. July 7 at Preston Hall of the World Bank Group Headquarters, 1818 H St. NW, Washington, D.C. This program will include presentations followed by interactive discussion and is aimed at people who work in health, religion, or international development.

The Lancet is publishing a series of papers that examines the important role faith-based organizations can play in improving health outcomes. The Lancet Series, supported by Capital for Good, combines evidence, insights, and experiences of authors from several countries and denominations, academic institutions, and non-governmental organizations.

Faith-based organizations are crucial in achieving the promise of universal health coverage — an adequate standard of health care for all people — especially for poor and marginalized groups, according to The Series. Building on the extensive experience, strengths, and capacities of faith-based organizations offers a unique opportunity to improve health outcomes, The Series states.

“Not every community has health services, but most have some type of faith-based group. Religious groups are major players in the delivery of health care, particularly in hard-to-reach and rural areas that are not adequately served by government. Yet, the general medical community knows very little about them.”

— Professor Edward Mills from Global Evaluative Sciences in Vancouver, Canada, who one of the authors of The Lancet Series.

The three key papers focus on the magnitude of faith-based health care in Africa, controversies associated with such care, and recommended steps to forge stronger partnerships between public sector and faith groups for improved health outcomes. Faith-based organizations deliver a substantial volume of health care and their common visions of stewardship, inclusiveness, and justice make many such organizations ideal partners for delivering the sustainable development goals.

IMA recognizes the significant role that faith-based organizations play in the health sector of developing countries, often bridging service delivery in partnership with government health structures and influencing positive behaviors within communities. Learn more about our work here.

The conference is co-hosted by the World Bank Group, German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development implemented by Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ), United States Agency for International Development, United Kingdom Department for International Development, and the GHR Foundation, in partnership with the Joint Learning Initiative on Faith & Local Communities and others.

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The Lancet Series was published online July 7. Read it here.