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Journal of International Women's Studies. 2007 Nov; 9(1):212-233.This essay analyzes the contributions of three Young Women's Christian Association leaders who chaired the nongovernmental organization forum planning committees during the UN Decade for Women (1975-1985). It assesses the effectiveness of their leadership and addresses questions of distribution and uses of power within women's international NGOs and in relationship to the global feminist community. (author's)
Health Policy and Development. 2004 Aug; 2(2):131-135.International agencies are beginning a rapid scaling up of antiretroviral distribution programs in Africa. Some are particularly looking for "faith-based organizations" (FBOs) as partners. The new initiatives may offer both unprecedented opportunities and some dangers for FBOs who wish to join in. The opportunities include increasing our capacity to provide not only HIV/AIDS care but other aspects of health care, and a potential for increased communication and cooperation between Christian organizations. The dangers include the likely widespread appearance of antiretroviral resistance; long term sustainability; negative impact on other aspects of HIV care and prevention; indirect costs to FBOs; corruption; encouragement of a culture of money and power, drawing FBOs away from their perceived missions; overextension; and harmful competition among FBOs. Organizations should be aware of the opportunities and dangers, and review their own calling and mission, before embarking on large-scale, externally-funded programs of ARV distribution. (author's)
Contact. 2006 Aug; (182):4-5.Saving lives is the paramount goal of all HIV programmes. Successful HIV prevention programmes utilize all approaches known to be effective, not implementing one or a few select actions in isolation. These include promoting sexual abstinence, fidelity among married couple and the use of condoms for those who are not in a position to abstain or be faithful. It also includes ensuring that injecting drug users have access to clean needles and syringes as well as programmes supporting them to stop drug use. The strategies also include assurance that HIV-positive pregnant women receive treatment to prevent HIV transmission to the child. These strategies (See insert) were endorsed by the UNAIDS board last year and provide the framework for re-energizing HIV prevention globally. (excerpt)
Contact. 2006 Aug; (182):2-3.A s early as 1986 the Executive committee of the World Council of Churches (WCC) stated: to confess that churches as institutions have been slow to speak and to act, - that many Christians have been quick to judge and condemn many of the people who have fallen prey to the disease; and that through their silence, many churches share responsibility for the fear that has swept our world more quickly than the virus itself "and called on the churches to respond appropriately to the need for pastoral care, education for prevention and social ministry" . In September 1996, a landmark, comprehensive statement, the Impact of HIV/AIDS and the Churches' Response, was adopted by the WCC Central Committee on the basis of the WCC Consultative Group on AIDS study process. The statement clearly states that: Churches can do much to promote, both in their own lives and in the wider society, a climate of sensitive, factual and open exploration of the ethical issues posed by the pandemic. ... in accordance with theiremphasis upon personal and communal responsibility the churches' can promote conditions -- personal, cultural, and socioeconomic -- which support persons in making responsible choices. This requires a degree of personal freedom which is not always available: for example, women, even within marriage, may not have the power to say "no" or to insist on the practice of such effective preventive measures such as abstinence, mutual fidelity and condom use. (excerpt)
The silent war against Africa: AIDS. Report of AACC Church Leaders' Consultation on the Approach to the HIV / AIDS Crisis, 23rd - 25th April 2001, Dakar - Senegal. Une guerre silensieuse contre l'Afrique: SIDA. Rapport de la Consultation des Chefs d'Eglises de la CETA sur l'Approche à la Crise de VIH / SIDA, 23-25 Avril, 2001, Dakar, Sénégal.
Dakar, Senegal, AACC, 2001.  p.The general goal of the AACC HIV/AIDS programme was to facilitate ways the churches in Africa especially the leadership can be better informed to enable them respond more positively to the HIV/AIDS pandemic. The specific objectives: By the end of the two Consultations it was hoped that participants should be able to: Create means/fora for sharing of accurate information on HIV/AIDS; Facilitate means/ways of sharing best practices; Identify the root causes of HIV/AIDS and suggest the ways of responding to the crisis more effectively; Develop ways/means to break the silence on HIV/AIDS; Commit themselves to practical ways of responding to the pandemic; Share the message of HIV/AIDS in Africa and among churches and partners outside of Africa. (excerpt)
CONTACT. 1998 Jun-Sep; (161-162):32-45.This document, the fourth chapter in a 1998 edition of the newsletter of the Christian Medical Commission (CMC), opens by reviewing the bright political beginnings of the decade of the 90s and noting the importance of the CMC's Pharmaceutical Program and breast-feeding program, both begun in the 1980s. The next section reviews the 1992 reorganization of the CMC and how it relates to the traditional tasks of churches and to the World Council of Churches. Next, the chapter considers the challenge posed by HIV/AIDS and how churches and the CMC have responded. This is followed by a review of efforts to build capacity and self-sufficiency in communities that led to a series of think-tank meetings on community-based health development. Next, the chapter focuses on an account of one of these think-tank meetings that took place in 1995 in Africa and resulted in formation of an Africa-wide, community-based health care network. The chapter then turns to a report of a study that indicates some of the reasons that some church hospitals thrive while others exist in a state of permanent crisis. The chapter ends by noting that this newsletter was evaluated in 1993 and how the newsletter will change in order to continue to do its job.
CONTACT. 1998 Jan-Sep; (161-162):19-31.This document, the third chapter in a 1998 edition of the newsletter of the Christian Medical Commission (CMC), opens by reviewing the high hopes the CMC held as the decade of the 80s opened and the dilemmas that soon appeared when the link between primary health care (PHC) and movements for justice placed PHC workers at risk in Latin America and when inequalities between rich and poor countries increased. The chapter continues with a look at clashing priorities as PHC was promoted at the expense of tertiary hospitals and research programs in developing countries. New insights were found when the Safe Motherhood Initiative pointed to the key role of the district hospital, physicians became alienated by the PHC movement, and it was realized that the most impoverished people would likely never be able to pay for their health care. The next section reviews the CMC program that created cooperative pharmaceutical services in developing countries through four phases starting in 1982. After noting that this program provided technical assistance and training and supported research and networking, the chapter considers the importance of promoting breast feeding and limiting the marketing efforts of producers of infant formulas. Next, the chapter discusses whether PHC programs can be self-sufficient; efforts to develop a Christian insight on health, healing, and wholeness; and inequalities in health. The chapter ends by noting that the disappointing 1980s ended with calls to incorporate a "new sense of realism" in expectations of achievement.
IN / FIRE ETHICS 1994; 3(3-4):8-9.Religion was a problem at the Conference on Population and Development. Many people consider religion to be anti-modern or reactionary. The conference document describes a global population policy that assumes underlying ethical values but does not articulate these values. The document does not recognize conflicts between values. Secular rationality is a culture shared by an elite, not the masses. Yet the document is intended for them. It cannot empower women, especially poor or non-elite women, to regulate their fertility, if it cannot connect with their religious cultures. The cultural conflict is not just between religious discourse and secular discourse but a deep conflict within religion itself. This conflict is seething in Catholicism and other major religions and manifested itself at the conference. The opposition at the conference hid internal schisms. Christianity has a deep conflict between norms sacralizing the dominant patriarchal social order as the will of God and the order of creation and the prophetic faith that protests against oppressive social patterns. Christianity has had continual surges of renewal that rekindle the prophetic protest tradition on behalf of the poor and the marginalized. The world is in the midst of such a wave in the forms of liberation and feminist theologies. Deep symbols of justice and protests against injustice are being applied for the first time to women. To affirm women as images of God, one must image God as woman. Women are called into the community of equals. The rediscovery of the meaning of symbols of redemption and applying them to the poor and women is shaking traditional Christianity to its roots. The Vatican's refusal of the conference document is a refusal to discuss the challenge of renewal within its own community. The conflict with the Vatican should be put in the context of a conflict between patriarchy and prophetic faith (women's liberation). The document will fail if it ignores or neutralizes religion.
JOURNALEN SYKEPLEIEN. 1993 Jun 8; 81(10):19.The author worked for almost two years in a remote little clinic in Chesta, West Kenya. It was common for a child to be brought to the clinic with high temperature and other symptoms and be treated for cerebral malaria, lung inflammation, or meningitis. These episodes occurred day and night, sometimes the children were saved and sometimes they died. The author arrived in Kenya on her fourth missionary assignment looking for work and acceptance as a registered nurse. Six weeks had to be spent at a polyclinic and 12 weeks at various children's wards with Kenyan hospitals. There was a lack of medicines and supplies and an enormous turnover of patients. The organization that she was associated with had problems in finding replacements in health work in West Kenya, where, in connection with the usual evangelical work, clinics had been in operation for 12 years. She was requested by NORAD to participate in the health care component of an integrated development program at the Chesta mission station in West Pokot. The work involved being on duty in the clinic as well as out in the field, driving around and even flying on the mission's helicopter to reach villages in the Cherangani Hills. There were mobile clinics at 6 sites in the mountains with 1 visit per month. At 2 of these sites there was an integrated development program comprising health, agriculture, school development, and evangelization. The World Health Organization's vaccination program was conducted at every site. The available services included a maternal-child health care clinic, family planning, teaching of local midwives, and treatment of the sick. The Christian principle of placing equal value on all people was the foundation of the work. This was especially important for women: to be considered not just as chattel of men but as work partners with their own identities and worth.
[Population growth, development work, and family planning (the church's experience in the third world)] Bevolkerungswachstum, Entwicklungsarbeit und Familienplanung (kirchliche Erfahrung in der Dritten Welt).
In: Probleme und Chancen demographischer Entwicklung in der dritten Welt, edited by Gunter Steinmann, Klaus F. Zimmermann, and Gerhard Heilig. New York, New York/Berlin, Germany, Federal Republic of, Springer-Verlag, 1988. 308-15.This paper approaches the problem of population growth, development and family planning from the point of view of Christian church activities in the 3rd World. It is an oversimplification of the situation to believe that development policy in a country can be guided only by population considerations. The challenge of population growth must be seen in the context of many barriers to development in the 3rd World which are closely associated with population trends. Thus, birth control measures will succeed only when they are part of a unified multi-sector development aid that is integrated into the life of the country taking into consideration cultural and ecological factors. The author traces the evolution of viewpoints among development specialists since the Bucharest conference of 1974 in which contraception was no longer accepted as the basic principle in development aid, unless it is integrated into a complete system of satisfying the basic needs of a population. The target group for this strategy is primarily the family, representing as it does the smallest unit of human society in village and urban communities. The author lists and discusses a number of general criteria for acceptability of methods of contraception. Development leaders trained in the western churches can accept methods of natural family planning (NFP) such as rhythm methods but in many societies local cultures unquestionably accept richness in children as a blessing. The use of NFP requires the acceptance of a new life style by both husband and wife.
BACKGROUND NOTES. 1989 Jul; 1-8.The eastern half of the island of New Guinea (85% of total area); the Bismarck, Trobriand, Louisiade, and D'Entrecasteaux Archipelagos; and Bougainville, Buka, and Woodlark islands constitute the predominantly mountainous country of Papua New Guinea. It is located 160 km northeast of Australia in the South Pacific Ocean. This tropical country has 2 monsoon seasons with average annual rainfall ranging from 200-250 cm. It has 1 of the most heterogenous populations in the world with as many as several 1000 separate communities. Only 650 languages have yet been identified with 160 of them totally unrelated to each other or to any other language. At different times in its history, the country (or parts thereof) has been under the control of Germany, Australia (its largest bilateral aid donor), Japan, and Britain. After independence in 1975, Papua New Guinea established a veritable and strong parliamentary democracy. This democracy has an excellent human rights record and has a clear respect for these rights. 75% of the population live predominately at subsistence level. Gross domestic product (GDP) increased about 2%/year during the 1980s with agriculture making up 35% of GDP (40% of exports) and mining (copper and gold) 15%. In 1989, exports included 40% of GDP. Other than mining, the industrial sector made up 9% of GDP with little contributing to exports. Food processing was the fastest growing segment of the industrial segment. 45% of agricultural production consisted of subsistence cultivation. Coffee and cocoa were the 2 leading cash crops. Financially, the country was sound in 1989 with exports and imports almost equal from 1986. The United States relationship with Papua New Guinea is friendly and the 2 countries have a good trade relationship.
[The Church, the Family and Responsible Parenthood in Latin America: a Meeting of experts] Iglesia, Familia y Paternidad Responsable en America Latina: Encuentro de Expertos.
Bogota, Colombia, CELAM, 1977. (Documento CELAM No. 32.)This document is the result of a meeting organized by the Department of the Laity of the Latin American Episcopal Council on the theme of the Church, Family, and Responsible Parenthood. 18 Latin American experts in various disciplines were selected on the basis of professional competence and the correctness of their philosophical and theological positions in the eyes of the Catholic Church to study the problem of responsible parenthood in Latin America and to recommend lines of action for a true family ministry in this area. The work consists of 2 major parts: 12 presentations concerning the sociodemographic, philosophical-theological, psychophysiological, and educational aspects of responsible parenthood, and conclusions based on the work and the meetings. The 4 articles on sociodemographic aspects discuss the demographic problem in Latin America, Latin America and the demographic question in the Conference of Bucharest, maturity of faith in Christ expressed in responsible parenthood, and social conditions of responsible parenthood in Peruvian squatter settlements. The 3 articles on philosophical and theological aspects concern conceptual foundations of neomalthusian theory, pastoral attitudes in relation to responsible parenthood, and pastoral action regarding responsible parenthood. 2 articles on psychophysiological aspects discuss the couple and methods of fertility regulation and the gynecologist as an advisor on psychosexual problems of reproduction. Educational aspects are discussed in 3 articles on sexual pathology and education, education for responsible parenthood, and the Misereor-Carvajal Program of Family Action in Cali, Colombia. The conclusions are the result of an interdisciplinary effort to synthesize the major points of discussion and agreements on principles and actions arrived at in each of the 4 areas.
International Review of Natural Family Planning. 1985 Spring; 9(1):1-11.This article proposes the establishment of an International Catholic Institute of Public Health and Medical Service to further the health care efforts of the Catholic Church throughout the world. The Church is presently one of the largest health care providers in the world (US $200 million annually in mission countries), with religious and laity working in over 2000 medical institutions. Yet the delivery of primary health care is hampered by the decline in the number of members of religious orders, and by the absorbtion of Church facilities into national health systems. The domination of health care systems by scientific humanism (professionalism, institutionalism, competition, and over-reliance on high technology and curative services) leaves out the ethical and spiritual dimension which the Church can bring to wholistic primary health care. The proposed International Catholic Institute would consist of health professionals of all kinds from different cultures and nationalities, along with theologians and ethicists. It would: 1) present the Church's health care objectives professionally to influence world public health opinion and policy; 2) train health care consultants to assist institutions and governments in assessing and meeting health needs; 3) act as a clearinghouse of information on health care; 4) promote research and technology consistent with Christian ideals of care and family planning; and 5) integrate health education topics within the Church's ministry. The proposed Institute would offer professional support to those concerned with Church health policy and to those working in the missions, enabling the Church to play a more effective role in international health development, promoting soultions consistent with Christian values.