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Co-mingling Faith and Health:

Alarmed by the health statistics of Nigerians, Christian and Muslim faith leaders are advocating for improved and accessible health services for all and contributing to the actualization of universal health coverage. Leveraging on faith leaders influence and networks remains a veritable approach to mobilize and engage community or congregational members in a sustainable way. Faith influence has also been recognized as a key element in the community health and social justice response. Therefore, Christian Aid is continuing to work closely and in partnership with NiNERELA+ and its network of faith leaders to use their influence to address critical issues that affect the poor and marginalized. The drive towards achieving Universal Health Coverage (UHC) is essential to improve access to quality health services. Being a strong influence even on the health choices of their followers, faith leaders in Benue State and the FCT are being equipped to play an active role in ensuring better health outcomes for citizens. Through a 2-day technical meeting held with selected leaders in the FCT, advocacy priorities and plan for faith leaders on universal health coverage was developed. It also provided the opportunity to sensitize 22 religious leaders on UHC and the opportunities faith communities can take advantage of in supporting indigent members. The media advocacy campaigns focused on pushing for the actualization of UHC and community health insurance financing by faith leaders lends effort to reach beyond their immediate congregation. Using radio, it faith leaders explore how faith congregations can support attainment of UHC. Christian Aid is working in partnership with NINERELA to ensure that the influence of faith is harnessed to achieve improved and quality health for all.

Week 3: Lent reflections – Sunday 4 March

In this third week of Lent we journey with those who have had to flee from violence in Nigeria.

HIV Related Stigma and Shame in Nigerian Faith Communities

There have been suggestions and clear indications that religion, with its potentials to influence behaviours, provides opportunity that can be leveraged on to achieve HIV prevention goal by involving religious leaders at the local level. There is also evidence suggesting that religious engagement presents important potential for improving physical and psychological health and well-being of people living with HIV as religious beliefs are seen to reduce depression, increase optimism and strength in dealing with a difficult life transition like HIV infection.     Faith leaders have the advantages of robust followership, an existing platform to reach people and access to resources beyond the immediate community. Religious leaders enjoy the respect as opinion leaders in their faith congregations and communities and have the opportunity to use the pulpit to challenge destructive prejudices that reinforce stigma, and at the same time convey important information to the population to improve uptake of HIV services as people tend to listen to what their faith leaders say. However, there have been concerns of high perceptions of stigma emanating from religious communities connected with the religious narratives that associate HIV infection to “sinful” sexual behaviour. This report presents findings from an assessment on the nature and predictors in Abuja, Anambra and Benue States on HIV related stigma, discrimination and shame in Nigerian Faith Communities and how Faith leader play an important role in reducing the stigma.

Rohingya Crisis Appeal church poster

Downloadable Rohingya Crisis Appeal poster to print out and display in your church.

Faith and deeds

A service to commemorate the 500th anniversary of the Protestant Reformation based on the Catholic Reformation.