Faith and Health: Past and Present of Relations Between Faith Communities and the World Health Organization
Relationships between faith communities and international multi-lateral organizations can be complicated. While there is potential for synergy between the two, different values often characterize the approach of each. The history of these relationships is illustrative. This review describes collaboration between the World Health Organization (WHO) and faith-based organizations (FBOs) in the implementation of primary health care, the role of spirituality in health, community responses to the HIV pandemic, and definitions of Quality of Life containing spiritual dimensions. However, important gaps persist in the appreciation and measurement of the contribution of faith communities to health assets on the part of governments and the WHO. FBOs can still draw from the nine points developed in the 1960s as a time-tested viable agenda for current and future operations.
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