Thursday, October 25, 2018

The Church Role in Empowering Communities

Faith-based organizations (FBOs) can help empower the community to actively participate in improving the health condition of the society. The Comprehensive Rural Health project in Jamkhed, India is an example of how FBOs and churches can influence the health of a community (Chand & Patterson, 2007). Educating the people and influencing their behavior to choose what is healthy and beneficial to the community are strong contributions of churches and FBOs. One such field in public health is the increasing cases of maternal death around the world where the church can positively contribute to its reduction. This has been the contribution of the FBOs in India where the communities where empowered to choose facility-based deliveries with skilled birth attendants to reduce maternal death (Chand & Patterson, 2007).

It is important to measure the contribution of FBOs and any other agencies in empowering the community. Community empowerment can be measured using the five domains of empowerment including confident, inclusive, organized, cooperative, and influential (Community Development Exchange, 2008). We measure empowerment because it is important to assess if there is real community empowerment that happens in the community after health promotion programs. Real community empowerment needs a shift of power to the people where they are the ones who are able to identify the problem, sort through it, and find solutions to the problem (Lord & Hutchinson, 1993). An example of a strong involvement of the people is the community-based participatory research. This type of involvement allows learning, research finding and dissemination of results through the help of all actors in the community (Thompson, Viswanath, Molina, Warnecke, & Prelip, 2016). We see such kind of participatory research in Gbanko. In this area, community participation in health has dramatically reduced their maternal mortality rate (Gala, Umar, & Dandeebo, 2015).  FBOs are also catalyst of real community empowerment which is important in sustaining the change that takes place in the community. Evidences have shown us that deep community involvement is crucial as it provides the necessary resources to keep the program sustainable over time (Nation Online, 2013).


Community Development Exchange. (2008, April). What is Community Empowerment? (CDX, Ed.) Retrieved Octobe 18, 2018, from
Lord, J., & Hutchinson, P. (1993, Spring). The Process of Empowerment: Implications for Theory and Practice. (C. J. Health, Ed.) Retrieved October 18, 2018, from Canadian Journal of Community Mental Health:
Mbuagbaw, L., & Shurik, E. (2011, October 26). Community Particiaption in HIV and AIDS Program. (D. E. Barros, Ed.) Retrieved October 18, 2018, from
Thompson, B., Viswanath, K., Molina, Y., Warnecke, R., & Prelip, M. (2016, August 1). Strategies to Empower Communities to Reduce Health Disparities. doi:

Friday, October 5, 2018

Universal Health Care

This month is crucial in a paradigm shift on the health care system of the Philippines. We dream to have healthy communities free from preventable diseases. We dream of having an accessible and affordable health care readily available for ALL. We dream of a Universal Health Care anchored on a strong Primary Health Care.