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Côte d’Ivoire Conference develops health plan

Members of the United Methodist Cote d'Ivoire Annual Conference attend a workshop for strategic health planning in Abidjan. A UMNS photo by Isaac Broune.

By M. Isaac Broune*
Sept. 28, 2007 | ABIDJAN, Côte d'Ivoire (UMNS)


Dr. Cherian Thomas

The United Methodist Church in Côte d'Ivoire is developing a strategic plan in health ministries as part of a denomination-wide emphasis on global health.

The plan is focused on four priorities: the three diseases of poverty (malaria, tuberculosis and HIV/AIDS), strengthening the Methodist Hospital in Dabou, restarting a school of nursing, and establishing community-based, primary healthcare programs in Côte d'Ivoire.

"I see The United Methodist Church of Côte d'Ivoire as a pioneer in global health work," said Dr. Cherian Thomas, executive secretary for Health and Welfare Ministries at the United Methodist Board of Global Ministries. "The church is strong and vibrant. Through the commitment of the people I met, there is a sense that things will improve for the better."

Thomas was the keynote speaker at a Sept. 20-21 workshop held in Abidjan. He introduced the priorities of the new global health focus of The United Methodist Church and assisted the group in mapping the health assets of the Côte d'Ivoire Annual (regional) Conference.

Key representatives and medical personnel of the Côte d'Ivoire Annual Conference are involved in analyzing the strengths and weaknesses of the United Methodist health system in the West African country. They reviewed existing health programs and planned for future activities. They have given themselves a six-month deadline to prepare the details of the health plan.

"Having identified the various projects, we are going to develop an efficient strategic plan," said Elise Nomel Gnagne, president of the conference's board of church and society.

Attending the workshop were:

  • Esaie Yed Angoran, special adviser to Bishop Benjamin Boni and the executive secretary of the West Africa Central Conference;
  • The Rev. Mathias Agnero;
  • The Rev. Julien Yapi, director of the HIV/AIDS department;
  • The Rev. Jonas Ehouingnan, chaplain of the youth department;
  • Nomel Gnagne Elise, president of the board of church and society;
  • Beatrice Nandjui, Dr. Nicole Dacoury, Alfred Degny and Dr. Daniel Ahui from Methodist Hospital;
  • Dr. Emma Niamkey, director of the Bartimee ophthalmologic center;
  • Dr. Daniel Alloh, head of Methodist schools health centers;
  • Jeanne Samecken, social assistant;
  • Dr. Ginette Messet, a young adult representative;
  • M. Schadrak Besset, a lay movement representative; and
  • Isaac Broune, conference communicator.

Before the workshop, Thomas visited the Methodist Hospital in Dabou, where he met with Dr. Thérèse N'Dri-Yoman, Côte d'Ivoire director general of health for the Ministry of Public Health. She told Thomas that The United Methodist Church of Côte d'Ivoire could play an important role in the national health plan and urged it to help the country meet its goals during this time of post-war reconstruction.

Global Health is one of the four focus areas for the denomination that will be presented to the United Methodist General Conference in April 2008.

* Broune is conference communicator for the Côte d'Ivoire Annual Conference.

News media contact: Tim Tanton, Nashville, Tenn., (615) 742-5470 or newsdesk@umcom.org.

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