UMCOR / News Room / News & Features / Archives 2007 / 0925 - New Strategic Plan

Cote D'Ivoire Annual Conference Develops a New Strategic Plan for Health

by M. Isaac Broune

Abidjan, Côte d'Ivoire, Sept. 21, 2007 -The Côte d'Ivoire Annual Conference of The United Methodist Church is developing a new 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-health-care programs in the 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 of the General 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."

Dr. Thomas was the keynote speaker at a two-day workshop held at Abidjan from September 20-21, 2007. 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 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 Côte d'Ivoire, reviewed existing health programs, and made plans 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" promised Elise Nomel Gnagne, president of the conference's Board of Church and Society.

Attending the workshop were:

Before the workshop, Dr. Cherian Thomas visited the Methodist Hospital in Dabou. He met with Dr. Thérèse N'Dri-Yoman, Côte d'Ivoire director general of health of the Ministry of Public Health. She told Dr. Thomas that The United Methodist Church of Côte d'Ivoire could play an important role in the national health plan and urged it to assist Côte d'Ivoire in meeting 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.

* Mr. Broune is Conference Communicator for the Côte d'Ivoire Annual Conference.