This year, IMA World Health celebrated our 20th anniversary in Tanzania, one of the countries where IMA is on the frontlines working to provide health, healing, and well-being for all. While reflecting on the significance of this milestone, the keywords that come to mind are “investment” and “partnership.”
There are many things that make IMA great, but one of the biggest is our unique way of digging in and committing to the vision for the long haul. This means developing relationships with and working alongside local governments and partners; it means pouring resources into local staff to further develop their skills and leadership; and it means, sometimes, foregoing smaller, more immediate successes in favor of larger, long-term ones.
This level of investment—and the deep relationships it produces—allows us to make an impact in ways some other organizations simply cannot.
Our commitment to partnership led us to Nairobi, Kenya, in February for the Africa Christian Health Associations Platform (ACHAP) 7th biennial conference, where we were among 63 health-related organizations, including churches, donors, and faith-based organizations (FBOs). IMA is a key partner of ACHAP, an advocacy and networking platform improving knowledge sharing and joint learning among Christian Health Associations (CHAs) and Church Health Networks in Sub-Saharan Africa. The event energized all attendees to advance our shared vision of health and healing for all in Africa. IMA’s participation in the ACHAP conference was truly a highlight for our work this past year.
Though there is still much work to do, the tides of health care have changed immensely since we started working in Tanzania 20 years ago. IMA has also invested 15 years in the Democratic Republic of Congo, and the result of our work to develop and strengthen the nation’s health system has been nothing short of revolutionary.