What lessons can be learned from this crisis for the goal of Universal Health Coverage (UHC)?
Faith communities and institutions play vital roles in health care and access, and their roles in serving the most vulnerable populations have special importance. Past experiences highlight central roles especially in responding to epidemics, including HIV, malaria, Ebola virus disease, Zika, and others. Meaningful lessons, however, are neglected. In too many situations; faith inspired responses are not integrated in national or even more local systems, so remain poorly known and understood. Elsewhere the picture can be more complicated, with mis- and disinformation, mistrust in certain contexts of anything that has to do with religion, and an unwillingness to look in depth at complex, community-based interventions. Professional, thoughtful, evidence-based, and creative efforts are needed to paint a clear picture of the lessons, good and bad, that faith inspired interventions can offer for the urgent goals of Universal Health Coverage. Significant numbers of professional, well established, organisations around the world have visions and understandings of community priorities and vulnerabilities. With insight and effort they are an important gift not only to pandemic response, but also to wide-ranging efforts to provide development and health care.
FIOs will frame the central questions faced by communities, from local to global, as they look ahead from the current crisis.