Nurse Vilma Zacarias cares for a newborn baby at the United Methodist Chicuque Rural Hospital near Maxixe, Mozambique. (Photo: Mike DuBose, UM News)

CHARLOTTE, NORTH CAROLINA – Promoting health and wholeness has always been an important part of the Methodist tradition, from John Wesley’s Primitive Physick through the long history of medical missionaries to the current work of United Methodist health boards and many other partners supported by Global Ministries through the Abundant Health for All Initiative. Global Health is one of four missional priorities for Global Ministries and has long been an integral part of its mission and ministry, a main means for alleviating human suffering.

The Abundant Health for All Initiative grew out of the church’s successful 8-year Imagine No Malaria campaign, which began in 2008 and whose last funds will be disbursed this year. In 2016, the General Conference voted to expand its global health reach from addressing a single disease, as devastating as it still is, to promoting Abundant Health for All. It set a goal to provide life-saving interventions to 1 million children over the following four years.

With your help, Global Ministries reached that goal in 2020.

Global Ministries’ Global Health work didn’t stop when it hit the goal because sickness and disease have not stopped. Health challenges, especially those that disproportionately impact women and children, and are exacerbated by poverty, insecurity and climate change, continue to impact the world.

Global Ministries was privileged to receive funds to support partners globally in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. During and after the pandemic, the Global Health unit and its partners, mainly in sub-Saharan Africa, have continued working on closely aligned or integrated programming: Health Systems Strengthening to support United Methodist health facility networks; Maternal and Newborn Child Health services, including HIV and AIDS; Water, Sanitation and Hygiene services, both at health facilities and in communities; and Imagine No Malaria, which has promoted malaria awareness, prevention, diagnosis and treatment in areas drastically affected by this infection.

Global Ministries is humbled and overjoyed to report that over the last five years, the lives of over 5 million women, youth and children have been impacted!

And it does not end here. The work continues through the care and commitment of partners.

In the video below, hear from one of Global Ministries’ partners: Ms. Joyce Madanga, Maternal Newborn and Child Health Coordinator in Nigeria.

Global Health is not just another church program. It is the whole church, as individuals and communities, together, seeking to live the abundant life God offers in Christ Jesus. The support of faithful United Methodists has allowed Global Ministries to share holistic health around the world on behalf of the church.

You can continue to be part of this great movement by seeing holistic health as your own mission to the community, by incorporating healthy living in your congregations and annual conferences, by supporting the denomination’s Global Health work, and by praying that all may know God’s healing grace.

Learn more about the UMC’s commitment to Global Health.