, 01 October, 2019 / 1:37 AM
The just concluded conference that saw African scholars present research papers around the theme “Christianity, holistic health and healing in Africa” at a time when health matters seem to preoccupy people on the continent more than before has been described as “timely”.
“When we look at the health challenges we are facing as a nation, issues like poverty that constraints people's ability to access health services and also challenges from our Counties in terms of capacity, in terms of equipment, this session was important,” Florence Nassiwa who was among the organizers of the annual writers’ conference of the Catholic University of Eastern Africa (CUEA) told ACI Africa on the sidelines of the conference.
“Looking at the theme it is timely because health is an issue of concern to everyone,” Ugandan-born Nassiwa emphasized.
“Such forums where people are told how they can go about their health issues especially counseling even in the traditional way of seeking healing were all timely,” she added, recalling the various presenters who reflected on mental challenges that have affected populations and especially the role of counselors in society.
Dubbed “international writers’ conference,” the an annual event brings together scholars at CUEA’s Gaba campus in Kenya’s fifth largest city of Eldoret to present research papers that are later reviewed for publication in the African Ecclesial Review (AFER).
The convener of the conference, Fr. Dr. Jordan Nyenyembe, told ACI Africa that the theme of the 2019 sessions was chosen because of the urgent need to raise awareness on health and healing in Africa.
“We felt the need to come up with a theme that will awaken the understanding that we need commitment to health both spiritually and professionally,” said Fr Nyenyembe who is also the editor in chief and coordinator of AMACEA’s Gaba Publication-CUEA Press.
“This conference has opened a mindset that we need to do both care and cure,” he noted and added “the Church needs a friendlier face to tackle issues relating to health and healing.”
The assistant editor of Gaba publications, Japheth Langat, explained the theme is relevant “because now Africa is afflicted by many problems of health and cancer is especially becoming more problematic in Kenya.
“We need an African approach to solving African problems and also health problems,” Mr. Langat said, recalling the various reflections during the three-day conference that concluded on Friday, September 27.
ACI Africa was officially inaugurated on August 17, 2019 as a continental Catholic news agency at the service of the Church in Africa. Headquartered in Kenya’s capital, Nairobi, this media apostolate will strive to facilitate the telling of Africa’s story by providing media coverage of Catholic events on the African continent, giving visibility to the activities of the Church across Africa where statistics show significant growth in numbers and the continent gradually becoming the axis of Catholicism. This is expected to contribute to an awareness of and appreciation for the significant role of the Church in Africa and over time, the realization of a realistic image of Africa that often receives negative media framing.
Father Don Bosco Onyalla
Editor-in-Chief, ACI Africa