Panelists at the Abuja FCT Faith Leader Training hosted by the Nigerian Inter-Faith Action Association

CIFA, NIFAA hosts Tony Blair at Faith Leader Training

On February 20, 2010, CIFA Founder and Chairman Ed Scott and the Nigerian Inter-Faith Action Association (NIFAA) hosted former British Prime Minister Tony Blair, Founder and Patron of the Tony Blair Faith Foundation, in Abuja at NIFAA's first state training for 200 Nigerian religious leaders from the Federal Capital Territory. The training focused on the causes and prevention of malaria and the role of faith leaders in working with their congregants to deliver key malaria prevention messages about how to turn net ownership into net use.

The training session was led by NIFAA in partnership with the Nigerian National Malaria Control Programme, the Nigerian Federal Ministry of Health and CIFA. Speaking on the panel were CIFA Founder and Chairman Ed Scott, former British Prime Minister Tony Blair, former President of Nigeria Olusegun Obasanjo, the representative of the Sultan of Sokoto, Roman Catholic Archbishop of Abuja John Onaiyekan (NIFAA co-Chairs), Nigerian Minister of Health Babatunde Osotimehin, World Bank Country Director Onno Ruhl, and the Nigerian Malaria Control Programme (NMCP) Coordinator Dr. Folake Ayo.

NIFAA Co-Chairs Archbishop John Onaiyekan and Sultan of Sokoto Muhammad Sa'adu Abubakar

The Nigerian Inter-faith Action Association (NIFAA)

Nigeria accounts for a quarter of all malaria cases in Africa, making it central to the fight against malaria on the continent. At the suggestion of partners from the donor, public health, development and faith communities, the Center for Interfaith Action on Global Poverty (CIFA) selected Nigeria as its first target for scaled-up interfaith action against malaria. The Nigerian faith community has already been substantially involved in malaria control and prevention activities. However, until recently, there was no platform for collaboration between the faith and public sectors that could bring together the different players within the faith community into coordinated action and partnership with Nigeria's National Malaria Control Programme (NMCP).

To learn more about NIFAA, click here
NIFAA Executive Director Bishop Sunday Onuoha speaking at Faiths United for Health

NIFAA Launches the Faiths United for Health Campaign

DECEMBER 10, 2009: The Nigerian Inter-Faith Action Association (NIFAA) brought together faith leaders in the federal capital of Abuja. Presiding were the two top Muslim and Christian leaders in Nigeria - His Eminence the Sultan of Sokoto and His Grace, the Catholic Archbishop of Abuja. Faiths United for Health is a movement of faith leaders mobilizing their congregations and communities in teh fight against malaria.

Click here to view the Faiths United for Health press bookClick here to read the full storyClick here to view photos from the eventClick here to view the Faiths United for Health press release
CIFA's BCC Toolkit for Faiths United for Health

Faith-Based BCC Tools on Malaria

Through the Nigerian Inter-Faith Action Association (NIFAA) and its nationwide network of faith leaders, CIFA's Faiths United for Health campaign works to prevent and control malaria by encouraging Nigerians to sleep under insecticide-treated bed nets, clean up their communities, recognize symptoms of malaria and seek treatment at health facilities.

CIFA uses a variety of "behavior change communication" (BCC) tools which aim to foster and sustain positive changes in individuals' daily actions. Although many excellent malaria-focused BCC tools exist, few approach malaria prevention from a faith-based perspective, drawing upon faith leaders' unique levels of trust, reach and influence in their communities. CIFA is creating tools to fill this gap.

Click here to view the Faiths United for Health BCC Toolkit
PIRCOM members with their IEC Poster

Together Against Malaria

CIFA and its partners are leading one of the most successful interfaith campaigns against malaria in the world. View this video and learn more about the Together Against Malaria campaign in Mozambique.

Click here for more information on TAMClick here to view video

Issue Focus: Malaria

The interfaith community is an active partner in anti-malaria campaigns around the world, maintaining a vast network of hospitals and health centers and providing the backbone of health systems in many countries.

The ambitious goals of the global community to eliminate malaria cannot be met without the active and vigorous engagement of the faith sector in mobilizing communities and reaching vulnerable populations. Several of the largest faith-inspired development organizations and faith communities are actively engaged in malaria programs, Lutheran World Relief (LWR), United Methodist Global Ministries, Catholic Relief Services (CRS), the Adventist Development and Relief Agency (ADRA), Episcopal Relief and Development (ERD), Tearfund, and World Vision among them. In April 2008, the United Nations announced a $200 million fundraising campaign to combat malaria in partnership with Lutheran World Relief, the United Methodist Committee on Relief (UMCOR), and the Union for Reform Judaism. This past September, the Organization of the Islamic Conference recently committed an additional $200 million towards the fight against malaria.

Countless other faith-inspired organizations deal with malaria in their communities every day. However, despite pockets of success, the faith community's capacity to mobilize its extensive infrastructure remains greatly underutilized and underfunded. CIFA is working to:

  • Explore options for increased collaboration and innovative mobilization of resources through its Leadership Consultation on Scaling up Faith Community Impact with 50 high level leaders in faith, development, and malaria.
  • Build on the work already done by other organizations to better document and share information about what the faith sector already contributes to HIV/AIDS prevention and treatment.
  • Organize collaboration, both interfaith and inter-sector, that advocates for the faith community as a partner for national strategies to fight malaria
  • Increase the capacity of the faith sector to address malaria.

Malaria Resources: