Christian Health Association of Kenya (CHAK) was established in the 1930s as a Hospitals’ Committee of the National Christian Council of Kenya (NCCK). In 1946, the Committee was changed to the Protestant Churches Medical Association (PCMA) which acquired autonomous legal registration. Its mandate was limited to the distribution of Government grants to protestant churches’ health facilities in Kenya. In 1982, the Association changed its name to the Christian Health Association of Kenya (CHAK) with the broader mandate of facilitating the role of the Church in health care and healing. CHAK has thus transformed its mandate to a technical support organization for member Church health facilities with core mandate in advocacy, lobbying, representation, health systems strengthening, programmes development, resource mobilization and capacity building.
CHAK organizational development and programmes are guided by six-yearly strategic plans. The MHUs, EXCO and Secretariat staff participate in the development of CHAK strategic plans and in policy making through the AGM and representation in EXCO. Operationally, CHAK Secretariat plays a facilitative role by providing technical support, capacity building, coordination, advocacy and networking for its members. The MHUs’ core function remains health service delivery.
CHAK’s has attained steady organizational development by embracing a culture of continuous learning and partnerships. CHAK utilizes lessons pointed out by evaluation reports to strengthen systems. Each strategic plan undergoes a mid-term external review and an end term external evaluation which generate valuable recommendations on organizational development. In addition, CHAK engages in partnerships with various national, regional and international organizations which provide experiences and technical support in organizational development and health systems strengthening.
During the period of the CHAK Strategic Plan 2005 – 2010, CHAK facilitated study tours to five African countries for a combined team from MOH, NGOs and FBOs in Kenya which picked important lessons on public-private partnership. These were utilized in the development of an MoU between Government and Faith Based Health Services Providers which was approved in 2009. In 2007, CHAK was mandated to establish the Secretariat for the Africa Christian Health Associations Platform (ACHAP), which was eventually legally registered in Kenya in May 2012. The ACHAP facilitates communication, networking and sharing of lessons and experiences among CHAs in Africa and also provides an avenue for joint advocacy. CHAK hosts the platform secretariat and has evolved to become a leader among Africa Christian Health Associations, a role which has opened up key opportunities for international advocacy.
CHAK has developed notable competences in advocacy, health systems strengthening which include medical equipment maintenance services, architectural services for infrastructure design and development, HMIS software, governance and management policies, capacity building, communication and networking. In addition, CHAK has attained good capacity in project proposal development and grants management. During the last strategic plan, CHAK received project funds from CDC/PEPFAR, Bread for the World/EED, GDC, Global Fund, USAID, Gates Foundation and Packard Foundation among other donors.
CHAK Secretariat is housed at the its own Office block located on Musa Gitua Road, off Waiyaki Way, in Nairobi. The premises also include the CHAK Guest House & Conference Centre (www.chakguesthouse.org). These provide infrastructure for the Secretariat, conference facilities for meetings and income generation opportunities.