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Wednesday, December 20, 2017

Why the US Should Strategically Invest in Foreign Aid and Engage with Faith-based Organizations

W.H.O.: faith-based organizations provide
up to 70% of healthcare in Africa.

Faith-based organizations (FBO's)

·        The World Health Organization released a report revealing that between 30% and 70% of the health infrastructure in Africa is currently owned by faith-based organizations.[1]
·        The Gallup World Poll asked sub-Saharan Africans in 19 countries about their confidence in eight social and political institutions. Overall across the continent, they were most likely to say they were confident in the religious organizations (76%) in their countries. [2] 
(FBO's) typically are:
1.      Efficient - know how to operate on limited budgets and tap vast resources of volunteers.
2.      Accountable - answerable to governing boards and donors who expect a high yield on their donations.
3.      Transparent - overseen by charitable organization watchdogs and use well-established networks in local communities to reach the people most in need.
4.      Sustainable - typically long-established in communities and dedicated to remaining to serve communities long after grant projects are completed.

Gallup: Africans most likely to say they were
confident in the religious organizations (76%)
in their countries

5.      Apolitical - motivated by faith tenets, not by political ideology.

U.S. Funding Goals:

Our government should carefully target foreign aid to reflect the values of the American people, who expect aid to be:
1.      Efficient: Programs meet quantifiable goals and demonstrate a high return on investment.
2.      Accountable: Programs produce measurable results.
3.      Transparent: Open accounting proves that U.S. funds actually reach the needy.
4.      Sustainable: Programs will continue yielding benefits long after U.S. funds are expended.
5.      Apolitical: Aid reflects universal values of compassion and not partisan ideology.
Besides meeting these criteria, aid can also serve pragmatic American interests by prioritizing aid that will keep Americans safe. Death and disease lead to economic instability, making a country vulnerable to radical political movements. For example, when mothers in Africa die from AIDS, their sons become the recruiting targets of terrorist groups. Foreign aid can help prevent country disintegration that ultimately threatens American security.
Additional worthy goals can include aiding countries that: advance democracy by practicing or moving toward American values and strengthen alliances with countries that provide economic, energy, military and political advantages to the United States.

[1] "Faith-based organizations play a major role in HIV/AIDS care and treatment in sub-Saharan Africa," February 8, 2007:
[2] Gallup Poll, "Africans' Confidence in Institutions -- Which Country Stands Out?" January 18, 2007:

Monday, December 4, 2017

Essay 3: Medical ethics: Bedrock oaths versus zeitgeist barometers

Editor's Note: This is the third essay in a series on conscience in healthcare, by Freedom2Care Director Jonathan Imbody. For the other essays, click "ConscienceEssay" on Topics at left. 
On the heels of World War II, with medical ethics in the spotlight following unconscionable Nazi atrocities, the World Medical Association (WMA) decided that the Hippocratic oath, which had guided medicine since around 500 BC, needed to be replaced. So the Association developed a new oath that contained some of the principles of the ancient oath but opened the door to continual modernizing.