Health and Healing

The WCC’s health and healing programme facilitates networking and dialogue to promote health and healing for all people, to meet continuing and new health challenges worldwide.


The WCC’s Health and Healing programme facilitates networking and dialogue to promote health and healing for all people, and it leads implementation of the WCC’s ecumenical global health strategy to meet continuing and new health challenges worldwide.

Health is more than physical and mental well-being, and healing is not primarily medical. Health and healing were a central feature of Jesus’ ministry and of his call to his followers, a reason why the church has been engaged in health services for centuries.

By stimulating dialogue among faith-based networks and within civil society, the WCC contributes to reflection on the theological basis of medical mission as well as to the development of new concepts of Christian health care.

The WCC's relationship with the World Health Organization and other international organizations, such as UNICEF and UNAIDS, allows it to facilitate networking and advocacy on behalf of church-related health networks.

The WCC’s networking and advocacy support the global health agenda, which  has changed greatly over the years. In addition to the Sustainable Development Goal 3 on good health and well-being, health is inherent in each of the 17 goals. Universal health coverage, with the virtual elimination of HIV, is an urgent global public health agenda. Emerging and re-emerging infectious diseases, like Ebola and Dengue, are still a concern. Antimicrobial resistance, neglected tropical diseases and non-communicable diseases, including lifestyle diseases, have now come to the fore with a growing global impact.

With these continuing and new global challenges, the WCC believes that it is time again for the church to reaffirm the role it has played over the centuries in global health, and consolidate all efforts towards health and healing for all.

More back issues of the Contact magazine are available here.

World Health Day Prayer Sunday 7 April 2024

With the Ecumenical Prayer Cycle, we pray for the people and churches of Romania, Hungary and Bulgaria.

World Health Day is April 7 when the World Health Organization commemorates its 76th anniversary. This year the theme is 'My Health, My Right, which reminds us to advocate for equitable access to health services and work towards a healthier, more inclusive world.  

WCC Programmes

Joint statement of ecumenical partners on prevention of obstetric fistula at the 52nd session of the UN Human Rights Council

A joint statement of the WCC Commission of the Churches on International Affairs, Geneva for Human Rights, Our Lady of Charity of the Good Shepherd, and Vivat International delivered during the debate on human rights and obstetric fistula at the 52nd session of the UN Human Rights Council on 17 March 2023. The statement was delivered by Eva Abel from Kenya, masters student at the WCC Ecumenical Institute in Bossey.

Commission on International Affairs
Ecumenical HIV and AIDS Initiatives and Advocacy

Promoting HIV competence among churches and theological institutions, addressing the root causes of the pandemic.

Contact special series

Contact magazine special series, 2018

Health-Promoting Churches: Reflections on Health and Healing for Churches on Commemorative World Health Days

This booklet includes 15 reflections on international commemorative health days from Dr Mwai Makoka WCC Programme Executive for Health and Healing, who emphasises that he is not a theologian, but “ a lay Christian who is a medical professional and keen to promote health and healing from a Christian perspective.

Faith on the Fast Track HIV Campaign

Aimed to accelerate and intensify actions by faith communities for a world without new HIV infections; zero stigma and discrimination; zero AIDS-related deaths; and where the human rights and dignity of all are upheld.

Africa Christian Health Associations Platform

Dr Mwai Makoka, Programme Executive

Health and Healing Programme

email: [email protected]

phone: +41 71 691 62 54