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The World Council of Church and World Health Organization held a discussion on strategies to enhance the visibility of the 50th anniversary of the collaboration between WCC and WHO.


Their work together includes strategizing, publications, seminars, webinars, and responding to crises such as HIV, the Ebola outbreak, and COVID-19 pandemic. 

Specific issues of collaboration have included primary healthcare, promotion of breastfeeding, access to essential drugs, addressing HIV, and addressing pandemics and outbreaks such as EBOLA and COVID-19.

Dr Manoj Kurian, director of the WCC Commission of the Churches on Health and Healing, expressed gratitude for a solid foundation for future collaboration between the WCC and WHO. 

“Our discussion on commemorating the 50th anniversary of collaboration between WHO and WCC was productive and fostered a sense of camaraderie,” he said. “Our shared and unwavering goal of serving communities better is the very essence of our work.”

Commemorations of 50 years of working together will celebrate the successes and make visible the lessons learned, added Kurian. “We need to invest in strengthening the dialogue between faith communities and public health experts, contributing to increasing openness and learning from each other to promote health, keep the world safe, and better serve vulnerable communities,” he said. 

Marianne Ejdersten, WCC director of Communication, expressed her gratitude for being able to meet with WHO colleagues to prepare to celebrate achievements and look into the future. 

“We have learned from the past years, with the COVID-19 pandemic, the importance of strengthening the collegial networks and the communication across the globe,” she said. “From a professional communication perspective, during the pandemic it’s not very different from other crises to handle the communication setup. It represents an extraordinary situation where people’s lives, health, and livelihoods are at stake and you have to reach out with relevant and timely information immediately, and at the same time tackle misleading information and even misleading theology.”

Ejdersten added: “The WCC, with its 352 member churches in 120 countries, has a very solid platform of sharing, and the role of the church leaders and pastors in the local communities is crucial and very important. The WCC has also strong relations to other faith communities for more than 50 years. Together with our colleagues in the WHO are we able  to build even stronger platforms to keep communities healthy.”

WCC, WHO commemorate 50 years of collaboration | World Council of Churches (

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