Health care in a region of widespread poverty, disease and hardship is a major concern to the Catholic Church which has a long tradition of running and serving facilities such as hospitals, maternity homes, clinics and hospices.
CATHCA is the Catholic Church’s associate body for health in South Africa, Botswana and Eswatini. It has a membership of about two hundred organisations. Members are community-based health providers and health facilities working on issues related to primary health care, HIV, TB, NCDs, gender-based violence, and child safeguarding in underserved and underprivileged communities.
CATHCA has forged a relationship of trust with its membership based on the accompaniment model, which is rooted in pragmatic solidarity and commitment to the principle of leaving no‐one behind. The accompaniment approach mandates walking side‐by‐side rather than undergoing short‐lived interactions.
Accompaniment is a two-way street: CATHCA accompanies members in a journey of empowerment that contributes to improved health outcomes for the underprivileged. Members provide CATHCA with evidence of what works well or not so well in their communities, which helps promote best practices and contributes to health system strengthening.
CATHCA is inspired by Matthew 25:35-40 and particularly verse 36: “I was sick and you took care of me”. CATHCA’s vision is a world in which even the poorest individual has access to good quality and compassionate health care. CATHCA’s mission is to support and strengthen an evolving health care network of members serving the poor and marginalised, in collaboration with others.
CATHCA’s core values are:
Integrity – doing the right thing, honestly and in harmony with our other values.
Respect – for self, staff, people, communities, cultures and the environment, always upholding the sanctity and dignity of human life.
Quality – setting and meeting high standards and ensuring these are aligned with standards of the church, government and donors.
Accountability – transparency with all stakeholders including members, donors and government.
CATHCA has a Board of Management comprising professional health workers and church representatives which meets quarterly and sees to the implementation of the vision and mission in line with the core values. A Finance Committee reports quarterly to the Board. Day-to-day responsibility rests with the Director and staff of six at the national office in Johannesburg. The Director reports to the Executive Committee and the Board of Management.
CATHCA is a non-profit organisation (NPO No. 006-174; PBO No. 9718/679/1416).