By Thalif Deen, Inter Press Service
The World Health Organization (WHO) has estimated that nearly 30 to 70 percent of the sprawling health infrastructure in the African continent is owned or run by faith-based organizations. And globally, one-third of all AIDS patients are now cared for under the auspices of the Catholic Church. The U.N. children's agency UNICEF, in collaboration with Muslim and Christian organizations, raised the immunization coverage rate of children under a year old, to 75 percent, up from only 6.0 percent, in once war-ravaged Sierra Leone. And according to the Buddhist Leadership Initiative, about 30 percent of monks in China, Cambodia and Laos have received health care training on HIV/AIDS, as they embark on a journey to battle the devastating disease in Asia.