Africa is a gorgeous continent. Rivers,mountains, valleys with exotic animals, tropical nature with vibrant colors, nature has really favored Africa. However, Africa’s poverty is sadly plaguing every layer of the society especially education and medical care. In Sub-Saharan Africa, there are two doctors and eleven midwives/nurses (or healthcare workers) for ten thousand habitants. Compared to 28 doctors and 87 nurses/midwives in the United States. Some specialists like nephrologists or ophthalmologists are not found in rather large areas of Subsaharan Africa at all. (This is a report from the National Library of Medecine PubMed). In education, it is generally said that 61% of adults living in Sub-saharian Africa can read. But this varies according to the GDP of the region. We have worked in areas where the litteracy rate dips down to 15% (this is a report from UNESCO). Bible Translation organizations, along with many others NGO, are partnering with African governments to promote literacy and communities development. The same is being done in Healthcare. But the need of workers is still hefty.
Our family has been personally impacted by the reality of lack of appropriate medical care in Subsaharan Africa. As a result of his early birth, our son had to deal with serious health issues that required us to live in an environment where urgent care and several specialists are available on a 24/7 basis. This was not possible in Africa. We had to temporarily relocate in the USA. Our son is doing better everyday and will eventually outgrow his condition thanks to your prayers. But this episode of our lives have given us a personal bitter taste of the reality of healthcare in Africa.
God has used medical missions like Bongolo Hospital to make a breakthrough in the communities of South Gabon. Located in the tropical forest, Bongolo Hospital is a ministry of the Christian and Alliance Missionary Church of Gabon. Bongolo Hospital seek to provide physical as well as spiritual healing to the people living in that area. Since it’s opening in 1970, Bongolo Hospital has done several outreaches resulting in the birth of churches in the region. Bongolo Hospital is deeply involved into training African missionary doctors who will be maybe the next face of medical missions in Africa. In 2013, missionary doctors pionneered the reawakening of Bible Translation in Gabon by inviting and sponsoring a vision trip of CABTAL (Cameroon Association for Bible Translation and Litteracy ) to Gabon. Missionary physicians have found themselves preaching, leading Awana Club in their villages, pastoring small churches. They had a message: sometimes medicine cannot give you any hope anymore but we can tell you about someone who will give you hope forever.