Limited Access To Health Care in African Countries

Limited Access To Health Care in African Countries

Access to health care is something many people take advantage of in Western countries. We don’t realize that though health care can always be improved, we are fortunate to have the number of doctors for the number of people that we do.

In an article from World Atlas, there is a chart that shows the countries with the fewest doctors per millions of people. You can see the results in the chart below:

The article said: “In Liberia, the worst case presented on this list, there are essentially ten doctors for every million people. As you move down the list, Guinea fares little better, at 100 physicians per million people. In contrast, high-income OECD countries, like the United States, Canada, and the United Kingdom, boast figures closer to 3,000 doctors per million people.”

Though these countries are some of the poorest in the world, they still deserve quality and accessible healthcare! But because they are some of the poorest in the world, the resources are few. Education and training are harder to come by, and for those who do gain access to training, there are few resources to do their job well and the financial benefits are nowhere near what they would be if they worked in another country. According to the British Medical Journal, “African countries have lost about $2.6 billion dollars training doctors who are now living in western countries. A staggering 25 to 50 percent of African-born doctors are working overseas.” This statistic is devastating the health care in the countries who are losing their trained physicians.

For those doctors who do stay in African countries, many serve those who can afford their services. So there is a service discrepancy where the majority of people in the country are not receiving the care they desperately need. There are major consequences to the service discrepancy that are affecting many. There are women who suffered childbirth complications who never receive help. There are men, women, and children who struggle with lifelong disease or pain that could be cured or treated if they could only receive the help that they need. There are also many preventable diseases that affect those people who are unable to get vaccinations or aren’t educated on proper prevention.

When asked about what can be done to improve healthcare in African countries, WHO’s regional director for Africa, Dr. Matshidiso Moeti, said, “Countries should strengthen the leadership and governance of health sectors to gain the confidence of all stakeholders. Governments should be more innovative in raising revenues from domestic sources and ensuring that all of their populations have access to essential health services. They should also improve the quality of health services and the safety of patient and health workers, and build partnerships with civil society and other partners in order to expand access. Investing in district and community health systems should be a priority that can contribute towards universal health coverage”

Another way to help is by supporting organizations like Mission Partners for Christ in sending trained physicians into places that would otherwise not have access to healthcare. We may not be able to help all, but we can still help many with each and every trip we take.

You can help support what we do to make a difference:

  1. Join a mission’s team!
  2. Financially support one of our trips.
  3. Pray for our mission’s teams.
  4. Donate medical supplies for one of our trips.

Ask us how you can help, and we would love to partner with you! Contact us here. 

Read A Letter From A Mission’s Partner For Christ Participant

Read A Letter From A Mission’s Partner For Christ Participant

We were so blessed by what Nurse Esther Ash wrote in this letter summarizing her time on our recent trip. We hope this will help you get a taste of what an experience with Mission Partners for Christ could be like. We would love for you to join our next trip!

Greetings, Bon Jour!

I have arrived back from Côte d’Ivoire or the Ivory Coast, The general language is French, and then about 47 dialects are used throughout this nation. I haven’t used French since my high school class about 35 years ago, but I was able to pick up some again to be able to understand. My team, Mission Partners for Christ from the United States, consisted of 5 medical doctors of family practice, 2 medical students along with a Nurse practitioner. There were 5 nurses, a licensed minister who helped fit glasses, a photographer who works for the Chicago sports industry, Shenita, my roommate, who weighed all the children and Brian who helped fit everyone for shoes.

With all the prayers that we received, we were able to be a very united team through all the long hours of traveling and seeing patients. In all, we were able to see and treat 1456 patients in 4.5 days. That was a pace to be set. We tried to see our patients in family groups. In Triage, where I was a part, we took temperatures on all the children and blood pressures on all the adults, and if they were over the age of 40 we checked their blood sugar and asked what they wanted to be seen for by the doctor. Malaria issues were the main symptoms. Now add to this the translator of French to English and then another translator for the native dialect and the triage area can be a noisy area. Having chickens occasionally strolling through and the hot sun beating down made it a different experience, but the smiles and laughter kept us going, and knowing why we were doing it made all the difference.

Our days started very early and, for some, even earlier as intercessory prayer covered our members, our travels, our partners and the people we wanted to reach. Breakfast of eggs, fruit, and croissants started the day, and the luggage was loaded. We traveled by vans to our destinations and were joined by our translators, our cooks, and other volunteers. We joined the traffic every morning and the adventure started, you could literally reach out and touch the vehicles next to us. There are few traffic lights in Abidjan and few painted lines for traffic and everyone wants to go at the same time, our travels took us hours out in to the countryside down deeply rutted roads sometimes covered in water. Remember also that there are NO roadside rest bathrooms, but we managed!

We were there at the end of the rainy season and were blessed to not be rained out. The people were waiting our arrival and happy to see us. The villages had to prepare an area for us to set up under tents which meant clearing the land and cut poles for the tarps which they covered with palm leaves. They allowed us to use almost every table from their homes. There is much preparation behind the scenes before our arrival — which our team leader and so many others with Global Hope Network International had already done. We set up daily and started the day seeing patients, giving out medications for high pressure, diabetes, intestinal worms, and general aches and pains along with treating wounds. We gave out eyeglasses and shoes that grow, and then saw to their spiritual needs as well.

Our first village was Effaoho, and they already had progressed in their 5-year plan to having a VIP latrine, a clean water source, and a school. Healthwise, you could already see the difference it was having for the people of the village. Global Hope Network makes agreements with these villages to come in and partner with the people to teach them healthy living and teach surrounding villages skills to use to generate an income. They do not take over a village but rather teach with an exit plan already in place.

We returned to this village a second day and people from villages further out came as well — creating the ripple effect that we hope for in changing people’s lives for the better and giving them hope. As we entered the village on day two, the children were jumping up and down in joy and smiles all around. We did get rained on, and the village wanted to give us a goat in appreciation. Goat loans are also a part of the program developed by Global Hope. We didn’t take the goat and had to delay our departure due to one of the van’s being stuck in the flooded road. Getting home on day two took a bit longer as one of the vans broke down. Packing skills took on a whole new level. A van that was designed for about 17 now carried 27. Togetherness!

Our second village was Atakassikoro, where someone had died the night before, so our arrival had an added dimension. This village is not as far as the previous village. Their water supply was built by UNICEF and kind of forgotten. The water was salty, and when the rains came it became dirty. They did not have a school in their village, and the children traveled six miles one way for lessons if the bridge wasn’t washed out. Their level of hope was low, as one of the villagers told us that for 3 generations things hadn’t changed and no one came to help.

The first day, the people were not waiting but day two of being there, the people were lined up hours before we arrived. Hope is an amazing thing. We were a very tired group of people when we packed out of this village, and the children were so glad and dancing around. It was hard to leave; the road to the village was so bad that we literally had to pack in and out because the vans could not get up to the village. On the half day of clinic in Abidjan our team split and half went to a church in the slums where sewage flowed, and outside street vendors were cooking fish guts. It does make an impression and hard to add the smells and sounds in writing.

So many little things could be added to this letter about the things that happened and were experienced by my team. Were we exhausted? Yes. Are they already planning other trips? Yes. There are over 900 people groups yet tobe reachedh. Can you make a difference? Yes.

Prayers, donations and more people to travel to these places are needed. Do you have to be a medical person? No. Just ask Brian or Shenita or the many other volunteers. But if you are a medical person or know a medical person. share this with them and send them to the Mission Partners For Christ website!

Thank you for all your support and prayer covering!

The Dangers Of A Missions Trip

The Dangers Of A Missions Trip

Whenever you look at the media, it is a 24-hour cycle showing the dangerous places of the world. It makes us fearful to step outside of our “safe place” and head straight into a danger zone across the world. But that’s exactly what Satan wants us to think! He wants there to be a barrier between us and those who need to hear the gospel! When we say “no” to a mission’s trip because of the potential dangers, we are playing right into Satan’s trap.

Sure, there are precautions you should take, but I want to challenge your thinking by saying that a mission’s trip is dangerous in a completely different way than just your safety.

Here are additional dangers of a mission’s trip:

1. Thinking of yourself as the savior.

You are not going on a mission’s trip to save others. You are going to serve and allow God to save others through you. Viewing yourself as someone with the capacity to make a difference instead of humbling yourself according to God’s will is a dangerous mindset for a mission’s trip.

2. Overlooking the worth of those in need.

Seeing the brokenness all around you while you are on the trip can often give you a “better than” mentality. You see their outwardly broknness and forget that it’s equal to your inward brokenness before you found a Savior! We all have worth because it’s through Christ that we have value!

3. Checking off a spiritual checklist.

If your entire purpose of attending a mission’s trip is to meet a certain number of hours for a service requirement, then you are heading into dangerous territory. The danger is that you are beginning to create for yourself a spiritual checklist instead of serving from a place that brings glory to God! Just like God cared about the single coin given from the poor widow in His temple more than he did the riches given from the wealthy, He cares about your intentions more than your checklist.

4. Making yourself the main character of the story.

If you find yourself on the trip only noticing what is impacting YOU or coming home and telling stories with yourself as the main focus, then you are dangerously making yourself the main character of a story where God Himself should be the hero. Your spiritual journey should be less about you and more about the glory it brings to your Heavenly Father.

So, next time you find yourself worried about the dangers of a mission’s trip, be sure you are more focused on the dangers listed above. And just like you do with any physical danger, protect yourself from them and make a plan for how to fight for a trip that is focused on God and the worth and beauty of those you are serving.

I Don’t Want To Go On A Mission’s Trip, What Do I Do?

I Don’t Want To Go On A Mission’s Trip, What Do I Do?

If you’ve hung around Christian circles for long, you will have heard about mission trip opportunities. Maybe you’ve felt the call to go and be apart of an experience! You know it’s the right fit for you and you’ve been looking for the perfect timing to say, “YES!” Or maybe your someone who doesn’t feel that push. You want to support the purpose of mission trip experiences, but you don’t want to go on a mission’s trip.

I want to encourage you not to feel guilty about these feelings! There is more than one way to support missions and there is room for everyone to play a role in spreading the gospel through mission’s trip opportunities.

Here are three ways to support missions without going on a mission’s trip:

1. Pray

Those who do attend mission’s trips often find themselves under attack. The devil schemes against those he perceives as a threat, and of course those who’s mission is to help spread the Gospel are going to be a threat! Pray against the battle that is likely to happen for mission’s teams. Pray for those who serve full time who will be welcoming the mission’s team. And pray for those who will be impacted by the mission’s team. Commit to being a partner through prayer!

For more specific ways to pray, see this post.

2. Give financially

Maybe you don’t feel the call to serve on a short-term mission’s trip, but you know someone who does but can’t afford to attend. If you are blessed financially, consider giving towards his/her trip! When those support letter requests come to your mailbox, don’t just throw them out, think of it as a way to serve and help reach the lost in another capacity! If you aren’t able to give financially in a big way, help with the fundraising efforts! Point them towards our fundraising letter template, help spread the word about any fundraisers they put together, set up a fundraising auction for them, or get creative with a new idea! Supporting someone financially to serve on a mission’s trip is playing an equally important role!

3. Donate + organize medical supplies

Volunteers are alwayas needed to collect, organize, and pack donated medical supplies for trips. If you want to find out what we are needing, you could always send those supplies our way and we can use them on our upcoming trips! Having the medical supplies we need for each trip is a must! This is a great way to support missions.

For more ways to serve from your location, contact us and we will get you plugged in!

A DIY Craft Tutorial To Benefit Missionaries

A DIY Craft Tutorial To Benefit Missionaries

Christmas is coming and, I don’t know about you, but I love decorating my Christmas tree and spending time each day admiring all the ornaments! Some of the ornaments are purely for decoration and beauty while others tell stories of milestones and memories shared. This year, we thought it would be a great idea to share with all of you a DIY ornament tutorial!

It’s not just any kind of ornament, though, it’s a Christmas ornament to use as a reminder to pray for a missionary you know!

This DIY craft tutorial is a Mason Jar Ring Map Ornament from the Happy-Mothering blog!

First, you need to gather the right supplies before you get started. Everything you will need is in the picture below taken from this tutorial.

  • Map of choice (location of Missionaries)
  • Mason jar ring
  • Twine
  • Pink puffy paint
  • Sharpie
  • Scissors
  • Hot glue/hot glue gun

First, you will want to loop and tie the twine to the top of the mason jar lid so you can hang the lid onto the tree once the ornament is complete.

Next, use the sharpie to trace the circle shape of the lid over the location on the map that you want to go into the ring. Cut out the circle.

Use the hot glue gun to glue the map into the ring. Be sure the front of the map is facing the right way!

Use the pink puffy paint to paint a heart over the location of the missionary family you plan to pray for. Every time you see this ornament on your tree, stop and intentionally pray for the missionaries serving in that area. Refer to our 31 Ways To Pray For Missions post for specific ways you can pray!

Another great way to use this DIY tutorial is to start a fundraiser where you sell the ornaments to raise funds to attend a mission trip or to give to the missionaries themselves!

After you complete this DIY, head to our Facebook page to share with us how your ornament turned out! We are so excited to cover other missionaries in prayer this Christmas season!

Believe The Lord Will Provide

Believe The Lord Will Provide

“And my God will supply all your needs according to His riches in glory in Christ Jesus.” –Philippians 4:19

When you are on the mission field, you will see a lot of people who have less than what you have when it comes to personal belongings. You may even see a lot of poverty depending on the location you are serving. It is easy to see these things and start to believe that the Lord isn’t providing for these people.

You may feel sadness or even guilt if you compare your “blessings” to there’s. But a perspective shift has to happen. First of all, blessings come in more forms than “stuff.” Secondly, You have to believe that if YOU care about the suffering, pain, or needs that you see around you, then God absolutely cares as well!

Take this story about Elijah for example:

“Now Elijah the Tishbite, from Tishbe in Gilead, said to Ahab, “As the Lord, the God of Israel, lives, whom I serve, there will be neither dew nor rain in the next few years except at my word.” Then the word of the Lord came to Elijah: “Leave here, turn eastward and hide in the Kerith Ravine, east of the Jordan. You will drink from the brook, and I have ordered the ravens to feed you there.” So he did what the Lord had told him. He went to the Kerith Ravine, east of the Jordan, and stayed there. The ravens brought him bread and meat in the morning and bread and meat in the evening, and he drank from the brook.” –1 Kings 17:1-7

The Lord took care of His child Elijah. But He didn’t just hand Elijah food and drink in the way we think God would do it. He had him drink out of a brook and be fed by scraps from the birds. God cares for His children in peculiar ways to bring glory to Him through the process!

So how does that story relate to what you may see on the mission field? It shows that God cares about all of His children and provides for their needs in ways that bring Him glory. And sometimes the way He takes care of others is through you and me! It may be peculiar for God to care for those in one country through the work of those from another, but He makes a way! One example is that God sends teams of people like groups from Mission Partners for Christ to care for the physical needs of those in Ethiopia, Liberia, or other locations. I bet people in those countries would have never imagined God caring for them in that peculiar way!

“Therefore do not be anxious, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’ For the Gentiles seek after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them all”. –Matthew 6:31-32

Though the Lord provides for our physical needs, the biggest need He promises to provide for is our need of grace. It’s a free gift we can receive and share with others at all times! Just like Elijah had to remind himself during times where he felt alone and hungry, “The ravens are coming!” We get to tell ourselves in times of hopelessness, “Jesus is coming!”

Believe the Lord provides!