Children dying from preventable diseases
Most of the population of Gabon lives in poverty, lacking access to clean water, proper food and health care. In Gabon, 1 in 10 children born will die from malnutrition or other preventable diseases before they reach their fifth birthday.
In much of Africa the ratio of fully trained general surgeons to the population is between 1:500,000 and 1:1.7 million. Most surgeons are concentrated in the major cities caring for the wealthy and upper middle classes. Training African surgeons in Africa is the surest way to prepare African surgeons for the unique challenges they will face. It enhances the likelihood that they will serve out their years in this neediest of all the continents and it will provide desperately needed surgeons for a continent that is annually losing more surgeons to the West than it is training.
Through a partnership with the Pan-African Academy of Christian Surgeons (PAACS), our volunteers provide training to surgical residents of multiple hospitals throughout Africa. The goal of PAACS is to train African surgeons who can then serve at Christian hospitals throughout Africa in a way that honors God and provides quality surgical services to the poor.
Our work in Gabon
Since 2002, Medical Teams International has sent 12 surgical training teams to Bongolo Hospital through the PAACS.
Plans for 2012-2013
Medical Teams International plans to send three specialized surgeons to Gabon this year. The surgeon will present lectures and give hands-on training with the residents in conjunction with our partner, Bongolo Hospital.
Volunteer physicians with specialties in anesthesiology, general surgery, OB/GYN, orthopedics, urology, ENT, plastic surgery, neurosurgery, trauma surgery, thoracic surgery and endoscopy are needed for these teams.
Our partners in Gabon
The Christian & Missionary Alliance opened Bongolo Hospital in 1977. The hospital serves the needs of the southwestern region of the country and performs 1,000 major operations per year. Patient services include a walk-in outpatient clinic currently treating 100-150 patients a day, a pediatric ward, a unit for premature babies, a treatment center for adults and a ward for patients with HIV and AIDS and tuberculosis. The hospital also trains nurses at the Bongolo School of Health.
The Pan-African Academy of Christian Surgeons (PAACS) directs a four-year residency program at Bongolo Hospital to address the long-standing shortage of African general surgeons in Africa. PAACS is affiliated with the Christian Medical and Dental Society of North America and is financially supported by its Committee on International Medical Education.
You can help save lives in Gabon
Please consider a donation or find out about volunteering to help save lives in Gabon.