Train them up and send them out.
Five billion people have no access to safe surgery. People in under-served and under-resourced areas of Africa are dying of treatable surgical diseases. Aside from the lack of necessary equipment and facilities, the burden for properly educated and trained anesthesia providers is dramatic. Training Africans to stay in Africa is a key objective to reverse the course of unnecessary surgical disease and death.
Bongolo’s residency training instructs, mentors, and disciples medical professionals. Students who graduate from Bongolo go into all of Africa, armed with the Gospel and top-notch medical training, they are a blessing to the countries they teach and work in.
Surgical Residency Program (PAACS)
Since its inception in 1996, PACCS (Pan-African Academy of Christian Surgeons) has increased its training programs from one to seven in Gabon, Cameroon, Ethiopia and Kenya. Their goal: to respond to the long-standing shortage of general surgeons for their hospitals in their countries. It has graduated several general surgeons, all of whom currently work in rural hospitals in Africa. The number of residents in training has grown to 30 under PAACS’s determination to train and disciple 100 African surgeons by 2020.
Currently directed by Dr. Keir Thelander, PAACS Bongolo is the longest standing—started in 1998 with the first graduate finishing in 2003. Our 5-year program has one resident per year, and consists of lectures, rounds, and intra-operative training. The course is supplemented by visiting faculty specializing in orthopedics, gynecology, ENT, maxillo-facial surgery, plastic surgery, and anesthesia.
Residents are discipled in their faith, praying with patients, sharing the Good News of Jesus Christ, and weekly Bible study.
Click to go to the PAACS Website.
After two years of hands-on clinical anesthesia training in the operating room and multiple hours of lectures in the classroom, nurses graduate fully capable to provide safe anesthesia care for a variety of surgical procedures. In addition, trainees participate in weekly Bible studies to grow spiritually and encourage one another rounding out the overall goal of sending qualified anesthesia providers throughout Gabon and Africa to serve, lead, and minister (2 Timothy 2:2).
The Nursing school at Bongolo hospital started in 1977 and is very similar to programs in the United States, but closer to the training for a nurse practitioner. Because we have fewer doctors, the nurses carry a heavier load of making clinical decisions and treating patients. Training also includes Bible studies and discipleship. Watching the students’ relationship with God deepen and spill over into their work is wonderful—it’s not just a vocation, it becomes a ministry.
To learn more about the Nursing School, click here.
Bongolo Hospital began an ophthalmology (eye surgery) postdoctoral residency program in 2009. Today, we perform about 70% of all cataract surgeries in Gabon. The need for eye surgeons in Africa is great (1 ophthalmologist per million people), and our vision is to train up Christian ophthalmologists who will proclaim Jesus, restoring spiritual sight side by side with physical sight as they serve their patients.