The medical needs facing sub-Saharan Africa are immense and complex. With the world’s fastest-growing population and some of the world’s fastest-growing economies, there are ever-increasing needs for medical providers. Many people in rural villages still lack access to basic healthcare for common infectious diseases like malaria, while richer places and urban areas are struggling to cope with the growing burden of hypertension, diabetes, and heart disease.
Most doctors don’t get to do more than one year of postgraduate training, and thousands of doctors trained in sub-Saharan Africa have left to practice elsewhere. While every health professional is a necessary part of making any health system work, doctors are necessary to manage more complex patients, stay on top of the medical literature, and help to keep medical teams organized. Unfortunately, there simply aren’t enough doctors and they are rarely able to get the training they need to do all of these things.
At the Kabarak Family Medicine Residency, we are training family doctors to fill this important and enormous need. Our residents learn the clinical skills necessary to manage a variety of patients over the lifespan — they can handle acute emergencies in a district hospital and carefully manage chronic diseases so that adults can live longer and happier. They can help hospitals use research and quality improvement to make their systems serve patients better, but they are just as capable at building relationships with families and communities in remote clinics to promote healthy behaviors. Our four-year program trains doctors capable of strengthening health systems, not just filling in a slot.
Unfortunately, our funding streams have prematurely and unexpectedly been reduced at a time when we are needing to add more residents to cover the program’s ongoing expenses. We are trying to develop long-term funding strategies, but Family Medicine is still mostly unknown in Kenya and it will take time for our graduates to trickle out and help people understand how family doctors can help build better systems wherever they are. We have worked from the beginning to ensure that residents are paid a monthly stipend throughout their training so that they can focus on their education.
In Africa, residents pay tuition for their MA degree in Family Medicine or any other specialty. Government sponsorship is sometimes available, but some of the most qualified and capable Tuition is slightly over $3,000 a year for four years. We have used a scholarship fund for the first three classes of residents, but continued support is needed to offer any support to future classes. A commitment of $1,000 a year for tuition support from an individual or group will be matched two ways- $1,000 from the scholarship fund and $1,000 from the resident. The applicants for our 12 program spots of the next class starting in September are all doctors with exemplary Christian character and a passion to serve their communities when they finish training.
You can donate online here. Donations are received by World Gospel Mission, Acct. #125- 25246 – “Kenya INFAMED Resident Tuition”. An IRS tax receipt is issued. If you are giving for a specific resident, please specify on a separate note from your check. You can send your check to:
WGM, PO Box 948, Marion IN 46952-0948.
We appreciate your prayerful consideration of support! Please feel free to contact me (loftus dot matthew at gmail.com) with any questions about this.
Pictured: Rising 3rd-year residents along with faculty in May 2018