There is a strong history of the missionary community in Africa demonstrating the compassion of Christ through medical mission. In many cases this was the original point of contact between missionaries and the local people. Today, Mission Africa engages in a more supportive role as nationals have taken on responsibility for medical programmes and institutions.
Many long–standing diseases remain prevalent in Africa. Leprosy, TB, polio and malaria still bring suffering to many millions. In addition, the recent disaster of HIV/AIDS, the biggest killer of young people in Africa, brings a new and urgent challenge. The need for medical mission in Africa remains as great as ever.
Mission Africa works in partnership with two hospitals in Nigeria – Holley Memorial and Ekpene Obom. Originally founded by the Mission, these Christian hospitals combine medical care with a wider Christian witness. Many patients have come to faith in Christ whilst staying in these hospitals.
There are many long term opportunities for the medically trained to serve at these hospitals. We can also organise medical electives and GAP placements for those seeking shorter opportunities to serve.
The HIV/AIDS epidemic continues to be the scourge of Sub–Saharan Africa with over 20 million people infected and several thousand people dying every day. It is important that Christians do not lose sight of the terrible devastation AIDS wreaks – not only on individuals and families, but on whole communities and economies. In Nigeria alone, it is estimated that nearly 3 million are infected with AIDS and over 600 die each day. This has left nearly 2 million AIDS orphans.
‘Advance Action Against AIDS’ works to equip the Church in Nigeria to demonstrate a Christ–like compassionate response to HIV/AIDS through both prevention and care programmes. Advance educates and trains volunteers within the Church to conduct HIV/AIDS tests, counsel those infected and affected by HIV and care for those dying of AIDS. It also educates those at risk on how to avoid becoming infected by following Bible–based principles for their lives.
In the central Nigerian village of Ogugu, Mission Africa supports Advance in running an HIV/AIDS clinic, orphan support programmes and HIV prevention education campaigns. There are several opportunities for short and medium service here.