Medical Missions

Taking Medical Missions to Those in Need

In many places in the world, all we have to do to see a doctor is make a phone call or go to an urgent care center. We have choices in all these things, even different kinds of doctors. But many do not. That is why medical missions is desperately needed worldwide.

Christian medical missions seek to take health care to regions where doctors are rare or are many miles away and especially to those who cannot afford medical attention. According to the World Bank, “Poverty is a major cause of ill health and a barrier to accessing health care when needed. This relationship is financial: the poor cannot afford to purchase those things that are needed for good health, including sufficient quantities of quality food and health care. But, the relationship is also related to other factors related to poverty, such as lack of information on appropriate health-promoting practices or lack of voice needed to make social services work for them.”[1]

Not being able to afford medical attention keeps someone in ill health, which means they likely cannot work or they regularly miss work. This, in turn, keeps them in poverty. Medical missions outreach wants to help break that cycle. By providing free health care for different issues, these outreaches mean a family or an individual are able to get back to doing what needs to be done.

The World Health Organization and World Bank estimate that nearly half of the world’s population do not have proper access to health care. “There are wide gaps in the availability of services in Sub-Saharan Africa and Southern Asia. In other regions, basic health care services such as family planning and infant immunization are becoming more available, but lack of financial protection means increasing financial distress for families as they pay for these services out of their own pockets,” the two organizations report.[2]

International medical missions seek to bridge the gaps we know exists. “For almost 100 million people these expenses are high enough to push them into extreme poverty, forcing them to survive on just $2.15 or less a day,” WHO and World Bank report.[3]

A Health Affairs article reported, “Economic inequality is increasingly linked to disparities in life expectancy across the income distribution, and these disparities seem to be growing over time.”[4] The poorer you are, the likelier you are to have a shorter lifespan. The cruelty of this reality is known by millions, if not billions, of souls.

Nealy understands these realities. Even though he is a farmer with his own business, getting medical care and medicine is very difficult, almost impossible. As a farmer, when he was ailing, he could not afford to stop working, even though he had terrible leg pain and acid reflux. Taking the time and money to seek a doctor were luxuries he could not afford. Then he heard that a medical camp was coming to his neighborhood.[5]

Nealy lined up with many other people from his area. All of them needed something; most of them needed medicine. GFA World had set up the medical camp for people just like Nealy, hardworking people who wanted to keep working but whose poor health was getting in the way. That day, GFA workers and volunteers treated more than 400 people: men, women and children.

GFA’s Medical Ministry provides free health care at camps that travel into regions like Nealy’s. They serve many people who are in need of medical attention but for whom it is impossible to receive: it is either too far away or, most importantly, too expensive. In 2019 alone, GFA set up 1,267 medical camps to serve those in poverty needing medical assistance.

GFA medical camps can’t treat everything, but they can treat a high number of common ailments, such as fever, eye disease, diarrhea, itching, colds, coughs, chickenpox, yellow fever, severe headaches, stomach problems and anemia. We can go to the doctor for these things very easily in the West, but many people around the world just endure and suffer.

Supporting GFA’s Medical Ministry means that thousands of people will get the help they need. Just like Nealy, many lives are interrupted by common complaints that, if not treated, can turn into life-altering or life-threatening problems. If Nealy had not received the help he needed, he may have become disabled, which would have jeopardized his farm and his family’s livelihood. This is an example of the cyclical nature of poverty and how it traps a family.

By giving to GFA’s Medical Ministry today, you will provide these dear people whom GFA workers serve with the precious gift of health, something that will go a long way toward improving their futures. You can add to your gift by praying for more medical camps to be deployed by GFA, as the need is great.

Help prevent disease and cure common yet potentially life-altering ailments with your donation today to GFA’s Medical Ministry. Your gift has the power to heal, and so many need the gift of another day.

Learn more about how to sponsor a family for Christmas

[1] “Poverty and Health.” World Bank. August 25, 2014.
[2] “World Bank and WHO: Half the World Lacks Access to Essential Health Services, 100 Million Still Pushed into Extreme Poverty Because of Health Expenses.” World Health Organization. December 13, 2017.
[3] Ibid.
[4] “Health, Income, & Poverty: Where We Are & What Could Help.” Health Affairs. October 4, 2018.
[5] “Medicine Brought to Those Who Couldn’t Afford It.” GFA World ministry reports and stories.