Research tells us that at least 50% of the healthcare provided in sub-Saharan Africa comes through Christian mission hospitals and health program. Founded by many Christian denominations, these mission hospitals are often the only access to lifesaving healthcare for vulnerable populations. Christian Mission hospitals and health programs account for between 50% to 70% of all healthcare delivered in Sub-Saharan Africa (Olivier, et al., 2015). In recent years, many of these facilities have closed, those that remain are fighting for survival. These facilities are often in remote rural locations making it difficult to attract and keep national health professionals. Christian missionary physicians and nurses started these facilities and have staffed them since their inception, however there are no longer enough medical missionaries to staff them. Our best estimates are that there are only about 1300 missionary physicians still serving full-time around the world. This is not nearly enough to cover even a small percentage of the need. This has left many poor communities without any access to functional healthcare, or the Christian witness these facilities once provided. Yet, there are thousands of medical volunteers that leave North America each month to serve somewhere in the developing world. However, they most often set up to provide healthcare in Churches in schools unaware of the Christian healthcare systems in need of their support. Mr. Seager’s session focuses on ways short-term volunteers can engage globally to support mission hospitals and improve access to and quality of care globally.
Gregory Seager MSN/ RN
Greg is the Founder and Chief Executive Officer of the Christian Health Service Corps (CHSC), the only mission organization that specializes in sending and supporting healthcare professionals as long-term missionaries. CHSC has a growing full-time medical missionary staff in 14 countries around the world. Greg Seager is also the author of When Healthcare Hurts: An Evidence Based Guide for Best Practices in Global Health Initiatives. When Healthcare Hurts is the first book to look seriously at the challenges of patient safety and developmental safety in global health missions, and it defines evidence based guidelines through which these issues can be addressed.
Greg holds a Masters in Nursing/ Healthcare Leadership and Management from The George Washington University. His graduate thesis project was on patient safety in global health and he serves as adjunct faculty in the nursing programs at Indiana Wesleyan University and King University.