Thursday, December 11, 2008


"377 Best Doctors in Orlando" was the headline on a magazine in the waiting room yesterday. It struck me. We have enough doctors in Orlando to make a list of the 377 best?! During a weekend when Mercy Ships is pulling out of Liberia, my heart is broken for this precious country that my heart loves and longs for.

I just read online that "There are 130 doctors currently practicing in Liberia, 51 of who are Liberian nationals, according to the Ministry of Health." This is absurd considering the 3 and half MILLION people that live in Liberia. . but it's not even an accurate number according to most sources. MANY of those 130 doctors are having to manage clinics or other positions and not able to "practice" medicine full time. Heck, one of those 130 doctors is the Minister of Health himself! According to our conversation with a doctor from ELWA Hopsital in Liberia, half of the doctors aren't practicing full time. Also, those 51 doctors that are Liberian nationals may not be as well trained. The Liberian College of Medicine only graduates 4 people per year. They work out of a run down school and have not had a cadaver to practice on since 2006. The dormitory that the training doctors live in doesn't even have electric or running water and food is scarce.

All of this to say that even the statistics are hard to nail down. They list between 20-120 doctors. . .I'm thinking they may be adjusting the number based on qualifications.

To add to this. . . Mercy Ships pulls out this weekend to head to another country in need of healthcare. This takes another 10 doctors out of the picture and what basically works as another hospital.

Let's say there are 35 doctors really practicing (a very accurate number according to our time in Liberia and conversations with doctors). . . in a country of 3.5 million that is a doctor to patient ratio of 1 to 100 THOUSAND. Let that sink in for a minute.

Now, take a moment to pray for the people of Liberia. If you consider that unclean water causes 80% of all sickness. Consider going to Water 4 Christmas and being a small part of the healthcare of Liberia. Your $20 can make a difference. I may not be a doctor (though these very statistics have caused Greg and I to consider Med school) but I CAN sell something in my home or ditch Chick Fil A for one meal to give someone else life.

1 comment:

Angela said...

I have been a fellow blog reader of yours for some time, but have not commented. These numbers are heartbreaking. I am very thankful for people like you who bring them to the "states". My husband and I will add this to our prayer list and to our gift giving this season!!

God Bless you as you glorify HIM in your ministry for Liberia.