Guest / Limited Access /

There is one doctor for every 30,000 people in Niger, one of the lowest ratios worldwide.

But such statistics inspire doctors Tony Mwenyemali and Yakoubou Sanoussi, both of whom turned down lucrative job offers elsewhere after discerning a call to practice missionary medicine in Niger. Mwenyemali and Sanoussi work with Christian nonprofit Serving in Mission, which operates two of the nation's most renowned hospitals.

For decades, Danja Hospital has run a highly effective program to prevent and treat leprosy. Soon Danja will open a center to repair obstetric fistula, an injury that can occur during childbirth.

Currently Mwenyemali, 33, is in nearby Cameroon, his home country, for additional training in surgery. "Every young doctor or young man would love to work in a place that looks attractive," Mwenyemali said. "But I wanted to come to the place where God had called me to go." With programs for leprosy and fistula, Danja will provide a level of medical care that is normally unavailable in rural areas.

West of Danja is Galmi Hospital, open since the 1950s and still operating in its original building. Sanoussi, 43, is one of two surgeons at the famous missionary hospital. He left Niger for medical school but chose to return and work amid the outdated surgical equipment and overflowing wards nearly 300 miles from Niamey.

"I sensed a call to be part of this work that heals people's spiritual as well as physical health," he said. "This is a place where people find comfort."

Sanoussi grew up in a Christian home. When he was 16, his 1-year-old brother contracted measles and died on his mother's back as they waited at a hospital for medical treatment. Because of that, Sanoussi decided to become a doctor. "I have had opportunities to ...

Subscriber access only You have reached the end of this Article Preview

To continue reading, subscribe now. Subscribers have full digital access.

Read These NextSee Our Latest
Recommended33 Under 33
Subscriber Access Only 33 Under 33
Meet the Christian leaders shaping the next generation of our faith.
TrendingReligious Freedom vs. LGBT Rights? It's More Complicated
Religious Freedom vs. LGBT Rights? It's More Complicated
The legal context for what's happening at Gordon College, and how Christians can respond despite intense cultural backlash.
Editor's PickWhat We Talk About When We Talk About 'Birth Control'
What We Talk About When We Talk About 'Birth Control'
Meaningful debate requires us to define the terms of discussion.
Leave a Comment

Use your Christianity Today login to leave a comment on this article. Not part of the community? Subscribe now, or register for a free account.

Christianity Today
Tough Calling in Africa
hide thisApril April

In the Magazine

April 2011

To continue reading, subscribe now for full print and digital access.