Members of Christian Academy of African Physicians (CAAP).

Members of the Christian Academy of African Physicians met for the first time earlier this month.

Loma Linda University Health is partnering with other Christian universities and hospitals in Africa and the United States to create a new program to support specialty training for physicians in family medicine, internal medicine and pediatrics in Africa.  

During its inaugural meeting earlier this month, the Christian Academy of African Physicians (CAAP) was established to develop medical and spiritual curricula and to create partnerships that support the creation of new Christian primary care training programs for the continent of Africa.

The partnership is similar to the Pan African Academy of Christian Surgeons (PAACS), which supports five-year surgical residencies at nine Christian hospitals across Africa, including Malamulo Hospital in Malawi, a Loma Linda University Health Global Campus site. Loma Linda University has provided academic backing for PAACS — an interdenominational collaboration — for more than a dozen years.

“Loma Linda University, as one of the few faith-based academic health science centers in the world, is pleased to provide this type of support for inter-denominational training programs,” said Loma Linda University Health President Richard H. Hart, MD, DrPH.

CAAP’s commission members are composed of representatives from:
•    Loma Linda University Health
•    Mayo Clinic
•    University of Minnesota
•    Africa Inland Mission
•    Bingham University Teaching Hospital (Nigeria)
•    Kabarak University (Kenya)
•    Mbingo Baptist Hospital (Cameroon)
•    Christian Medical & Dental Association (CMDA)
•    Pan-African Academy of Christian Surgeons (PAACS)

“CAAP is a strategic response to the need for quality Christian primary care clinicians, medical educators and medical system leaders in Africa,” said Kevin Shannon, MD, MPH, CAAP commission chair and associate program director for LLUH’s family and preventive medicine residency. “Loma Linda University, under the leadership of Richard Hart, has once again stepped up to the plate in a time of need and opportunity.” 

Shannon has spent over 30 years working in several Christian mission hospitals in Africa, on a short-term basis — including with Adventist Health International at Malamulo Hospital in Makwasa, Malawi — and 4 years as medical director of Kijabe Hospital in Kijabe, Kenya.

CAAP plans to begin these programs by the end of 2019 and will support different training programs to include an 18-month diploma in general practice, full primary care residency training, and a Master’s in Public Health through Loma Linda University. 

Training programs will be offered at several well-established mission hospitals in Africa under the direction of experienced, board-certified missionary physicians. Preliminary sites include Mbingo Baptist Hospital in Cameroon, Bingham University Teaching Hospital in Nigeria, Kabarak University Hospital in Kenya and Malamulo Adventist Hospital in Malawi.

Hart said the formation of CAAP and its initiatives has the potential to change Africa’s healthcare more than anything Loma Linda University Health has done in the past as Loma Linda University becomes an academic hub for international Christian medical missions around the world. 

“The global community continues to look to Loma Linda University as the leader in faith-based education and whole person care,” Hart said.