39 partner organisations
Africa’s fifth-largest country, Chad suffers from inadequate infrastructure and an unstable security environment. The majority of the population live in poverty in remote and isolated parts of the country. Political instability in neighbouring countries has created an influx of displaced people (especially from Sudan), adding increased pressure on the country’s limited resources. The country’s life expectancy of just 50 years is the lowest in the world (CIA World Factbook, 2017).
Journeys can involve vast distances and numerous days travelling overland, and can be hazardous. The majority of roads in Chad are unpaved and become extremely difficult to traverse during the wet season. In the north, routes are merely tracks across the desert.
Chad’s long-term development continues to be hampered by high rates of illiteracy. Just 31% of youth between the ages of 15 and 24 can read and write either French or Arabic (UNICEF 2018), a figure which decreases to 14% among the country’s women (CIA World Factbook).
Utilising the country’s network of over 50 dirt / bush airstrips, our dedicated team works closely with international NGOs and mission groups across the country, providing essential access to the country’s most remote regions and supporting medical projects, educational and development initiatives, mission outreaches, Bible translation, and leadership training in some of the most hard to reach areas. These assist Chad’s internally displaced and most deprived communities.
For almost 15 years MAF has been organising medical safaris. We organise these together with medical partners, and with the authorization and support of the government. Our medical partners take care of the medical work, and MAF Chad helps to overcome the geographical boundaries by delivering the medical team to the remote village, and collecting them after they have finished their clinics. During a normal medical safari the team spend between 5-10 days in an area. The team will usually see hundreds of patients, perform several smaller surgeries and often a few major ones that have literally saved lives.
MAF has also received requests to develop or reopen more airstrips. New airstrips open up the possibility for community transformation, and in 2019 two previously dormant airstrips were reopened, enabling easier access for medical teams to assist the isolated communities.
We also partner with ENTENTE, the umbrella organisation of all the evangelical churches in Chad. Continuing with new initiatives to strengthen the church, ENTENTE uses MAF to help reach some of the very remote locations in the country. Given the country’s internal insecurity and the threat of militant Boko Haram fighters infiltrating Chad from neighbouring countries, air transport is regarded as the safest means of transport. Our presence in the country provides reassurance for relief and mission staff that evacuation is possible in the event of political unrest or medical emergency.
Quote: ‘This is the one time in the year that the doctor flies in.’ Pilot Becky Dillingham