The Good Samaritan Foundation was created within the Pontifical Council for Health Care Workers, which today has merged into the Dicastery for Promoting Integral Human Development. It was founded within the sphere of the project called “Africae Munus” – taken from the title of Pope Benedict XVI’s Post-Synodal Apostolic Exhortation on the Church in Africa – and has established a network of Catholic universities in Africa to favor the sharing of know-how, resources, projects and objectives, in line with the Teachings of the Church.
This “network” must be built up through the coordination of the respective Departments of Medicine and it was created to promote the indications of the Apostolic Exhortation according to which, “Health care institutions need to be managed in compliance with the Church’s ethical norms, providing services which conform to her teaching and are exclusively pro-life”.
The project envisages the participation of seven universities in various African countries, namely: The St. Augustine Catholic University, in Ouagadougou, Burkina Faso; the Catholic University of N'Djamena, in Chad; the Uganda Martyrs University in Uganda, in Kampala; the Catholic University of Tanzania, in Mwanza; the Catholic University of Mozambique, in Beira; the Catholic University of Bukavu, and the Catholic University of Graben, in Butembo, both in the Democratic Republic of Congo.
Partners involved are called to cooperate to obtain the following objectives:
• To improve educational programs and promote scientific research, with the help and cooperation of institutions, NGOs and Catholic universities throughout the world;
• To oversee the formation of teachers, in order to contribute to filling any substantial gaps.
• To oversee the formation of specialist doctors in order to increase the array of medical specialists used in Africa and to favor the possibility of taking care of a greater number of sick people, efficiently answering to the needs linked to the rarer and more complex diseases;
• To improve the conditions for research and therapies in university hospitals, aiming to promote the certainty of a diagnosis and an increase of the quality standards of therapies.
• To oversee the training of health care workers in the following disciplines: Moral Theology, Christian Ethics, Christian Anthropology, Social Morality, Bioethics, Medical Deontology, Public and Private Ethics, in the light of the Magisterium of the Church.
In 2017 the first four doctors from the Democratic Republic of the Congo, coming from the Catholic University of Graben, finished their specialization course at the Uganda Martyrs University (UMU), in Kampala. They were Dr. Augustine Kasereka Mutsunga, Dr. Wasingya Kasereka, Dr. Muhindo Bahati, and Dr./Sr. Anne Josephine Kahambu Kyamakya.
The four doctors (two specializing in general surgery, one in internal medicine and one in gynecology and obstetrics) completed the three-year course of studies, during which they participated in lessons, took exams and took part in the activities in laboratories. The program ended with the discussion of a research project.
Similar programs will be launched in the future in favor of other African doctors involved in the Network, specializing in pediatrics, childbirth and infectious and tropical diseases.