Problems Faced by Missionaries in Provision of Health Services in East Africa

  • They faced a problem of inadequate finances to buy the healthy equipment needed for the provision of quality health services.
  • They also had a problem of limited number of workers to work as doctors and nurses yet the number of patients was too big.
  • They faced a challenge of inadequate medical facilities like laboratory equipment which were very few in their health institutions.
  • They had shortage of medicine and delayed supply of medical facilities from Britain.
  • They had a problem of Africans who strongly believed in their African medicine changing them to take western medicine was a big problem.
  • Slave raids and its insecurity greatly affected the missionary work of treating sick in East Africa.
  • They had a problem of tropical diseases like malaria which killed some of them while in East Africa. For example Dr. Albert cook died of malaria.
  • There was lack of infrastructures inform of health centers like hospitals which also negatively affected the work of treating the sick.
  • Many Africans had a negative attitude towards European medicine thinking that it was intended to cause more health problems to them.
  • Poor roads in remote area were another problem. Missionaries could not reach out to the sick in some areas due to their remoteness.
  • The strong African cultures, conservation and rigidities among Africans were all challenges to missionary doctors.
  • The belief in the miraculous healing among African Christians also interfered with the missionary work of providing health services to Africans.


  1. Explain the role of the missionaries in trying to provide medical services to the people of East Africa. (13marks)
  2. Discuss the obstacles the missionaries faced in their effort to provide medical services. (12 marks)