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Dr. Jason Fader of Burundi, who is a sole and full-time surgeon outside of the capital city has received the Gerson L’Chaim prize for $500,000 for his work. Burundi is located in the southern hemisphere, just south of the Equator, in eastern central Africa. This landlocked country is south of Rwanda, west of Tanzania, and to the east of the Democratic Republic of the Congo.

Dr. Fader, who is a son of medical missionaries, is now on a team of American physicians in Burundi, which is the world’s hungriest nation. Dr. Fader has received the first-ever Gerson L’Chaim Prize of $500,000 for Outstanding Christian Medical Missionary Service.

“Because of the L’Chaim Prize, hundreds of people will walk, thousands will receive care, and tens of thousands will be helped by the doctors we train,” Dr. Fader said.

Dr. Jason Fader, missionary physician, leads med students on morning rounds at Kibuye Hope Hospital in rural Burundi. The Gerson L’Chaim Prize money will help Dr. Fader train new doctors in a nation of 10 million people and only 13 surgeons.

The L’Chaim Prize, the largest ever in clinical care, is awarded by the African Mission Healthcare Foundation (AMHF), founded by New York entrepreneur Mark Gerson and his friend Dr. Jon Fielder, a medical missionary serving in Kenya.

“Missionary doctors are this era’s untold humanitarian story,” said Gerson, who underwrites the prize with his wife, Rabbi Erica Gerson. “Forsaking every comfort and convenience to bring skilled compassion to the continent’s poor, Dr. Fader and his team are links in a string of unsung heroes across Africa.”

At the end of his long day, Dr. Jason Fader gives an exclusive interview with Dr. Diane Howard.

DH: Has this prize been a personal encouragement?

JF: Yes, because I am an isolated surgeon here.

DH: What kind of surgery work do you do personally?

JF: I do about every kind of surgery work.

DH: Tell us about your training program there.

JF: We have a training program for about 40 nurses and doctors. This grant will enable us to develop an internship program leading to a post-graduate surgery and family residence program.

DH: How can we pray for you?

JF: Pray for guidance, wisdom, provision, and a hospital.

DH: How can we support you?

JF: See African Mission Healthcare Foundation.

With the L’Chaim prize, Fader and his colleagues, who serve with the agency SERGE, will do the following:  add critically needed hospital beds at rural Kibuye Hope Hospital,  create Burundi’s first postgraduate medical training,  and expand lower-limb fracture care in a nation that travels by foot

“It’s hard to overstate the value,” Fader said.  “In one of the world’s poorest countries, a prize of this magnitude, for one hospital, is far reaching.”

Burundi has 13 surgeons for 10 million people. Dr. Fader and his on-the-ground team are training doctors, performing surgical procedures, and upgrading and expanding medical facilities. Every team member raises individual financial support and arrives having studied both French and Kirundi. Since 2013, the team has served at the Kibuye Hope Hospital, the teaching hospital for Hope Africa University Medical School.

A young Burundian heals in a hospital ward that may house up to three patients per bed. In the boy’s entire country, outside the capital city the only treatment for leg fractures is at Kibuye Hope Hospital. The L’Chaim Prize will help doctors keeps more Burundians on their feet.

“To move forward, to provide higher volume and better quality care, and to train more national healthcare workers, this hospital must expand,” Fader said. He plans to serve in Burundi “for many years to come.”

Medical care in Africa is severely endangered.  Because missions and agencies peaked in the last century, the doctors still there, and their African colleagues, receive shrinking support amid rising and complex medical challenges that range from AIDS to surgical problems to cancer. Fielder and Gerson, with friends and supporters, formed AMHF to bolster Africa’s white-lab-coat heroes and their institutions.

The 2016 Gerson L’Chaim Prize drew 26 applications from long-term medical missionaries, Catholic and Protestant, in 12 countries. Candidate projects span women’s health centers, African doctor training, cancer diagnosis and treatment, pediatric surgery training and care, heart surgery, mobile HIV care, malaria prevention, and ER centers.

Learn more at

You can view Dr. Fader’s YouTube channel here.

Dr. Diane Howard is a frontline journalist known for exclusive interviews with leading figures in artistic, redemptive media. She has been involved in decades of qualitative and quantitative research on the verifiable power of role models. She also serves as talent and as a dialogue, dialect, voice-over coach. A former Professor of Performance, Media, and Film Studies with a Ph.D. in Performance Studies (College of Communication, University of Texas, Austin), she has been involved in multiple aspects of artistic, redemptive communication media, regionally to internationally. She can be found online at


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