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Help Dr. Tom Save Lives in the Nuba Mountains 

They’ve survived war. They’ve faced violence for over 50 years. They’ve watched their homes be destroyed. They’ve seen their children die. There is only one hospital with only one surgeon. Dr. Tom Catena serves in the Nuba Mountains and he needs your help.  

Will you help save the lives of children and families in the Nuba Mountains of Sudan? Give now and your gift will go directly to the field to help Dr. Tom and his team provide compassionate medical care to people in critical need.  

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African Mission Healthcare logo

Help Dr. Tom Save Lives in the Nuba Mountains 

They’ve survived war. They’ve faced violence for over 50 years. They’ve watched their homes be destroyed. They’ve seen their children die. There is only one hospital with only one surgeon. Dr. Tom Catena serves in the Nuba Mountains and he needs your help.  

Will you help save the lives of children and families in the Nuba Mountains of Sudan? Give now and your gift will go directly to the field to help Dr. Tom and his team provide compassionate medical care to people in critical need.  

100% of your gift goes directly to the field to cover medical care where it's needed most.

“One reason I’m so impressed by Dr. Tom is that most of the world, including world leaders and humanitarians, have pretty much abandoned the people of the Nuba Mountains ...That’s the context in which Dr. Tom stands out for his principled commitment ...You needn’t be a conservative Catholic or evangelical Christian to celebrate that kind of selflessness. Just human.  

Nicholas Kristof, Pulitzer Prize Winning Journalist, The New York Times

The Vision 

The Nuba Mountains in Sudan have been repeatedly devastated by civil war and violence for over half a century. Governments turning against their own people. Families ripped apart. Children growing up with the constant threat of bombings and the terror of their homes being destroyed or their families killed.  

There’s one hospital here to help mend the wounded and rebuild. And only one surgeon: Dr. Tom Catena.  

The defining characteristic of Dr. Tom is this: he stays.  

In the face of death, in the middle of burning villages and bleeding children and widespread poverty, Dr. Tom stays. He’s on call 24/7 - on the weekends, in the middle of the night, and he sees as many as 400 patients a day. Even following a ceasefire, in the wake of such atrocities, this community needs support. The war decimated the land, economy and health system. But Dr. Tom can't do it alone. He needs your help.

The people of Nuba need you.  

Our goal is to raise $7.5 million dollars to help support the lifework of Dr. Tom and bring safe, compassionate medical care to the people of Nuba for the next 20 years.  

The Need

  • 1.3 million people in the area rely on Dr. Tom and Gidel Mother of Mercy Hospital for medical care.
  • The Nuba Mountains are a historically war-torn area. The previous national government bombed its own people and even targeted the hospital.
  • Transportation is scarce, so patients are carried to the hospital on beds, donkeys, or bicycles. Many patients, including women in labor, arrive in extreme need. 
  • 1 in every 18 women in Nuba will die from pregnancy-related causes due to lack of access to adequate medical care. 

The Goals

  • Supporting Dr. Tom’s vision to create a training school to educate nurses, midwives and physician assistants for Gidel Hospital and the entire region.
  • Strengthening Gidel Hospital to teach the next generation of healthcare workers how to provide maternal care, handle trauma wounds, and treat malaria. 
  • Securing the funding needed to keep Gidel Hospital operational and provide medicines, supplies, and hospital staff for decades to come. 
  • Expanding assistance to village clinics to bring primary health care closer to the people and empower the Nuba healthcare system.


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Dr. Tom’s Story

Dr. Tom’s Story

Tom Catena grew up in Amsterdam, New York, in a large, devoted Catholic family. He played football at Brown and attended Duke Medical School. After completing his residency in Indiana and serving as a Navy doctor for five years, he went straight to the mission field in Kenya, where he honed his surgical skills. In 2008, he moved to Sudan to serve the people of the Nuba Mountains. 

He left behind family, friends, and the outside world to serve in one of the most remote war-torn areas on earth.

When fighting started in 2011, almost all the expatriate workers evacuated, but Dr. Tom remained. He insisted on staying. He said that leaving would be the same as saying his life is more important than those in Nuba, which he did not accept. As Tom says, “The source of most of our conflicts is the idea that one person’s life is more valuable than someone else’s. We have forgotten that we are all children of God and therefore somewhat related.”  

In 2014, the hospital was targeted. Bombs fell right next to his home. But still, he chose to stay.  

He continues to stay and serve to this day. Now his wife, Nasima, a native of the Nuba Mountains and a nurse at Gidel Hospital, serves with him.  

“I think people may look at Africa and say, ‘What you're doing is just a drop in the ocean. . .But when you're there, you don't see a drop in the ocean. You see a person. You see a life.” —Tom Catena

The Impact

How Many People Does Gidel Hospital Help? 

Right now, the hospital is running and helping provide medical care for hundreds of thousands of people. But they desperately need funds to continue and create a stable future. 

These statistics from 2018 show the incredible impact:  

  • 53,632 hospital clinic visits (29% are children under 5-years-old)  
  • 1,625 operations 
  • 80,000 patients cared for by trained Gidel staff at six community clinics 
  • 382 women delivered their babies at the hospital, 20% by C-section
  • 164 tuberculosis and leprosy patients treated  

Gidel Hospital’s mission is to provide accessible, quality health services to the marginalized people in Nuba and to train skilled health workers regardless of tribe, race, or religion. 

Will you help Dr. Tom save lives?

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What Your Gift Means

It doesn’t take a lot to make an incredible difference in the life of a child or family or nurse in Nuba. 

  • $11 is enough for a patient to spend a day in the hospital
  • $33 provides medicines and supplies for a hospital stay  
  • $105 pays a nurse's aid salary for an entire month 
  • $226 covers the cost of a C-Section for a mother in need
  • $3,180 pays a registered nurse’s salary for an entire year 
  • $8,700 covers the cost of training a nurse over the course of 3 years 


You have the power to save a life and help change the future of Nuba. 

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*Costs are approximate. 

What Others Are Saying

“In terms of individual lives saved, you could argue that there is no other person on the front lines doing more than Tom.” —Dr. Peter Attia, host of The Drive podcast

“Dr. Tom...works selflessly, twenty-four-seven, treating all conditions, from casualties resulting from the conflict to delivering babies to malnutrition. He reminds me that his greatest compensation is the fulfillment and peace that comes from serving others in need. Regardless of the hardship, Dr. Tom is exactly where he wants to be.” —Kenneth Carlson, Director The Heart of Nuba

“Meeting Tom Catena is the closest I have come to meeting a saint. He runs the Mother of Mercy Hospital in the war-torn Nuba Mountains of Sudan with an unparalleled level of devotion to his Catholic faith and the Nuban people who seek his care.” —Andrew Berends, Time Magazine Top 100 Most Influential People

African Mission Healthcare PO Box 8598, Pueblo, CO 81008-8598 Info@AfricanMissionHealthcare.org 614-259-7229

 © 2019 AMH is a registered 501(c)3 public charity (EIN 27-3663856). All gifts are tax-deductible to the extent allowed by law.

African Mission Healthcare PO Box 8598, Pueblo, CO 81008-8598 Info@AfricanMissionHealthcare.org 614-259-7229

 © 2019 AMH is a registered 501(c)3 public charity (EIN 27-3663856). Gifts are tax-deductible to the extent allowed by law.