Greetings to all our friends and supporters of Lifeline Malawi!
Having just returned from Malawi, I feel overwhelmed with the immense job of communicating all that is going on at the Lifeline Malawi Health Centre and all that is happening within the country of Malawi! So today, I will share some of the highlights of our trip, and then will share more in future updates.
After an absence of 20 months, it was a delight to be back with our staff and experiencing firsthand the vital care being given to our patients. Every day the halls are filled of people waiting to be cared for, and to receive lifesaving medicines from the pharmacy. Malawi is heading into its rainy season and as a result, it is malaria season too. Patients’ attendance is on the rise, some days over 200 patients will be attended to throughout the Health Centre, at the various points of care.
Steve Russell, the Chairman of the Lifeline Malawi
Board of Directors, also made the long journey with
me to Malawi. His engineering background, and love
of restoring antique sports cars and motorcycles,
made him a perfect fit to tackle maintenance and
vehicle issues. Our old Landcruiser ambulance
benefited from Steve’s attention to its bodywork and
engine check-up. He was also involved with the
planning for the future maintenance and repair
schedule. Maintenance of the buildings is one of those unseen, ongoing activities that is essential to the operations of the Health Centre, whether it is the
clearing of bats from the roof spaces, replacing the solar batteries that are much needed during power outages in maternity department, or the fixing of cracked walls and floors after last year’s earth tremors. Believe me, the list goes on! The care of our buildings is as important as is the care for our patients. We are thankful for our supporters who, over the years, have helped to build both the LM Health Centre facilities and the many staff houses, and who continue to enable us to improve, care for, and protect the infrastructure of Lifeline Malawi.
I spent most of my days in the Health Centre with the staff, observing the compassion and skill they contribute to make Lifeline Malawi a centre renowned for its wonderful care throughout the District of Salima and in the Central Region of Malawi. One of our newest nurses is Caroline Chamba, who works in the Emergency Ward monitoring patients, administering IVs, giving injections, and providing special care to the most ill patients coming to Lifeline Malawi.
The RoseTree Maternity Unit was a hub of activity, with up to four or five babies being born at the facility each day. Many of the mothers are teens, still children themselves. This continues to be an issue that we must continually address with the chiefs, in the schools, and with our youth who meet for sports after school at Lifeline Malawi.
The HIV Counselling and Testing Department is a favourite place for me to spend time. Nelson Chinchembere, Lifeline Malawi’s Head Counsellor, is a wealth of information on data, on how Lifeline Malawi and our community are doing in comparison to the rest of the country. The infection rate of people tested each month is lower than the national average. At Lifeline Malawi, two percent of those tested are positive. The national average for those testing positive is about eight percent. There are many stories that come from the clients who we treat with lifegiving antiretroviral drugs. As I mentioned, I will share more stories and information over the coming weeks and month
Steve and I also spent time in the community, visiting a Support Group of People Living with AIDS, and travelling to homes of vulnerable people with Lifeline Malawi’s Reach Out and Touch Team. These connections which we made in the community were heartwarming and we were thankful to be part of the bigger picture of showing the love of Jesus in both spiritual and practical ways.
Over the past two weeks, since I have returned from Malawi, I have had time to reflect on all that I experienced in Malawi. I am so thankful for the many donors who have helped over the past 20 years to establish this amazing work which continues to make a difference in a rural community of Malawi. Lifeline Malawi’s physical presence is substantial, its work is vital, its influence helps transform the community to be a place of growing prosperity, of healthier families, and of many people who are growing in their faith and in their knowledge of Jesus.
Thank you always from everyone in Malawi!