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!
Children of God's Blessing is a program started in 2018 by Violet Pota, Lifeline Malawi's Head Nurse.
Violet's vision for this program was that children would really learn and understand the word of God and know Jesus.
Previously, over the past years, Violet noticed the lack of respect and the deteriorating morals in the lives of children in our community. Violet wants to raise up godly leaders for the future, and what better place to start but in the lives of young children, ages 8-13.
This program is really changing lives!Lifeline Malawi Community
These children come to the Lifeline Malawi Health Centre after school for a time of recreation and a time for learning. The children receive extra tutoring in English, Chichewa, and Mathematics, and learn about God through Bible reading, moral teaching, and by memorizing scriptures.
The local schools recognize our program and the children are given credit for the subjects that they learn at Lifeline Malawi.
The tutoring supports them so they do well at school. The testimonies of parents are being heard in the community by our leadership team. These children are respectful, not talking back to their parents and are showing leadership amongst their peers!
Thank you, our generous donors, for your help in fund raising this year!
On November 30, 2021, GivingTuesday is a global movement for giving and volunteering, taking place each year after Black Friday in the United States. It is “Opening day of the giving season,” and it’s a time when charities, companies and individuals join together to rally for their favourite causes. In the same way that retailers take part in Black Friday, the giving community comes together for GivingTuesday.
This year we hope you will rally with us to raise $12000 for an ultrasound machine and other necessities needed at Lifeline Malawi. An ultrasound machine is life saving body scanning technology that helps in the Maternity ward to see the health of the baby in the womb as well in the cardiovascular department with heart problems. It is can be used for surgeries where X-Ray or MRI machines are dangerous for the patient such as someone who has a metal plate in their body. An ultrasound machine will help us see if there will be any complications during birth and can help reduce the delivery mortality of rate mothers in Malawi.
How can I help?
We can not do this without you! Thank you to our generous donors for providing encouraging messages, support both verbal and financial. We kindly ask to share Lifeline Malawi with those closest to you and use the "Make a Donation" button in the top right corner of your screen.
*While we will do our best to ensure funds go directly to the Ultrasound machine. Funds can be diverted at any time to other causes and needs at Lifeline Malawi.
Across the world, December 1, 2021 marks World HIV & AIDS Awareness. Lifeline Malawi Medical Centre, with your help, brings much needed educations, medication and palliative care to those suffering in Malawi from the effects of HIV. Approximately one thousand and nine hundred patients received antiretroviral medication from Lifeline Malawi Medical Centre and fifty percent of the patients that are on Palliative Care program at Lifeline Malawi Medical Centre are people living with HIV and AIDS.
In Malawi, 1,100,000 people are currently living with HIV while Sub-Saharan Africa has the world's highest AIDS & HIV rates at a total of 5% or approximately 23 500 000 people living with it.
So, what is HIV and why do we talk about HIV and AIDS differently?
Ultimately, HIV (or Human Immunodeficiency Virus) is a virus that attacks the immune system and AIDS (Acquired ImmunoDeficiency Syndrome) is a term that can only be used when HIV has caused severe damage to the immune system. HIV is the virus, AIDS is the diagnosis.
AIDS remains a threatening illness that has eroded and affected many lives. HIV targets and gradually weakens the body's immune system by damaging cells called CD4 T cells. This damage means that, over time, the body becomes less able to fight off other infections. If the immune system becomes impaired enough, infections that are typically mild can be life threatening.
What can I do to help and prevent the spread?
Get tested! If someone you know has AIDS, getting tested for HIV is a great preventative and knowledge step towards protecting your own health and the health of those around you.
You can use strategies such as abstinence (not having sex), never sharing needles, and using condoms the right way every time you have sex. Discussing with your potential partner and taking advantage of HIV prevention medicines such as pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP), post-exposure prophylaxis (PEP) and Antiretroviral therapy (ART) can help slow the rate at which HIV multiplies in the body, reduce symptoms and possibilities of spreading.
How can I help?
Lifeline Malawi has an HIV and AIDS program that worked with approximately 5000 patients by testing, educating, and providing medication to locals suffering from AIDS. By contributing to Lifeline Malawi, you are helping to pay for medications, nurse salaries, doctors and necessary medical equipment that contributes to the great work at Lifeline Malawi. Make a donation today by using the "Make a Donation" button at the top right corner of the screen.
Recently we identified the cause of paralysis of a young male who was sick for more than 3 months.
What was the problem?
He was diagnosed with Neurosyphilis and an HIV infection (to find out more about AIDS and HIV, click here).
What is Neurosyphilis?
Neurosyphilis is a disease of the coverings of the brain, the brain itself, or the spinal cord. It can occur in people with syphilis, especially if they are left untreated.
Depending on the form of neurosyphilis, symptoms may include any of the following:
What are the symptoms of HIV?
Symptoms include various types of mental deterioration, vision loss, speech disturbances, ataxia (inability to coordinate movements), paralysis, brain lesions, and, ultimately, coma. Some individuals may also have compromised memory and cognition, and seizures may occur.
These two complicated viruses combined can make for a complicated and confusing diagnoses, most rural health facilities miss this syphilis that affects the brain, luckily, we were able to use the knowledge taught at Lifeline Malawi to refer the patient to a treatment centre in Salima where they have a treatment plan for patients like this.
How can I help?
We know you love to hear updates about the patients and we wanted to thank you for all of your generous donations in the past. We want to continue to share stories like this one and so many more good news items. Please help us by click the "Make A Donation" button at the top of your screen. We truly appreciate your time and effort towards Lifeline Malawi.
On Oct 15, 2021, it was Mother's Day in Malawi and as a national holiday, they celebrate with the president who gives a national address to his people. The children thank their mother's by giving special gifts.
Happy Mother's Day Malawi
At Lifeline Malawi, we deliver about 700 babies each year and are proud to announce we have delivered approximately 7,150 babies over the years bringing with those babies 7,150 mothers and their families into Lifeline Malawi Medical Cantre!
View the work we are doing to help more Mother's in Malawi with our Maternity Ward.
While we celebrate each mother on this earth, we want to continue bringing more beautiful potential mothers safely into rural Malawi. Lifeline Malawi is currently fundraising for a new ultrasound machine in order to have less risky births, more life saving ovarian procedures and an reduction in heart related deaths by noticing problems in their early stages. Help us fund raise for this vital equipment, donate today!
Justus Kanyuka, Lifeline Malawi’s Managing Director, and his wife Emma, recently delivered their lovely baby girl, named Joana (meaning God is gracious), at the RoseTree Maternity Unit on September 13, 2021.
Congratulations to Justus and Emma!
The Medical Council of Malawi has admired Lifeline’s facility for a long time and have been impressed with the good hygiene, which is so much better than other hospitals in Malawi.
Thanks to your donations, Lifeline Malawi Medical Centre helps deliver over 700 babies per year by supplying staff, training and salaries to nurses in order to kept everything running smoothly.
The Lifeline Malawi Medical Centre is fundraising for a new Ultrasound machine to help Mother's and their babies deliver safely. Click on the Make a Donation to continue to help bring medical care to rural Malawi.
On October 6, 2021, BBC News released official confirmation that the piloted malaria vaccinations officially rollout across Sub-African nations and areas with high to moderate malaria transmission.
Malaria is a parasite that invades and destroys our blood cells in order to reproduce, and it's spread by the bite of blood-sucking mosquitoes, mostly effecting and killing infants and babies; this vaccine means that more than 260, 000 children per year can be saved.
Having a vaccine - after more than a century of trying - is among medicine's greatest achievements.
The vaccine - called RTS,S - was proven effective six years ago. It takes years of being repeatedly infected to build up immunity and even this only reduces the chances of becoming severely ill.
The findings of the pilots were discussed by two expert advisory groups at the WHO on Wednesday.
The results, from more than 2.3 million doses, showed:
"From a scientific perspective, this is a massive breakthrough, from a public health perspective this is a historical feat," said Dr Pedro Alonso, the director of the WHO Global Malaria Programme.
"We've been looking for a malaria vaccine for over 100 years now, it will save lives and prevent disease in African children."
The pilot programme will continue in the 3 pilot countries, Ghana, Kenya and Malawi, to understand the added value of the 4th vaccine dose, and to measure longer-term impact on child deaths.
BBC News - https://www.bbc.com/news/health-58810551
WHO - https://www.who.int/images/default-source/imported/immunization/malariavaccineinfo.png?sfvrsn=387df022_1