Stefano is 52 years old and with his wife and children, he Ives in the local fishing village of Chilambula. Of his five children, three are living at home and are attending local government schools.
Stefano started working at a lifeline Malawi in 2003, helping to build the mission house. He likes working for Lifeline Malawi because of the Christian element and morning prayers. He has peace in his heart when he is at work and the prayers keep him going. Also, his needs are being fulfilled financially because he had this job. He hopes that LM will continue working.
“Thank you to the donors, for their generosity to Lifeline Malawi. I have seen a change in the work over all these years. Thank you to the donors for I am happy that I can look after my family and I don’t sleep with an empty stomach. “His message to donors
“'For I know the plans I have for you,' declares the Lord, 'plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.'” Jeremiah 29:11
I would like to introduce you to Grace Mankunba, a happily married young woman who is HIV positive. With her is her lovely 12-month-old, very healthy daughter, Elsa, who is HIV negative. We can celebrate this moment because of the wonderful care Grace and Elsa are receiving at the Lifeline Malawi Health Centre.
Globally, an estimated 1.3 million women and girls living with HIV become pregnant each year. An HIV-positive mother can transmit HIV to her baby at any time during pregnancy, childbirth, or breastfeeding. This is a deadly serious issue because without antiretroviral therapy, there is a 20 to 45 per cent risk of an HIV positive mother passing the infection on to their unborn child, and a 16 per cent chance of passing it on to their infant through breastfeeding.
Preventing Mother to Child Transmission (PMTCT) of HIV is one of the proactive measures that we take at the Lifeline Malawi Health Centre to transforms a life from one of probable illness to one with hope and a future. Since this program was introduced at Lifeline Malawi in 2008, when the Rosetree Maternity Unit was built, Lifeline Malawi has not had one vertical transmission of HIV from a positive mother to her baby.
What does this PMTCT program involve?
First, it is important for a mother to know her status. All pregnant mothers attending Lifeline Malawi prenatal clinics are tested for HIV. If they are positive, they start on the life-giving antiretroviral medicine. The sooner the mother starts the medicine, the better it is for her and her baby’s health.
These prescribed medicines continue throughout the pregnancy and during childbirth. The baby also is given antiretroviral medicine for the first 4 to 6 weeks of its life. Taking antiretrovirals will be a lifelong treatment for the mother.
After the birth, it is important for the moms and their babies to attend follow-up assessment clinics at LM. This is how I met Grace and Elsa as they are part of a Mother Infant Pairing (MIP). During these visits, the baby is tested for HIV at six, 12, and 24 months of age to check that the child status remains negative. At two years of age, and when the baby is weaned, the child is considered HIV negative and leaves the PMTCT program as another success story for Lifeline Malawi!
Thank you to all our donors who help support Lifeline Malawi in maintaining our facility, in training and paying our wonderful staff, and in giving a child like Elsa a really excellent start to a normal, healthy and happy life.
“We wait in hope for the Lord;
he is our help and our shield.
In him our hearts rejoice,
for we trust in his holy name.
May your unfailing love be with us, Lord,
even as we put our hope in you”. Psalm 33:20-22
Throughout our 12 years living in Malawi, Psalm 33 became an important scripture for me as we faced many uncertainties, illnesses, dangers, and the great need of the country around us. Dependability was not to be expected from our surrounding environment, so, our dependence on God grew as we waited in hope for the Lord to be our help and shield. Our hearts did indeed rejoice in this as we put our trust in Him.
As we began taking medical help to the rural community of Ngodzi, I saw an even greater dependence on God there for those who know Him. I see the joy and peace of God in them despite their suffering, poverty, illness, or circumstances. I am always humbled by their expressions of thankfulness to God for His great faithfulness and for His abundant love towards them. In their suffering and difficulties, God is their hope, and they wait patiently for Him. They seek Him fervently in prayer, singing joyful praises to their Saviour, and at times they cry out in lament as they feel the burden of their immense needs.
Lifeline Malawi is the answer to the prayers of many of the people and leaders in the community. There is no other place like Lifeline Malawi which shares the love of Jesus with the thousands of people that come to the clinic each month. There is no other medical help in the region for them or for their families, whether it be maternal health services, vital malaria treatment, HIV therapies, wound dressings, or childhood illnesses, just to name a few of our points of care. Through our faith and hope, and His unfailing love with us, we are able to make a huge difference in the lives of the people of our community, We do not do this without God connecting us to people like you who support this work. Together we are transforming lives and giving them hope and a better future through our trust in Jesus Christ.
Thank you for your faithful interest and support of Lifeline Malawi. The work is excellent, and I pray that the fruit it bears will glorify the Lord, and bring many lives to know Jesus.
Lifeline Malawi – Knowing Jesus Through Healthcare.
“We remember before our God and Father your work produced by faith, your labor prompted by love, and your endurance inspired by hope in our Lord Jesus Christ” 1 Thessalonians 1:3.
"May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.” Romans 15:13
With Kind regards,
Executive Director, Lifeline Malawi