Therefore, as we have opportunity, let us do good to all people, especially to those who belong to the family of believers.
Welcome to the Central Africa Medical Mission, a 50-year legacy of healthcare in Zambia and Malawi. The volunteers and national staff see many faces and have been a light of Jesus to many people. Their work is one of humility, patience, commitment, and sacrifice for people that they may never see again. It is leaving a place of comfort and entering one that brings constant reminders of pain, disease, sorrow, and loneliness. Yet, it also brings the blessings of new friendships, lessons in perseverance and character, and a strengthened faith in the One who sustains, cares for, and loves all people.
The Medical Mission is a program in which WELS or ELS health care professionals can use their God-given abilities to spread His love in a different area of the world. This ministry is a tremendous benefit to the Lutheran Church in Central Africa and our fellow sisters and brothers in Jesus.
Lutheran Mobile Clinic
HIV/AIDS is a huge issue in sub-Saharan Africa and Malawi has one of the highest prevalence rates! Malawi currently has a 9.1 prevalence rate of those aged 15-49 years old (UNAIDS-2015 estimates)—that means almost one in ten 15-49 year olds is living with HIV! This doesn’t count any children or adults older than 49. HIV and its complications present many challenges in life and clinical work here in Malawi.
One of the services Lutheran Mobile Clinic offers to our patients is HIV Testing and Counseling (HTC). One goal of the service is to have all our pregnant mothers and nutrition clients to be tested and know their HIV status so they can be sure they are receiving appropriate care. We also offer the service to anyone who wishes to know their status. Currently LMC is testing approximately 100-200 people each month!
Our HIV Testing and Counseling is a comprehensive service. We initially gather the testing group together and provide education on HIV transmission, prevention, education on sexually transmitted infections and the link to HIV. In addition, we provide education on how to live with HIV (we call this positive living), prevention of infecting others, good nutrition, social networking and support groups, confidentiality and disclosure of status, and drug adherence. After the first group counseling session, the individual testing is done and results are given. After results have been given, a review of the applicable teaching is done for each client. The entire process takes over an hour to ensure quality teaching and sufficient time for each client. Because of our faith based approach, we are able to frame our education with Christ at the center, which is a unique strength of our programming.
If a client is positive, they are referred to their nearest area health center to start antiretroviral therapy (ART) if they qualify. Pregnant mothers are started on ARTs immediately to prevent the transmission of HIV to their child (PMTCT program—prevention of mother to child transmission). If women enroll and participate in this program, their children have to potential to be HIV negative at birth and beyond if they continue their ARTs while breastfeeding.
Currently Lutheran Mobile Clinic only has one nurse, Miss Jere, who is HTC trained. She is supposed to be assisted by Health Surveillance Assistants (HSAs) who are government employees; however, the HSAs have not been reliable. Since they haven’t been coming to clinic regularly, we have had to turn some of our clients away because we haven’t had the staff to be able to provide the service. Thankfully, Mrs. Chisutu, a Lutheran Mobile Clinic community nurse, has been offered a training opportunity to become HTC trained. This is a rare opportunity because the cost of the training is almost $1,400. She has just finished her practical training. This training fits in well with her community health background and her excellence in teaching and counseling patients. She is very excited to get out to our clinic sites and help Miss Jere in our HTC program. Some of our other staff are also hoping to attend this same training if the opportunity is available. Mrs. Chisutu said, “The training was very difficult, there was so much to learn in a very short period of time. I’m excited to use the skills I learned at the training during clinic. If there were a few more of us, we could expand our services and test even more people!”
Your Sister In Christ,
“As we have opportunity, let us do good to all people, especially to those who belong to the family of believers.” Galatians 6:10
September 17, 2016 (Saturday) Luther Days
Shoreland Lutheran High School (Kenosha, WI) (9:00-4:00) www.lutherdays.org - Linda Liesener/Kari Belter
October 8, 2016 (Saturday)
Women's Society Beautiful Savior (Austin, MN) (9:30am) - Linda Liesener
October 8, 2016 (Saturday)
Beautiful Savior and Holy Scripture Women's Retreat (Fort Wayne IN) - Shelly Sievert
October 16, 2016 (Sunday)
Women's Mission Gathering - Mt Olive (Overland Park KS) (1pm) - Linda Liesener
October 23, 2016 (Sunday)
CAMM Commissioning of Amanda Artz, Clinic Administrator for Lutheran Mobile Clinic - Trinity (Brillion WI)
November 3, 2016 (Thursday)
Abiding Word Ladies Group (Milwaukee WI) (11:45am) - Linda Liesener