15 Feb February 2023 Newsletter
Greetings and a Happy New Year!
The Lutheran Mobile Clinic staff have cherished the many Christmas cards and happy new year messages that were sent.
We had a week long Christmas break for our professional staff so they can also have a good time with their loved ones. We opened the clinic on the 3 rd of January, and you would imagine how people flocked to the clinics, we have seen that communities where we serve, people would rather stay sick and come to the Lutheran Mobile Clinic day rather than visit the private clinics in the areas that are so expensive and the government hospitals which do not have the medications.
This time around it’s malaria season that has been a large factor in us seeing a high number of outpatients. We cherish your support and the fact that the communities we serve have the trust and confidence that we will provide essential healthcare services.
As of today 30th January 2023, the country has registered 1,108 cholera deaths. This is the highest number of deaths recorded since the outbreak was first detected in 1973. Malawi has beaten its own record for the 2001/02 season when the country registered 968 deaths. That season, the cases stood at around 33,000. As of today, the cases stand at 34,355 this season. This is a public health crisis unfolding before our eyes. The root cause is poor water and sanitation.
The impact on the infected and affected is devastating, with many children becoming orphans, and delayed farming and other social economic activities. Prevention of Cholera should be the top priority in development processes. To help prevent Cholera, it is important to regularly wash hands, especially after using the toilet and before eating. The country has run out of vaccines for cholera and other essential supplies. In some cases the patients are required to buy their own IV fluids which some individuals cannot afford, leading to loss of life. The ministry of health is encouraging people to ensure proper hygiene.
On the 3rd of January 2023, we received a suspected case of cholera at our Msambo clinic. He was a 27-year-old man able to walk and talk. Upon hearing the presented complaints which were diarrhea and vomiting, the clinicians assessed the patient for any possible signs of dehydration, however, the patient was well hydrated. Oral Rehydration Salt was then diluted by one of our nurses and was given to the patient who was observed drinking. The patient was then monitored at our clinic for an hour while taking the ORS and was then referred to a Cholera treatment Center situated at Chiwamba Health Center for Cholera testing and possible further management. On 18th January 2023, we also received a suspected case of cholera at our Suzi clinic, a lady aged 37 and she presented with complaints of vomiting. Again, the assessment was done and the patient was well hydrated. Oral rehydration Salt was also given to the patient and she was observed drinking. She was then referred to Chiwamba treatment center for observation, cholera testing and possible further management. Reports from the health surveillance assistants (HSAs) state that the cholera camp at Chiwamba health center has 12 cholera patients.
As a mobile clinic, we have maintained the COVID precautionary measures which are applicable to Cholera precautionary measures. We have also encouraged our staff and every one that comes to the clinic to be vaccinated for cholera. We also maintain the water, sanitation, and hygiene even at our area 10 office/house we have set up a hand wash station for everyone that comes in.
It is such a comfort to drop the tangles of life into God’s hands and leave them there. As Psalms 55:22 states “cast your cares on the Lord and he will sustain you.” God’s Blessings on the New Year.
Your sister in Christ.