With God’s help, hundreds of thousands of patients in Zambia and Malawi have been touched by the work of the Central Africa Medical Mission (CAMM). Together, the clinics in Zambia and Malawi serve close to 80,000 patients a year. Each clinic day begins with devotion so that all in attendance can hear the Good News of their Savior.
Commissioned by the Wisconsin Evangelical Lutheran Synod convention in 1957 to address the physical needs of the African people being served by WELS missionaries, the Lutheran Mission Rural Health Centre serves a large surrounding area. The clinic, originally known as the Mwembezhi Clinic, was established in 1961 and is located about 50 miles northwest of Lusaka, the capitol of Zambia. The property consists of clinic buildings, Martin Luther Church, and housing for workers. Since 2007, the clinic has been operated by national staff. It is currently under the direction of a Chief Clinical Officer, Jackson Kalekwa, and Clinic Administrator Alisad Banda.
Medical services include preventive health care for children and expectant women, infant delivery, as well as treatment of patients with illnesses such as malaria, HIV/AIDS, parasitic infections, and tuberculosis. Extended services include community outreach and home-based care. The clinic has a trustworthy reputation of treating all patients in a Christian manner with respect and dignity and continues to be recognized by the Zambian government for exemplary care.
The Lutheran Mobile Clinic was established in 1970 and operates out of Lilongwe, the capitol of Malawi. A Land Cruiser serves as the clinic ambulance and transports the medical staff and supplies to four different clinic sites ranging from a 20 minute to 1-hour ride from Lilongwe. Sites include Suzi, Mwalaulomwe, Thunga, and Msambo. Each clinic site has a one-room building, which conducts clinic one day a week, and serves as a church site on Sundays and for other gatherings during the week.
Since 2022, the clinic is fully operated by national staff, and is under the direction of Violet Chikwatu, Nurse-in-Charge, and Lusungu Mwambeye, Clinic Administrator.
The clinic focuses on preventive health care, but also tends to those that need medical attention. An infant wellness program that includes immunizations is provided for children birth to age five. A formula program for orphans addresses the needs of infants being raised by extended family. Prenatal care is provided to expectant women. All sick patients receive examinations and treatment from a trained clinician, and nutrition classes and health lessons are also provided to those attending.
Special classes were initiated by the staff to train Community Health Workers. Upon completion of the classes these volunteer workers share their knowledge and skill within their villages. Workers teach positive health practices, take care of simple health problems, and help with village immunizations. The existing infra-structure will meet the health needs of the community long after the expatriate presence is gone.
Our staff readjusted the goals when the AIDS epidemic reached crisis proportion in Central Africa. We provide Christian counseling along with HIV testing at the Mwembezhi Clinic. HIV positive patients are treated with special medications provided by the national government.