05 Jun June 2023 Newsletter
It’s now the start of June, and the rainy season has been over for several weeks. Temperatures are cooling off, and numbers of malaria cases are finally dropping. In the southern region of Malawi, crops are lacking due to the cyclone in February which caused flooding and mudslides. The people may face food shortages this year. But in the central region where our clinics are located, most people are busy harvesting a good maize (corn) crop. The maize is picked, dried, removed from the cob, and ground into flour. Commonly available vegetables are pumpkin leaves, mustard greens, and peas. Most families also have groundnuts (peanuts) and soya for protein. Malnutrition is not as common this time of year, so our nutrition numbers are lower, unlike the “hungry time” in February and March. But there is always a need for teaching and guidance about how families should feed their children.
“Never be lacking in zeal, but keep your spiritual fervor, serving the Lord. Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer. Share with God’s people who are in need.” Romans 12:11-12
Jean Kanyemba, the nutritionist for the Lutheran Mobile Clinic, had a recent success story to share with us about a woman named Marriam who became pregnant while still breastfeeding her eight-month-old baby daughter, Chisomo. Soon afterwards her milk dried up, cutting off baby Chisomo’s main source of nutrition. The baby refused to eat other foods and became malnourished. Marriam heard about our clinic at Thunga village, and came for help.
Chisomo was enrolled in our supplementary feeding program and her mother was advised on complimentary feeding and six food groups for children between 6 months and 2 years old to improve their nutrition status. This is critical information for mothers who are pregnant and lactating. After a month of receiving the soya and maize flour for phala (porridge), Chisomo’s weight increased from 4.6 kg to 8.9 kg! She was able to eat solid food like nsima (cooked maizemeal), pumpkin and sweet potatoes which are in season now. Marriam has started antenatal clinic and she was also advised to start family planning six weeks after giving birth.
Another bit of good news from our Msambo clinic in Malawi concerns our program for disabled children who are transported to get physical therapy. Violet Chikwatu, Nurse in Charge, says that all of the children being helped have shown improvement in their strength and mobility. A little boy named Newa, who had problems using his legs a year ago as a one-year-old baby, can now walk with some support. Now Kingdom Workers’ staff are willing to enlist members at Msambo church for training to do additional therapy at home with families. We pray that after the busy harvest season, volunteers will be available to help with this.
In Lusaka, Zambia, the Clinic Administrator of the Lutheran Rural Health Center, Alisad Banda, is happy to report he has a new office on the grounds of the Lutheran Seminary. Previously his small office was in a building shared with the LCCA (Lutheran Church of Central Africa) Zambia. and he’d have to leave whenever there was a meeting in their conference room. But there was an unused 2 room house on campus which we were allowed to remodel into a clean, spacious office and bathroom for CAMM’s administrative use. Alisad can now do his office work in a quiet place where he can hold his own meetings with visitors.
Another development at our Mwembezhi clinic, outside of Lusaka, is that there has been a need to add a fence around the buildings to keep out local goats and cattle that often wander onto the compound. Thanks to some generous donors, we now have the funding to build a chain link fence around the compound, to prevent access to animals and create a more secure area at night. We are very thankful for everyone who has a part in making the Central Africa Medical Mission work possible. In Paul’s words from 1 Cor 3:9, “We are coworkers in God’s service.” Prayers are continually heard and answered. People are healed and encouraged in their faith. Jesus is glorified and his work carries on in Africa.
Your sister in Christ,
Beth Evans, CAMM Nurse Advisor