Bread and Water for Africa® Supports Free Mobile Clinic Operation Serving Rural Villages in Malawi

Thursday, April 18, 2024

Bread and Water for Africa® Supports Free Mobile Clinic Operation Serving Rural Villages in Malawi

Thursday, April 18, 2024

In Malawi there is a small village named Mseka which is located in an extremely hard-to-reach area due to poor road infrastructure, and the hundreds of residents who call it home must travel a long distance, oftentimes ill and on foot, to the nearest health clinic.

Bread and Water for Africa® shares the mission of our partner working in country, Our AIM Foundation (OAF), and the vision of its International Program Director Sabrina Vatanshoeva who states, “In our commitment to community empowerment, the Our AIM Foundation recognizes the fundamental role of good health as the cornerstone of a thriving society.

“This essential human right is often lacking in many remote communities in Malawi.”

To that end, OAF operates a clinic in Tongozala which was established “to provide 100 percent free health services” to the residents in more than 126 villages within a 50km (31-mile) radius.

Complementing the clinic, the OAF team has begun conducting monthly outreach clinic programs, with support from Bread and Water for Africa®, venturing into the remotest villages such as Mseka with the aim of delivering clinical services and extending support to the homes of immobile patients.

“These individuals, due to factors such as old age, fragile health, disabilities, and challenging road and transportation conditions, are unable to travel long distances to reach our clinic,” says Sabrina.

While malaria, and more recently cholera, pose severe health risks, she explains that the medical outreach program is whole-health focused and “encompasses a diverse range of medical activities designed to reach marginalized communities and address healthcare needs.”

This includes disseminating information about diseases, conditions, and the signs/symptoms of certain ailments or preventive measures while also involving the diagnosis and treatment of chronic diseases, as well as awareness campaigns on nutrition, sanitation, and overall well-being. Family planning services are also offered during these initiatives to contribute to the reduction of population growth and promote the sustainability of households.

 “Collectively, these efforts constitute the outreach program, aiming to provide medical services in the most effective manner possible,” says Sabrina.

On a recent morning in Mseka Village, OAF staff ventured into the heart of the village to spread the word about the free clinic that would be there to serve them all day, they encountered “a resilient elderly woman in her 70s grappling with various ailments, including rheumatism,” to which the AIM doctor and nurse conducted an “on-the-spot diagnosis and treatment” for the ailing woman.

Within minutes, as villagers arrived seeking help, the mobile outreach clinic became “a beacon of hope as a stream of patients awaited assistance, illustrating the community’s trust in the mobile clinic,” Sabrina reported.

On that one day, the OAF medical team provided medical aid, treatment, and medication, addressing the diverse health needs of 256 patients, including 46 cases of malaria, which according to the U.S. President’s Malari Initiative (PMI), “is endemic in more than 95 percent of Malawi and is one of the major causes of morbidity and mortality across all age groups,”  especially among children under five years of age.

And, post-outreach, Sabrina reported, “waves of gratitude echoed through Mseka Village.”

And thanks to the supporters of Bread and Water for Africa® we are able to help OAF future its goals by providing funding which provides medications specifically for use at the outreach clinics (so as not to divert medicines needed at the Tongozala clinic), rental of a vehicle that can traverse the hilly, gutted dirt roadways, food and snacks, and staffing.

“The goal is to ensure that villagers, including the weak, handicapped, elderly, children, women, and men, have access to these services both on-site and in the comfort of their homes,” says Sabrina. “Ultimately, we strive to offer individuals their dignity and empowerment, facilitating transformative improvements in their lives.

 “Our aim is to deliver tangible medical services that not only alleviate health issues but also inspire, instill hope, and restore dignity to the residents of the most remote areas.”

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