Global Ministries

The United Methodist Church

Connecting the Church in Mission

World Communion Scholar Striving to Improve Public Health

By Dr. Larry R. Hygh, Jr.

Overburdened hospitals are a result of neglected community preventative activities, says Hellen Dziwa. With help from a World Communion Scholarship, she hopes to change this reality in her native Zimbabwe. "I am currently working in a hospital where the wards are always full of sick people," said Dziwa. "There is so much concentration on curative approaches, and I feel that if I am trained as a public health nurse, I will add to the few who can help those who are not yet sick in the communities to stay healthy."

Dziwa attends Africa University in Old Mutare, Zimbabwe, where she is pursuing a master’s degree in public health. She wanted to study in the country and region of her origin to create positive change. "My main aim is to keep people informed so that they will be aware that most health conditions that keep people in hospitals can be prevented," she said. Some of these diseases include cholera, tuberculosis, malaria, and HIV.

Africa University graduates
Dwiza currently works in the health industry as the acting matron of Mutambara Hospital, where she supervises nurses on a daily basis. "I ensure that total nursing care is rendered to patients and there is adequate coverage of all shifts," she said.

She is an active layperson in her local church, serving as the deputy chairperson of the board of trustees.

World Communion Sunday is one of six United Methodist Special Sundays and is celebrated on the first Sunday in October.

Gifts to the World Communion Sunday offering equip racial and ethnic-minority students in the United States and international students to transform the church and communities. Offerings from World Communion Sunday support World Communion Scholarships (General Board of Global Ministries), with at least one-half of the annual amount for ministries beyond the United States, and the Ethnic Minority Scholarship and Ethnic In-Service Training Programs of the General Board of Higher Education and Ministry.

Dziwa said, "I will be giving health education to the community, ensuring that laws and regulations pertaining to public health are adhered to by the community." She added, "I will ensure global health by empowering people."

Hygh is the director of communications for the General Board of Global Ministries of The United Methodist Church.

Photo: Graduation at Africa University
Image courtesy of Africa University

World Communion Sunday, Graduates
Africa University Choir
Image courtesy of Africa University World Communion Sunday, Graduates