A Changed Perspective on Community Health
By Rev. Arlindo Romao and Bella DiFilippo*
“It is very difficult for most of us to go to the nearest health center or hospital because it is very far,” said Ernesto Raul. “Most of us don’t have money for transportation so we need to walk for miles under the heat of the sun to access medical service that we need.”
Ernesto Raul, 51, is the community leader of Nhabanda, one of the rural communities in Mozambique served through the mobile clinic program of Imagine No Malaria. When he was told that his community will be included in the program, he was very grateful.
Ernesto Raul shares at a community health event with the Mozambique Health Board. PHOTO: NOE CENAL
Like most rural areas in Mozambique, the residents of this community boil medicinal herbs, leaves, and roots to treat several diseases, some of which could be dangerous and lead further complications. The lectures given before the start of mobile clinic gave community members more knowledge about malaria and the need to immediately seek consultation at the hospital once symptoms have been detected. Aside from malaria testing, the mobile clinic also provided the community with other medical services like general screening, HIV testing, eye consultation, weighing and vaccination of children, and family planning.
A Mozambique Health Board worker conducts Rapid Diagnostic Tests for malaria. PHOTO: NOE CENAL
Ernesto Raul shared. “My community and I are very grateful for this opportunity to be reached out by the mobile clinic team. Some of us did not want to walk for several hours to be treated. We now realize the importance of seeking proper attention at the hospital and taking care of our own health as well,” said Raul.
Thanks to the people of The United Methodist Church, the positive impact of the Imagine No Malaria initiative continues to be experienced in countries like Mozambique. To support the work of the Global Health Unit of Global Ministries through this project, please consider giving to Advance #3021190, Imagine No Malaria Projects.
*Rev. Arlindo Romao is the health board coordinator for the Mozambique Health Board. Bella DiFilippo is the program area liaison for Global Ministries Communications.