Global Ministries

The United Methodist Church

Connecting the Church in Mission

Global Ministries - ConnectNMission
November, 2015 · Issue 2

In this issue of the Global Health newsletter the Nigeria Health Board Reaches 30 Villages with Malaria Prevention and Treatment; Maternal and Child Health Services Reach Indigenous Maya Women in San Juan, Guatemala and Old Mutare Mission Hospital in Zimbabwe Starts Laundry Services

Pregnant women and children under age five receive nets in Mutum Biyu village, Taraba State, Nigeria October 2015.
Four countries, Nigeria, Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), Ethiopia, and Uganda account for nearly 50 percent of deaths due to malaria (from CDC and USAID reports, 2013). Nigeria is the worst hit with more reported malaria cases and deaths than any country in the world. With a population of about 170 million, many rural and hard to reach villages are often left out of national malaria control efforts. These remote and forgotten villages have been the focus of the Rural Health program of the United Methodist Church in Nigeria. The Nigerian Health Board has been responding to the challenge of malaria in remote villages tucked in the nooks of the Sandstone Mountains of North Eastern Nigeria along the banks of the Upper Benue River and stretching across Federated States of Bauchi, Gombe, Taraba, and Adamawa States.

The aim of the Rural Health program is to reach the most vulnerable, pregnant women and children under age five with long lasting insecticidal nets (LLINs), malaria diagnosis, and treatment services in these underserved villages. Services are provided through two mobile clinics supported by the Imagine No Malaria grants from the General Board of Global Ministries. The first phase of bed net distribution in 2014 reached 3,400 women in 10 villages. The second phase in 2015 is targeted will reach 15,000 pregnant and nursing mothers in 30 villages. The health board hopes to reach even more villages with nets and services in 2016. Your gifts to the Imagine No Malaria program have given hope to children who might otherwise not make it to their 5th birthday. With your continued support we can do more in Nigeria in 2016.

Give to Imagine No Malaria Advance #3021190.

The staff at ODIM conduct a support-group session for pregnant women, in San Juan, Guatemala.
Organization for the Development of the Indigenous Maya (ODIM), San Juan, Guatemala, provides Maternal and Child Health (MCH) and nutrition education including social support for mothers in San Juan. These services are provided with the support of grants from the MCH program of the Global Health unit of Global Ministries. Rosario is one of the women who attended her prenatal consults at the ODIM clinic. Nearing the end of her pregnancy, Rosario developed an infection and went into early labor as a result. The staff at the center started her on treatment and accompanied her to the nearest national hospital for an emergency Caesarean section. This journey entails 90 to 120 minutes of arduous travel by mechanical rickshaw, boat, and truck. Thankfully, Rosario returned to San Juan with her premature son, Joni. The community health workers from ODIM visited her at home and provided support to Rosario in the care of her premature baby. Rosario was encouraged to participate in health classes, support groups, and cooking classes with Joni. She was provided vitamins and fortified foods to support her nutrition as she breastfed Joni, bringing him regularly to the clinic for a well-child visit. Six months down the road, “we are excited to see that Joni’s weight and length normalize,’’ says Holly Burkoski, Community Health and Education program manager. Indeed, now that Joni has reached a healthy size, we are confident that he will continue to thrive.

This story illustrates the difference access to information and health care can make in communities, one child at a time. The program has reached more than 200 indigenous women and their children through the Mamá y yo, saludable (Healthy Mommy and Me) project in six months. Your gifts to the Global Health Advance #3021770 make this possible.

Old Mutare Hospital is one of the United Methodist Church health institutions in Zimbabwe, located a 20-minute drive from Mutare in Manicaland Province. It is a 70-bed hospital serving about 30,000 people from the commercial farms, resettlement areas, and neighboring towns around Mutare. The hospital also supervises six satellite UMC clinics in the province. In spite of its good reputation, Old Mutare Hospital did not have a laundry department and its meager earnings could not provide the $50,000 needed to establish a laundry unit for the hospital. As a result hospital linen was sent to commercial laundromats until a debt of $7,000 in laundry services led the hospital administrator to resort to hand washing of the linen by community volunteers. This is an extremely unsafe practice for the volunteers involved due to potential exposure to hospital-acquired infections.

A recent grant from the Health Systems Strengthening program of Global Health has helped the hospital procure and install a washing machine, dryer, and roller iron. The hospital can now be certified as compliant with the infection-control policy by the government.

Global Health, Advance #3021770 supports holistic, health programs in the U.S. and around the world:

UMC #GivingTuesday

Photo 1: Pregnant women and children under age five receive nets in Mutum Biyu village, Taraba State, Nigeria October 2015. Photo by Kathleen Griffith

Photo 2: The staff at ODIM conduct a support-group session for pregnant women, in San Juan, Guatemala. Photo by Holly Burkoski