Practical, low-cost interventions exist to prevent up to two-thirds of child deaths, yet 6 million children die from preventable causes every year. This is why The United Methodist Church (UMC) has named Abundant Health: Our Promise to Children as the focus of our global health work for the 2017-2020 quadrennium. The goal is to reach 1 million children with lifesaving interventions and health-promoting measures by 2020. Work has already begun to actualize this promise.
In the August edition of the Global Health newsletter, read about how the Abundant Health initiative is strengthening the impact of John Dean Town Clinic in Liberia; how Imagine No Malaria is saving lives in Zambia, especially of women and children, who are among those most vulnerable to malaria; and how your church can sign up for Abundant Health’s 10,000 Church Challenge for healthier communities.
John Dean Town Clinic in Liberia
A once-dilapidated clinic, with no water, electricity, or trained staff, has received a new lease on life, thanks to the Abundant Health initiative and the work of the Liberia Annual Conference health board.
The John Dean Town Clinic is the only health facility serving the remote John Dean Town community in Grand Bassa County, Liberia. Until recently, most care, including that for pregnant women, newly delivered mothers, and babies, was provided by traditional birth attendants with limited skills. This often led to negative outcomes for mothers and babies.
Now, with support from Abundant Health and the Liberia Conference health board, the John Dean Town Clinic has the capacity to provide community health education, delivery services, medicines, medical supplies, immunizations, family planning services, and treatment for common childhood illnesses. The clinic has hired a new nurse midwife, built a well with water piped to the clinic, and established a regular supply of medicines. The resident nurse/midwife also helps train Community Health Volunteers to serve the community and encourage mothers to have their babies at the health center.
Imagine No Malaria continues to impact Lives
When The United Methodist Church initiated its Imagine No Malaria (INM) campaign eight years ago, who could have foreseen the impact? To date, the campaign has touched more than 5.6 million lives — and counting.
But the fight against malaria is not over yet, and INM will continue its work to increase communities’ access to preventive, diagnostic, and treatment services. View a photo story of INM at work in remote communities of Zambezi District in Zambia, providing support to a school-based distribution of mosquito nets carried out by the Council of Churches in Zambia.
10,000 church challenge
The World Health organization (WHO) has named childhood obesity one of the most serious public health challenges of the 21st century. In the United States alone, some 25 million children are obese or overweight. Take our risk assessment to learn if you’re really taking care of yourself while you’re taking care of others.
One way United Methodists are innovating what it means to be church is by promoting different health initiatives in their communities. We invite your church to join the effort to boost opportunities for healthy lifestyle choices and reduce preventable deaths. Abundant Health is campaigning to get 10,000 churches to sign on to participate in these lifesaving interventions. More than 1,000 churches have already signed on to the challenge. Is your church one of them? Great! Tell us all about it. Share your story with Sabrina Rodgers, U.S. Health program manager, at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Gift of Hope
You can make a Gift of Hope that will change lives where the need is greatest. Your gift to Global Health, Advance #3021770, will be put to work, supporting those who act as the hands and feet of Christ in a hurting world. The UMC Abundant Health programs are saving lives in the world’s most vulnerable communities in the United States and around the world. Our programs empower people to take charge of their own lives and to be key stakeholders in the solutions that keep their communities healthy and safe. These lifesaving solutions are sustained over time because there is an emphasis on education and the development of local resources.
$25 can provide one wellness checkup in a community where primary care is just being introduced.
$50 can provide 250 pregnant women with preventive malaria treatment.
$100 can provide skilled birth attendants for women in childbirth.
$200 can support the salary of one health worker in Africa for one month.
Read more about Global Health.
Learn about the 10,000 Church Challenge and sign-up.
Learn about the UMC's new signature health initiative, featured in the March-April 2016 issue of New World Outlook magazine.
Visit the Abundant Health: Our Promise to Children web page.
Support this lifesaving work with your gifts to Global Health, Advance #3021770.
Image 1: Traditional birth attendants celebrate positive changes at the John Dean Town Clinic in Liberia. Photo by Kathy Griffith
Image 2: A photo story about a bed net distribution in Zambia shows the lifesaving work INM supports. Photo slide show by Council of Churches of Zambia
Image 3: Take our risk assessment to learn if you’re really taking care of yourself as you care for others. Graphic prepared by Global Health team, General Board of Global Ministries