News / Africa

US University Provides Medical Assistance to Malawi Village

Mercer students Kamjeet Kaur (left) and Nancy Price check patients' vital signs at Chuluchosema clinic. (VOA/L.Masina)
Mercer students Kamjeet Kaur (left) and Nancy Price check patients' vital signs at Chuluchosema clinic. (VOA/L.Masina)
Lameck Masina
In Malawi, patients in a remote area of the eastern city of Zomba are heaving a sigh of relief following the arrival of an American university team who are providing medical help to patients at the nearby clinic. 
 
The residents consider this a blessing to the patients living near the clinic.  Since its inception it has catered to children under five years of age largely because of absence of medical doctors and nurses for adult patients. 

The team is made up of 10 medical students and three faculty members from Mercer University in Georgia.  Their project, called Mercer on a Mission, provides medical help to patients at the church-owned Chuluchosema clinic in the area of traditional authority of Chikowi.

Dr Zipangani Vokhiwa, an Associate Professor of Science at the university and the team leader, said "the service learning project means that the students who come from America to Malawi provide a service to the community, in this case at the clinic. But while they are servicing the community or people of Malawi, they are also learning something from them that will help them to articulate their learning process once they return to America.”

Mercer University medical students register patients (VOA/L. Masina)Mercer University medical students register patients (VOA/L. Masina)
x
Mercer University medical students register patients (VOA/L. Masina)
Mercer University medical students register patients (VOA/L. Masina)
​The students, who are under the supervision of the medical doctors who have come with them, examine patients with different ailments and prescribe medications they have brought from the United States.  Among the ailments treated are pneumonia, eye problems, malaria and high blood pressure. 

Besides providing medical help, Vokhiwa said the students are strengthening their knowledge of international medicine, environmental health and toxicology.  

Part of the effort includes monitoring the water from streams and boreholes used by the communities in Chuluchosema – a hilly and bushy area with about two thousand households. 

“The purpose of that service," he explained, "is to examine the quality of water and water sources surrounding Chuluchosema area.  The students will also learn whether the water is good or bad.  [If the results are negative], they will serve the community saying “… let’s have [the water] chlorinated or make sure that you boil it before you drink it.”

Deshonde Hillsman, one of the medical students, said so far she has noticed the community’s need for clean water.

“I see the women using the same water to wash clothes, bathing, to wash dishes," she said. "Something has to be done about water supply here.  Without clean water and everybody using the same water I see a circle of global health issue on the rise,”

The Very Reverend Dr Cyrus Ncozana, a clinic supervisor, applauds the presence of the medics.

He said since its inception the health facility has never had medical doctors – only health surveillance assistants trained to treat common illnesses like malaria and diarrhea.  The assistants -- who usually assist under five children – can also refer patients to hospitals for treatment.
 
“We are highly dependent on our DHO (District Health Officer) sending us health surveillance assistant," he said. " But we have built two medical staff houses and we are hoping that our synod is going to send us [medical] staff who will be permanent here because the nearest hospital is about 14 kilometers from here.”

Francis Mphinga, the assistant environmental health officer for the area, said although the clinic needs a medical doctor, the gap is sometimes filled by [visiting health care professionals or doctors paid for the ministry of health] in a program conducted by the district’s health office.

They usually come two to three times [a month], providing treatment for malaria, diarrhea, and other serious diseases.  He said they also also provide family planning services and under five clinic.”  

This is the second time Mercer students have come to Malawi.  Two years ago they helped install a solar water pump at the clinic.

Similar programs for the Mercer University have improved lives of rural communities in African countries including Tanzania, Mozambique, Liberia, Zimbabwe, South Africa and Ethiopia and also in Cambodia and Vietnam in Asia.

Listen to report on Mercer College project in Malawi
Listen to report on Mercer College project in Malawii
|| 0:00:00
...
 
🔇
X

You May Like

IS Militants Release 49 Turkish Hostages

Turkey's state-run Anadolu news agency reports that no ransom was paid and no conditions accepted for the hostages' release; few details of the release are known More

Photogallery IS Attacks Send Thousands of Syrian Kurds Fleeing to Turkey

Syrian Observatory for Human Rights says more than 300 Kurdish fighters crossed into Syria from Turkey to defend a Kurdish area from attack by the Islamic militants More

Sierra Leone's Ebola Lockdown Continues

Thousands of health workers are going door to door in the West African country of 6 million, informing people of how to avoid Ebola, handing out soap More

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Migrants Caught in No-Man's Land Called Calaisi
X
Lisa Bryant
September 19, 2014 5:04 PM
The deaths of hundreds of migrants in the Mediterranean this week has only recast the spotlight on the perils of reaching Europe. And for those forunate enough to reach a place like Calais, France, only find that their problems aren't over. Lisa Bryant has the story.
Video

Video Migrants Caught in No-Man's Land Called Calais

The deaths of hundreds of migrants in the Mediterranean this week has only recast the spotlight on the perils of reaching Europe. And for those forunate enough to reach a place like Calais, France, only find that their problems aren't over. Lisa Bryant has the story.
Video

Video Westgate Siege Anniversary Brings Back Painful Memories

One year after it happened, the survivors of the terror attack on Nairobi's Westgate Shopping Mall still cannot shake the images of that tragic incident. For VOA, Mohammed Yusuf tells the story of victims still waiting for the answer to the question 'how could this happen?'
Video

Video Militant Assault in Syria Displaces Thousands of Kurds

A major assault by Islamic State militants on Kurds in Syria has sent a wave of new refugees to the Turkish border, where they were stopped by Turkish border security. Turkey is already hosting about 700,000 Syrian refugees who fled the civil war between the government and the opposition. But the government in Ankara has a history of strained relations with Turkey's Kurdish minority. Zlatica Hoke reports Turkey is asking for international help.
Video

Video CERN Accelerator Back in Business

The long upgrade of the Large Hadron Collider is over. The scientific instrument responsible for the discovery of the Higgs boson -- the so-called "God particle" -- is being brought up to speed in time for this month's 60th anniversary of the European Organization for Nuclear Research, known by its French acronym CERN. Physicists hope the accelerator will help them uncover more secrets about the origins of the universe. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Whaling Summit Votes to Uphold Ban on Japan Whale Hunt

The International Whaling Commission, meeting in Slovenia, has voted to uphold a court ruling banning Japan from hunting whales in the Antarctic Ocean. Conservationists hailed the ruling as a victory, but Tokyo says it will submit revised plans for a whale hunt in 2015. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.
Video

Video Russian Economy Reeling After New Western Sanctions

A new wave of Western sanctions is hitting Russia’s economy hard. State-owned energy firms continue to bleed profits and Russia’s national currency plunged to a new low this week after the U.S. and the European Union announced new sanctions to punish Russia's aggressive stance in eastern Ukraine. But as Mil Arcega reports, the sanctions could also prove costly for European and American companies.
Video

Video Belgian Researchers Discover Way to Block Cancer Metastasis

Cancer remains one of the deadliest diseases, despite many new methods to combat it. Modern medicine has treatments to prevent the growth of primary tumor cells. But most cancer deaths are caused by metastasis, the stage when primary tumor cells change and move to other parts of the body. A team of Belgian scientists says it has found a way to prevent that process. Zlatica Hoke has more.
Video

Video Mogadishu's Flood of Foreign Workers Leaves Somalis Out of Work

Unemployment and conflict has forced many young Somalians out of the country in search of a better life. But a newfound stability in the once-lawless nation has created hope — and jobs — which, some say, are too often being filled by foreigners. Abdulaziz Billow reports from Mogadishu.
Video

Video A Dinosaur Fit for Land and Water

Residents and tourists in Washington D.C. can now examine a life-size replica of an unusual dinosaur that lived almost a hundred million years ago in northern Africa. Scientists say studying the behemoth named Spinosaurus helps them better understand how some prehistoric animals adapted to life on land and in water. The Spinosaurus replica is on display at the National Geographic museum. VOA’s George Putic has more.
Video

Video Iraqi Kurdistan Church Helps Christian Children Cope find shelter in churches in the Kurdish capital, Irbil

In the past six weeks, tens of thousands of Iraqi Christians have been forced to flee their homes by Islamic State militants and find shelter in churches in the Kurdish capital, Irbil. Despite U.S. airstrikes in the region, the prospect of people returning home is still very low and concerns are starting to grow over the impact this is having on the displaced youth. Sebastian Meyer reports from Irbil on how one church is coping.
Video

Video NASA Picks Boeing, SpaceX to Carry Astronauts Into Space

The U.S. space agency, NASA, has chosen Boeing and SpaceX companies to build the next generation of spacecraft that will carry U.S. astronauts to the International Space Station by the year 2017. The deal with private industry enables NASA to end its dependence on Russia to send space crews into low Earth orbit and back. Zlatica Hoke has more.
Video

Video Future of Ukrainian Former President's Estate Uncertain

More than six months after Ukraine's former President Viktor Yanukovych fled revolution to Russia, authorities have yet to gain control of his palatial estate. Protesters occupy the grounds and opened it to tourists but they are also refusing to turn it over to the state. VOA's Daniel Schearf reports from Mezhigirya, just north of Kyiv.


Carnage and mayhem are part of daily life in northern Nigeria, the result of a terror campaign by the Islamist group Boko Haram. Fears are growing that Nigeria’s government may not know how to counter it, and may be making things worse. More

AppleAndroid