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

Will Cuba Follow the Southeast Asia Model?

Decision to restore ties between US and Cuba has some debating whether it will lead to enhancement or regression of democracy for Communist island nation More

Kenyan Designer Finds Her Niche in Fashion Industry

‘Made in China’ fabrics underlie her success More

Report: CIA, Israel's Mossad Killed Senior Hezbollah Commander

The Washington Post story says Imad Mughniyah was killed instantly by a bomb "triggered remotely" from Tel Aviv by Mossad agents 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.
Jefferson's Library Continues to Impress, 200 Years Lateri
X
Deborah Block
January 31, 2015 12:12 AM
Two hundred years after the U.S. Congress purchased a huge collection of books belonging to former President Thomas Jefferson, it remains one of America’s greatest literal treasures and has become the centerpiece of Washington’s Library of Congress. VOA’s Deborah Block reports.
Video

Video Jefferson's Library Continues to Impress, 200 Years Later

Two hundred years after the U.S. Congress purchased a huge collection of books belonging to former President Thomas Jefferson, it remains one of America’s greatest literal treasures and has become the centerpiece of Washington’s Library of Congress. VOA’s Deborah Block reports.
Video

Video Egypt's Suez Canal Dreams Tempered by Continued Unrest

Egypt plans to expand the Suez Canal, raising hopes that the end of its economic crisis may be in sight. But some analysts say they expect the project may cost too much and take too long to make life better for everyday Egyptians. VOA's Heather Murdock reports.
Video

Video Threat of Creeping Lava Has Hawaiians on Edge

Residents of the small town of Pahoa on the Big Island of Hawaii face an advancing threat from the Kilauea volcano. Local residents are keeping a watchful eye on creeping lava. Mike O’Sullivan reports.
Video

Video Pro-Kremlin Youth Group Creatively Promotes 'Patriotic' Propaganda

As Russia's President Vladimir Putin faces international pressure over Ukraine and a failing economy, unofficial domestic groups are rallying to his support. One such youth organization, CET, or Network, uses creative multimedia to appeal to Russia's urban youth with patriotic propaganda. VOA's Daniel Schearf reports.
Video

Video Filmmakers Produce Hand-Painted Documentary on Van Gogh

The troubled life of the famous 19th century Dutch painter Vincent van Gogh has been told through many books and films, but never in the way a group of filmmakers now intends to do. "Loving Vincent " will be the first ever feature-length film made of animated hand-painted images, done in the style of the late artist. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Issues or Ethnicity? Question Divides Nigeria

As Nigeria goes to the polls next month, many expect the two top presidential contenders to gain much of their support from constituencies organized along ethnic or religious lines. But are faith and regional blocs really what political power in Nigeria is about? Chris Stein reports.
Video

Video Rock-Consuming Organisms Alter Views of Life Processes

Scientists thought they knew much about how life works, until a discovery more than two decades ago challenged conventional beliefs. Scientists found that there are organisms that breathe rocks. And it is only recently that the scientific community is accepting that there are organisms that could get energy out of rocks. Correspondent Elizabeth Lee reports.
Video

Video Paris Attacks Highlight Global Weapons Black Market

As law enforcement officials piece together how the Paris and Belgian terror cells carried out their recent attacks, questions are being asked about how they obtained military grade assault weapons - which are illegal in the European Union. As VOA's Jeff Swicord reports, experts say there is a very active worldwide black market for these weapons, and criminals and terrorists are buying.
Video

Video Activists Accuse China of Targeting Religious Freedom

The U.S.-based Chinese religious rights group ChinaAid says 2014 was the worst year for religious freedom in China since the end of the Cultural Revolution. As Ye Fan reports, activists say Beijing has been tightening religious controls ever since Chinese leader Xi Jinping came to office. Hu Wei narrates.
Video

Video Theologians Cast Doubt on Morality of Drone Strikes

In 2006, stirred by photos of U.S. soldiers mistreating Iraqi prisoners, a group of American faith leaders and academics launched the National Religious Campaign Against Torture. It played an important role in getting Congress to investigate, and the president to ban, torture. VOA's Jerome Socolovsky reports.
Video

Video Former Sudan 'Lost Boy' Becomes Chess Master in NYC

In the mid-1980’s, thousands of Sudanese boys escaped the country's civil war by walking for weeks, then months and finally for more than a year, up to 1,500 kilometers across three countries. The so-called Lost Boys of the Sudan had little time for games. But one of them later mastered the game of chess, and now teaches it to children in the New York area. VOA’s Bernard Shusman in New York has his story.
Video

Video NASA Monitors Earth’s Vital Signs From Space

The U.S. space agency, NASA, is wrapping up its busiest 12-month period in more than a decade, with three missions launched in 2014 and two this month, one in early January and the fifth scheduled for January 29. As VOA’s Rosanne Skirble reports, the instruments being lifted into orbit are focused on Earth’s vital life support systems and how they are responding to a warmer planet.

Circumventing Censorship

An Internet Primer for Healthy Web Habits

As surveillance and censoring technologies advance, so, too, do new tools for your computer or mobile device that help protect your privacy and break through Internet censorship.
More

All About America

AppleAndroid