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

Captured IS Militants Explain Why They Fought

Fighters from Turkey, Syria tell VOA Kurdish Service what drew them to extremism, jihad More

Security Experts Split on Kenyan Barrier Wall

Experts divided on whether initiative aiming to keep out al-Shabab militants is long-awaited solution or misguided effort More

Video Philippines Wants Tourists Spending Money at New Casinos

Officials say they hope to turn Manila into the next Macau, which has long been Asia’s gambling hub 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.
Liberia's Almost Last Ebola Patient Grateful but Still Grievingi
X
Benno Muchler
March 26, 2015 3:41 PM
Beatrice Yardolo was to make history as Liberia’s last Ebola patient. Liberians recently started counting down 42 days, the period that has to go by without a single new infection until the World Health Organization can declare a country Ebola-free. That countdown stopped on March 20 when there was another new case of Ebola, making Yardolo’s story a reminder that Ebola is far from over. Benno Muchler reports from Monrovia.
Video

Video Liberia's Almost Last Ebola Patient Grateful but Still Grieving

Beatrice Yardolo was to make history as Liberia’s last Ebola patient. Liberians recently started counting down 42 days, the period that has to go by without a single new infection until the World Health Organization can declare a country Ebola-free. That countdown stopped on March 20 when there was another new case of Ebola, making Yardolo’s story a reminder that Ebola is far from over. Benno Muchler reports from Monrovia.
Video

Video Cambodian Land Grabs Threaten Traditional Communities

Indigenous communities in Cambodia's Ratanakiri province say the government’s economic land concession policy is taking away their land and traditional way of life, making many fear that their identity will soon be lost. Local authorities, though, have denied this is the case. VOA's Say Mony went to investigate and filed this report, narrated by Colin Lovett.
Video

Video US, South Korea Conduct Joint Military Exercises

The Eighth U.S. Army Division and the Eighth Republic of Korea Mechanized Infantry Division put on a well orchestrated show of force for the media this week during their joint military training exercises in South Korea. VOA’s Seoul correspondent Brian Padden was there and reports the soldiers were well disciplined both in conducting a complex live fire exercise and in staying on message with the press.
Video

Video Space Program Status Disappoints 'Last Man on the Moon'

One of the films that drew big crowds last week at the annual South by Southwest festival in Austin, Texas, tells the story of the last human being to stand on the moon, U.S. astronaut Eugene Cernan. It has been 42 years since Cernan returned from the moon and he laments that no one else has gone there since. VOA’s Greg Flakus reports.
Video

Video Young Filmmakers Shine Spotlight on Giving Back

A group of student filmmakers from across the United States joined President Barack Obama at the White House this month for the second annual White House Student Film Festival. Fifteen short films were officially selected from more than 1,500 entries by students aged 6 through 18. The filmmakers and their families then joined the president and a group of celebrities for a screening of their films. VOA’s Julie Taboh reports.
Video

Video VOA Exclusive: Interview with Afghan President Ashraf Ghani

Afghan President Ashraf Ghani, during his first visit as president to Washington, gave a one-on-one interview with VOA Afghan Service reporter Said Suleiman Ashna, about his request for a change in U.S. troop levels, the threat from the Islamic State, and repairing relations with the United States and Pakistan. The interview was held at Blair House, late Sunday, in Pashto.
Video

Video California Science Center Tells Story of Dead Sea Scrolls

The ancient manuscripts were uncovered in the mid-20th century, and they are still yielding clues about life and religious beliefs in ancient Israel. As VOA's Mike O'Sullivan reports, an exhibit in Los Angeles shows how modern science is bringing the history of these ancient documents to life.
Video

Video Angelina Jolie Takes Another Bold Step

Hollywood actress and filmmaker Angelina Jolie has revealed she had her ovaries and fallopian tubes removed to lower her odds of getting cancer. Doctors say the huge publicity over her decision will help raise awareness about the importance of cancer screening. VOA’s George Putic has more

All About America

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