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

Brutality Eroding IS Financial Support

Director of National Intelligence James Clapper says IS's penchant for publicizing beheadings, other brutal forms of punishment hurts group’s bottom line More

Studies: Climate Change a Factor in Disasters in Syria, California

The studies point to the possibility of clear and present dangers from a threat often considered to be far in the future More

Video Afghan Refugees Complain of Harassment in Pakistan

Afghan officials and human rights organizations assert that Pakistani authorities are using deadly attack at school in Peshawar as pretext to push out Afghan refugees 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.
Kerry Seeks Assurances of Russian Non-Interference in Ukrainei
X
March 03, 2015 3:11 AM
U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry has told his Russian counterpart, Sergei Lavrov, that his country could face further consequences to what he called its “already strained economy” if Moscow does not fully comply with a cease-fire in Ukraine. The two met, on Monday, on the sidelines of a U.N. Human Rights Council meeting in Geneva, where Kerry outlined human rights violations in Russian-annexed Crimea and eastern Ukraine. VOA State Department correspondent Pam Dockins reports from Geneva.
Video

Video Kerry Seeks Assurances of Russian Non-Interference in Ukraine

U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry has told his Russian counterpart, Sergei Lavrov, that his country could face further consequences to what he called its “already strained economy” if Moscow does not fully comply with a cease-fire in Ukraine. The two met, on Monday, on the sidelines of a U.N. Human Rights Council meeting in Geneva, where Kerry outlined human rights violations in Russian-annexed Crimea and eastern Ukraine. VOA State Department correspondent Pam Dockins reports from Geneva.
Video

Video Smartphones May Help in Diagnosing HIV

Diagnosing infections such as HIV requires expensive clinical tests, making the procedure too costly for many poor patients or those living in remote areas. But a new technology called lab-on-a-chip may make the tests more accessible to many. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Afghan Refugees Complain of Harassment in Pakistan

Afghan officials have expressed concern over reports of a crackdown on Afghan refugees in Pakistan following the Peshawar school attack in December. Reports of mass arrests and police harassment coupled with fear of an uncertain future are making life difficult for a population that fled its homeland to escape war. VOA’s Ayesha Tanzeem reports from Islamabad.
Video

Video Ukrainian Volunteers Prepare to Defend Mariupol

Despite the ongoing ceasefire in Ukraine, soldiers in the city of Mariupol fear that pro-Russian separatists may be getting ready to attack. The separatists must take or encircle the city if they wish to gain land access to Crimea, which was annexed by Russia early last year. But Ukrainian forces, many of them volunteers, say they are determined to defend it. Patrick Wells reports from Mariupol.
Video

Video Moscow Restaurants Suffer in Bad Economy, Look for Opportunity

As low oil prices and Western sanctions force Russia's economy into recession, thousands of Moscow restaurants are expected to close their doors. Restaurant owners face rents tied to foreign currency, while rising food prices mean Russians are spending less when they dine out. One entrepreneur in Moscow has started a dinner kit delivery service for those who want to cook at home to save money but not skimp on quality. VOA's Daniel Schearf reports.
Video

Video US, Cuba Report Progress in Latest Talks to Restore Ties

The United States and Cuba say they have made progress in the second round of talks on restoring diplomatic relations more than 50 years after breaking off ties. Delegations from both sides met in Washington on Friday to work on opening embassies in Havana and Washington and iron out key obstacles to historic change. VOA’s Mary Alice Salinas reports from the State Department.
Video

Video Presidential Hopefuls Battle for Conservative Hearts and Minds

One after another, presumptive Republican presidential contenders auditioned for conservative support this week at the Conservative Political Action Conference held outside Washington. The rhetoric was tough as a large field of potential candidates tried to woo conservative support with red-meat attacks on President Barack Obama and Democrats in Congress. VOA Political Columnist Jim Malone takes a look.
Video

Video NYC's Restaurant Week: An Economic Boom in Fine Dining

New Yorkers take pride in setting world trends — in fashion, the arts and fine dining. The city’s famous biannual Restaurant Week plays a significant role in a booming tourism industry that sustains 359,000 jobs and generates $61 billion in yearly revenue. VOA's Ramon Taylor reports.
Video

Video Brookhaven at Cutting Edge of US Energy Research

Issues like the Keystone XL pipeline, fracking and instability in the Middle East are driving debate in the U.S. about making America energy independent. Recently, the American Energy Innovation Council urged Congress and the White House to make expanded energy research a priority. One beneficiary of increased energy spending would be the Brookhaven National Lab, where clean, renewable, efficient energy is the goal. VOA's Bernard Shusman reports.
Video

Video Southern US Cities Preserve Civil Rights Heritage to Boost Tourism

There has been a surge of interest in the American civil rights movement of the 1950s and '60s, thanks in part to the Hollywood motion picture "Selma." Five decades later, communities in the South are embracing the dark chapters of their past with hopes of luring tourism dollars. VOA's Chris Simkins reports.
Video

Video Deep Under Antarctic Ice Sheet, Life!

With the end of summer in the Southern hemisphere, the Antarctic research season is over. Scientists from Northern Illinois University are back in their laboratory after a 3-month expedition on the Ross Ice Shelf, the world’s largest floating ice sheet. As VOA’s Rosanne Skirble reports, they hope to find clues to explain the dynamics of the rapidly melting ice and its impact on sea level rise.
Video

Video Lao Dam Project Runs Into Opposition

A Lao dam project on a section of the Mekong River is drawing opposition from local fishermen, international environmental groups and neighboring countries. VOA's Say Mony visited the region to investigate the concerns. Colin Lovett narrates.

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