Health and Development News
Mosquito nets reach Southern Sudan
Collaboration coupled with patience and perseverance paid off this fall when thousands of mosquito nets finally reached their destinations in Southern Sudan. Nets were delivered to Akobo, site of PC(USA)-supported Akobo Hospital, and to Pibor, months after a South Carolina mission team first planned to bring them to the isolated region.
It was last February when Bill Andress, a leader of PC(USA)’s Sudan Mission Network, approached International Health & Development with a proposal aimed at getting much-needed mosquito nets into Southern Sudan. International Health & Development agreed to purchase the nets in Nairobi, Kenya and have them delivered to a large plane that Bill and a group from Trinity Presbytery had chartered for a medical mission trip into Southern Sudan. With the help of recently-retired mission co-worker Dr. Salvador de la Torre in Nairobi, the nets were purchased.
But when Bill and his group arrived at the airport in Nairobi in March, the nets weren’t there. With the plane scheduled and time ticking away on their long-planned mission trip, the Trinity team had to take off for Sudan. The nets were quickly located, but months passed as efforts continued to find someone traveling from Nairobi to Southern Sudan who could transport a large load of nets.
In September mission co-worker Nancy McGaughey made plans to travel to Akobo in October and to Pibor several weeks later to conduct training sessions for health workers. At Across in Nairobi, the PC(USA) partner organization that Nancy is assigned to, Wilbert Soy went to work on the logistics of getting the nets to Southern Sudan with Nancy. The nets were trucked over land from Nairobi to Lokichogio in northern Kenya, and then transported on two flights. Costs were covered by IHD’s malaria prevention fund and by the World Health Organization.
“While this effort was successful at last, it points out some of the difficulties in getting essential supplies shipped into Southern Sudan,” noted Bob Ellis, IHD coordinator. “We will need this kind of collaborative energy and commitment as we continue to help our partners respond to the needs of their communities.”
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2012 Issue 1
A broad spectrum of PC(USA)-supported health and development projects in Africa received over $600,000 in funding last year through the International Health & Development office. Funds came from endowments, donations to Extra Commitment Opportunity accounts, and from the Healthy Women Healthy Families Mother’s Day Project. “We were delighted that we were able to do more in 2011 than in the previous two years to respond to the urgent needs of our church partners,” stated Bob Ellis, coordinator of International Health & Development. “ We are thankful that our budget for 2012 is similar to the level we had to work with in 2011, and that support for Healthy Women Healthy Families continues to help us address critical global issues in tangible ways.”
2011 Issue 3
Representatives of World Mission offices, mission co-workers and leaders of PC(USA)’s two partner churches in the Democratic Republic of Congo met in September to discuss ongoing projects and priority needs for the future. IHD Coordinator Bob Ellis traveled in the East and West Kasai with Regional Liaison Jeff Boyd, visiting the medical offices, women’s departments and development offices of the Presbyterian Community of Kinshasa (CPK) and the Presbyterian Community of Congo (CPC). They also visited several Presbyterian health institutions, including CPK clinics, Mbujimayi Presbyterian Hospital, IMCK medical center and the PAX clinic.
2011 Issue 2
South Sudan’s impending independence has triggered outbreaks of violence at the same time that interethnic clashes are flaring up. Official recognition of South Sudan as an independent nation is set for July 9. Plans are in place to safeguard the security of PC(USA) mission personnel including Nancy McGaughey in Adol, and Rev. Jacob and Aliamma George, who are in Malakal. Health facilities in Akobo are currently dealing with an upsurge of wounded patients due to interethnic violence. Dr. Michael Tut Pur, medical director at the PC(USA)-supported Akobo Hospital, reported that over a dozen injured patients were treated in mid-May, some with serious gunshot wounds or head injuries.
Mission co-workers in Southern Sudan are resuming their routines following the historic referendum to create an independent nation. Rev. Jacob and Aliamma George have returned to Malakal from Ethiopia. “We praise God that the referendum came out peacefully,” the Georges wrote. Jacob will begin teaching at Giffin Institute of Theology on Feb. 15. Prior to the referendum, when it was feared that violence could erupt, the Georges went to the Gambella region of Ethiopia, bordering Sudan. They visited five Presbyteries to learn about the results of Community Health Evangelism training in remote villages. Nancy McGaughey, who serves as a nurse in Southern Sudan, chose to remain in the region during the referendum.