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A letter from Barbara Nagy in Malawi

September 2012

Dear friends,

Two are stronger than one, and a threefold cord is not easily broken (Ecclesiastes 4:9, 12).

Pediatrics Team

There are a lot of great teams in the Bible, but here is one from the Nkhoma pediatrics ward. This beautiful group of people will be on the receiving end of a wave of sick kids, perhaps as many as 6,000 over the next few months, with malaria, malnutrition and pneumonia striking almost all the children in our community numerous times during the rainy season and taking the lives of far too many. This dedicated team will work far beyond what is normally expected in their positions to try to save the life of every child who comes to our hospital. Last year they reorganized our ward into pods, incorporated volunteers to help with the most challenging initial stabilization of the most critically ill, multitasked to a degree that would put an airline flight controller into a spin, and still had time to sing, comfort and pray with most of our patients. They were able to reorganize care for severely malnourished children that significantly improved the chances of success in this highly vulnerable group of children. Some are new, while others have worked in the Nkhoma community for over 20 years. They are truly amazing and a daily inspiration to me.

You will see in the background of the team picture progress on the major renovation of our acute care pediatrics ward. We are very grateful for the Dutch group that has funded this project, which will enable us to care for the huge number of children passing through our ward in a more efficient and sophisticated fashion. Lights, some more resuscitation equipment, warming, the ability to isolate highly contagious patients from others, all will contribute to our overall efforts.

We are grateful that the political situation in Malawi has stabilized to a great degree, yet financial problems continue to exert a stranglehold over the country, as well as the persistent problem of no fuel, which affects how medicines are obtained, how many outreach clinics can be run to treat people at earlier stages of their illnesses, and even if we can get people to the hospital in ambulances. Please continue to pray for us. Please prayerfully consider whether you might want to support a pediatrics bed to help with the care of these precious children. Currently it costs $25 per day to keep one pediatrics bed open, which may have three to five children in it, and this can mean the difference of a family bringing their sick child to the hospital for care.

Blessings and joy,

Barbara Nagy

The 2012 Presbyterian Mission Yearbook for Prayer & Study, p. 106

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