A letter from Barbara Nagy preparing to return to Malawi
Dear friends of Nkhoma,
Greetings as we continue our travels to return to Malawi! We have heard wonderful news of a successful mission team to Nkhoma from the Presbytery of Western North Carolina (PWNC), which renovated staff housing at one health center and installed solar lighting at another, helping over 100,000 people have access to basic health services. We are so thankful for their work and gifts! The PWNC commented many times that the changes they have seen in the past 10 years have been truly remarkable, and the improvements in services such as cervical cancer screening and the new "super peanut butter" factory to help treat malnutrition have been wonderful. They continue a tradition of working closely with our partner church, the Church of Central Africa Presbyterian, and Nkhoma Hospital to support the goals and agendas of these two institutions and celebrate our faith as the body of Christ worldwide.
Since my last writing Malawi has passed through a very troubled election with minimal violence and with good reports from international observers about election procedures. This is another cause for great rejoicing, as widespread riots and violence were a real possibility. The new government faces major challenges in governance and stabilizing the economy, which may have significant impacts on the ways Nkhoma Hospital is able to fund patient care, so we continue to ask for your prayers.
Nkhoma Hospital reports several cases of snakebite recently, but with adequate medical and surgical care, all victims survived and did not lose any limbs. This is a frequent problem in an area where people spend so much time out of doors, herding animals, farming, fetching firewood or water, and wearing no shoes. We are thankful for the excellent care available for adult medical and surgical problems at Nkhoma Hospital, which continues to serve as a teaching site for medical students, interns, clinical officers and nursing students. Students highly value this type of practical experience that is hard to get in Malawi, and many remain friends throughout their careers.
Adult medical costs are not subsidized by Malawi government, and fees, although minimal, frequently keep people from coming to the hospital as early as needed, with catastrophic results. It is usual, for example, for older men with prostate problems not to come to the hospital for help until they are completely unable to pass urine, and many cases of kidney failure have been the result. TB patients may remain at home for months or years as they slowly lose weight and strength, spreading infection to many in their families and communities. Many parasitic diseases such as schistosomiasis are simply part of life for people in Malawi who lack access to safe and clean water. Road traffic accidents are very frequent due to the poor conditions of the roads and the large numbers of pedestrians walking along them. Complications of HIV/AIDS are also frequent in spite of availability of medications to combat this deadly disease.
Though we often focus our efforts and stories on women and children as the most vulnerable members of Malawian society, we hope to communicate to every patient a sense of welcome and compassion, no matter who they are, or from where they come. A new emphasis of hospital services in the coming years will be non-communicable diseases such as hypertension, diabetes and cancer, which are being recognized as major problems in the developing world, and introducing free basic health screening such as blood pressure measurements with all health visits.
Thank you to all who have supported us in advocacy, prayer and financial gifts, we could not do this work without you! Please continue to support us and the work of the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) and our partner church, the Church of Central Africa Presbyterian, Nkhoma Synod.
Online donations may be made at www.pcusa.org
To mail a check:
Presbyterian Church (USA)
PO Box 643700
Pittsburgh, PA 15264-3700
Designate the check either for:
Sending and Support for the Nagy family E074708
Nkhoma Hospital E051772 (0’s are zeros)
Blessings, joy, and praises to God for His faithfulness!
Barbara Nagy and family for the Nkhoma community
Write to Barbara Nagy
Individuals: Give online to E074708 for Barbara Nagy's sending and support
Congregations: Give to D507546 for Barbara Nagy's sending and support
Churches are asked to send donations through your congregation’s normal receiving site (this is usually your presbytery.)