Sister Nilcéia runs the Lisanjala Health Clinic, which provides much needed medical support - especially for babies and children from vulnerable backgrounds - as illnesses such as malaria and malnourishment are sadly common in rural Malawi.
Lying almost lifeless in her mother’s arms, baby Grace* was examined from head to toe. Her glazed eyes did not so much as blink when Peter, the clinician at Lisanjala Health Clinic in rural Malawi, pricked her finger for a blood test. Confirming Grace was suffering from malaria, Peter quickly handed over the medication to her mother – knowing that Grace was lucky that they had enough medication that day to give. Distressingly, not every child that comes to the Clinic is able to be treated, as running out of supplies is all too common. Your gift this Christmas can help ensure that crucial mission programs, just like the Lisanjala Health Clinic, provide health and hope for more children like baby Grace.
The lack of medical resources and equipment impacts the ability of the staff to treat people who are sick.
Peter has worked at the Clinic for 13 years and is passionate about helping those in need in his community.
The Clinic supports children, women and men from communities of 18 local villages, around 20,000 children, women and men.
The village of Lisanjala and its surrounds is home to many families, many of whom live under the poverty line, sometimes not even able to put food on the table, let alone access medical care, if not for the Clinic. “This year, four children under the age of five have died from preventable illnesses [in our clinic].” says Peter.
There are many families that need your support this Christmas. For some, your gift can be the difference between life and death.
“Malawi is one of the poorest countries in the world. It is hard to believe, but many people who live here are unable to think beyond their next meal. Sometimes this next meal is just leaves, grass, bark or roots, which makes them very sick.”
Malnourishment is a common problem too, Peter explains it is sadly as common as malaria. Sr Nilcéia recalls the story of baby Noah*, who came into the clinic at just one month old. As part of his treatment, he was supported with milk to help boost his nutrition, but sadly at just 10 months of age, he was rushed back in to see the doctors. The horrifying sight of Noah’s rib and neck bones prominently showing still sits with Sr Nilcéia today, and the memory of his death is still felt by the staff at the clinic.
Situations like this show just how crucial the work of Sr Nilcéia and the staff at the Lisanjala Health Clinic is. However, this program and many other similar Church-run program around the world simply cannot reach out to those in most need without your help.
As Christmas approaches, will you gift the gift of health and hope so that babies like Grace and their families are given critical healthcare in their time of most need?
Please give generously today to support the life-changing work of mission programs, just like the Lisanjala Health Clinic, which reach out to those in need around the world. You can choose to give a tax-deductible gift, which can help provide healthcare, nutritious meals and access to water for children and communities in need. Should you not require a tax-receipt, your gift can support work like this, as well as faith-based programs supporting children and communities, and the formation of seminarians, novices and catechists.
*Names altered to protect identities.
This story was first shared by our colleagues from Missio UK.