Medical outreach in the villages
Another part of the work that is being done in the Siavonga District involves bringing some basic medical services to the people in the villages. Judith Phiri, Charles’ wife, has received training to administer a limited number of medications to people after a simple evaluation. These medications must be purchased at a chemist in Lusaka. It requires that she have a letter of certification from the hospital in order for us to purchase them. To these medications we also add over the counter medications from the US; in particular the antibiotic cream/ointment available everywhere here. Such medications are available in Zambia but those here are many times more potent and therefore effective that those. Along with those we also include hydrocortisone, antifungal, eye drops and stomach/diarrhea remedies. These are donated by the members of different congregations who regularly participate in this work.
The medications from Lusaka are purchased through funds that are provided by interested individuals here in the US. Recently Charles visited Lusaka to purchase about $140 USD worth of these medications. They will last for several months of effort before they will need replenished.
This effort has significantly benefitted the many people to whom Judith has ministered. We are aware of several lives that have been saved by her work.
To plan a medical a village will be selected. We have been doing this long enough now that the village headmen will ask for Judith to return. When she goes Charles goes with her. He will try to do some outreach or visit with church members why he is there. A normal medical effort can see 60 to 80 people within a few hours. Judith will usually keep in contact with her people and will follow up where it is needed.
Folks will walk a distance and wait all day to talk with Judith and receive medicine. The alternative is to travel to one of the two hospitals in the area. One is at Chirundu and the other at Siavonga. But they are far away for someone who must rely on walking to travel. Often money is not available to pay for the transport that is available. There is also the added difficulty that medications are often not available since the government hospital relies on the government to provide medicine. What is available is sometimes only available for those who can pay for them. That is called the “high cost” clinic. The other is the “low cost” clinic where most have to go because they have not money.
This effort along with our well work and other thing has made the church well known in the district. We would like to conduct a medical about every other month. But, without funds to underwrite the expense it is sometimes difficult. It will be a bit more difficult now that the rainy season is about to begin.
Such work would not be possible with the generous support of brethren in differing congregations in the US. We covet continued support both through the collection of medicines, funds and prayer. Thank you to all who share our interest and our work.