MBF Malawi Medical Ministry Vision Trip Updates! 

Friday, August 3, 2018 – Update from Robert Sloane

While our group visited the last two of twelve clinics today, we were joined by Paul, the Director of Nursing at Nkhoma Hospital and recently appointed to the National Nursing Council. The first clinic was under Nkhoma jurisdiction and was very poorly resourced. They relied on solar power and had to carry water about two blocks from a church well. We were surprised that there did not seem to be a more serious effort to get the clinic well repaired. Paul was very excited and enthusiastic when we discussed the Saline training that will begin soon. This will address a missing spiritual component with LifeSavers. Paul’s desire is for all the hospital employees to be ministers in addition to their regular duties.

The second clinic was operated by the Adventist Church and appeared well run. They were charging for services as were the Catholic clinics that we visited earlier in the week. For example, they charged $8 to deliver a baby.
We were glad to complete the survey of all twelve clinics and it has been very instructive.

We had a restful afternoon, a good supper at Korean Gardens, and ended the day with a thoughtful devotional by Hank.

Tomorrow we will take some final pictures at Daeyang Luke Hospital.

For more information on the LifeSavers Pilot Project, please see below for more information.

Friday July 27, 2018 – Update from Patricia Ferguson

Our team consists of four men and one female, all with previous medical missions experience and adventures. We left the Korea Garden Lodge around 8 o’clock after breakfast. The ride was on mostly paved roads, beautiful scenery, clear blue skies. There was a brief road block where we saw lots of red, dry dirt to make bricks to build new homes along the way. After traveling the main road for a while, we made a turn on a curvy road to a high mountain on which Nkhoma Hospital and Nursing School/Midwifery stands. We made a quick tour of the nursing school which has about 160 students, including many male nursing students as well as female. It is a diploma/certificate program which uses Nkhoma Hospital for the majority of the students’ clinical experience. Lots of GOD sightings in all the school teachers, administration, students and definitely in the patients we saw! On to the main hospital which is over 100 years old (1915-2015). We were given the grand tour by Dr. David Morton the Deputy Medical/Clinical Director. We saw all the hospital units from Maternity, Pediatric, Internal Medicine, Surgical (burn), Women’s Health (increased incidence of cervical cancer among female Malawians), Labs testing for HIV and malaria, Pharmacy and Supply. We ended the day with meetings with Dr. Tim Fader, the Medical Director, and discussed a variety of needs and programs. Many photos were taken by Dr. Jack Benjamin, who is with us from Chapel Hill, North Carolina. Thank you for an awesome but tiring day for me!

Pat (Patricia) Ferguson

For more information on the LifeSavers Pilot Project, please see below for more information.

Thursday, July 26, 2018 – Update from Robert Sloane

The Malawi team attended church at Capital City Baptist Church this morning. It was an enthusiastic worship service with praise, singing and a dance team. The sermon was taken from the sermon on the mount. This was the second of four services today and it completely filled the church. We then had lunch at the Four Seasons Restaurant which was a beautiful setting and very good food. We were joined at lunch by Greg and Christina Miller, serving at the African Bible College Clinic (ABC). Christina is a family practice physician who is searching for a new post, and was looking at Nkhoma Hospital as a possible location. Andy suggested she also pursue Daeyang Luke which she had considered. She shared some personal experiences from living and working in Malawi. Research is one of her interests so her knowledge of the Institutional Review Board (IRB) regulations was interesting. Tonight we have dinner at Korean Gardens and a devotional by MBF Africa Regional Manager, Jack Mathui. We depart in the morning for another hotel nearer to some of the more remote clinics in the LifeSavers Pilot Project.

For more information on the LifeSavers Pilot Project, please see below for more information.

LifeSaver program is raising standards of medical care in Malawi!

Local church-owned primary care clinics are scattered across rural communities in every country in Africa. Unfortunately, the nurses – who provide 75-80% of the care – are not trained properly and most clinics are not equipped to adequately care for patients. The tragic result is very poor standards of care which have sometimes even resulted in fatalities. For example, a recent evaluation of twenty clinics in Malawi found that half did not even have basic medical equipment, such as blood pressure cuffs or otoscopes. In others, the medications were expired or carelessly stored, rendering them useless.

Impacting Medical Care – Changing Lives
The LifeSaver program was born out of this desperate need and provides both medical and administrative training for every clinic. It helps to establish one consistent set of medical treatment practices based on international standards for maternal, neonatal and child health, HIV/AIDS, malaria, reproductive health, and more. On the administrative and management side of things, the program establishes standardized financial systems for accounting, record keeping, pharmacy, and human resource management. 

The core purpose of the LifeSaver program is to enable local churches to help their communities by providing quality health care services. The program does this by enabling the local, church-owned clinics to become financially sustainable while empowering members of the community to better escape poverty by living  healthier lives.

Tough Program Requirements
For those clinics that wish to participate in the LifeSaver program, they must complete monthly trainings and modules to learn the valuable skills needed to provide quality care to their patients. Managers and employees at each clinic must pass an exam following each module to remain eligible for program participation and move on to the next level. As an added bonus, the LifeSaver program will include a training module that teaches staff how to appropriately share the gospel as part of their daily interactions with their patients and their families.

Upon completion of the Level I Basic Training curriculum, the clinic is ready to be identified as a LifeSaver location and is then included in local and regional advertising and branding efforts. These clinics must continue to demonstrate and maintain clinical and administrative competence to continue to participate and receive additional support from the LifeSaver program.

Program Launched with Key Church Support
The LifeSaver pilot program was officially launched with local church leaders in May of 2018. Presently, there are 12 church-owned clinics in the initial 24-month project. The pilot has been limited to a group of clinics within a 50-mile radius of the capital city of Lilongwe to minimize travel time and maximize the implementation efforts. A pre-pilot assessment has been completed and regular assessments will be conducted at scheduled intervals to monitor the effectiveness of the program at each location.

After sufficient time has passed to accurately measure the results of the project implementation, additional phases will be activated to begin rolling out the program to other church-owned clinics in both northern and southern Malawi. The ultimate goal is to make LifeSaver clinics out of as many of the 170 community clinics in Malawi as possible.

MBF Malawi Medical Ministry Vision Trip
July 25 – August 5, 2018

There are an exciting number of new medical ministry opportunities developing in Malawi and we’d love for you to see first-hand what is going on.

The primary focus of the trip will be to visit 12 church-owned primary care clinics enrolled in the pilot phase of the new LifeSavers program. The LifeSavers program provides a proven, standardized network clinic model for significantly improving medical quality and financial management of church-owned clinics.

In most countries in Africa, rural clinics have been established by churches because of a need in the local community. Quite often, these clinics are neglected and very poorly managed. The staff is inadequately trained and the medical care can be dangerously poor. The clinics in the Malawi pilot phase of the LifeSavers program are located in 50-mile radius around the capital city of Lilongwe. We will be visiting each clinic, touring the facilities and meeting briefly with the current clinic staff.

Also in Lilongwe, we will be visiting Daeyang Luke Hospital. Daeyang Luke is a new Presbyterian regional mission hospital built about 6 years ago. The hospital is in the process of developing new residency programs in Surgery and Internal Medicine. The hospital also has a BSN Nursing school and IT training school on it campus. In the next ten years, Daeyang Luke will be a model for a new generation of Christian mission hospitals in Africa.

  • The trip departs from Chicago July 25 and returns on August 5th.
  • We will fly from Chicago O’Hare to Lilongwe Malawi with only one stop in Addis Ababa.
  • We will be staying for the entire time in Malawi at a small, well-equipped, traveler friendly hotel in Lilongwe with daily trips to visit facilities.

Contact us from more information or click here to submit your interest.