For over 60 years, Zimba Mission Hospital has been caring for the emotional and spiritual needs of patients in Zambia. The hospital has grown from a clinic to a 100-bed hospital serving an area of over 300,000 people. It has the only operating room in three health districts, a busy maternity unit, radiology and laboratory departments and busy inpatient wards and outpatient clinics. There is also a freestanding eye hospital through a close partnership with International Vision Volunteers. In addition to the medical services, the hospital has daily chapel services and an active chaplaincy program. Staffed by Zambian doctors, health officers and nurses, the hospital is a ministry of The Wesleyan Church in Zambia. Many patients do not have the ability to pay for the services they receive so the hospital relies on financial support to meet these needs.
An important transition in medical missions is when local healthcare professionals provide the care that is offered at a medical ministry. Traditionally, medical care was provided by North American missionaries. Increasingly, missionaries are investing in the education and support of national doctors and nurses who meet the needs of patients in their countries. GPHN has had the privilege of helping Ventor Mapanza work towards an advanced pharmacy degree from Apex University in Lusaka, Zambia. Ventor is one of many national healthcare professionals serving at Wesleyan medical ministries around the world.
Founded in 1959, Kamakwie Wesleyan Hospital in Sierra Leone is the only inpatient medical facility in a 50-mile radius and serves more than 600,000 people. The hospital has pediatrics, obstetrics, and men’s and women’s medical and surgical wards, along with a malnutrition program, Outpatient clinic and lab. During the ebola virus crisis, Kamakwie Wesleyan Hospital served as a model for other hospitals and clinics by providing superb training on prevention, care of patients and protection of health care providers. World Hope International has been a strong partner of the hospital by providing staff, training, equipment and supplies.
Dr. Bob and Marcia Vermaire have been Global Partners missionaries since 2014. Bob, a family medicine doctor, and Marcia, a registered nurse, had their first experience working with the staff at La Gonave Wesleyan Hospital in 1981 and moved back to serve full time on the island in 2014. Their main focus has been investing in the lives of the Haitian doctors and nurses that work at the hospital. After leaving Haiti in 2021 due to the increasing violence and instability in the country, they started spending time at Kamakwie Wesleyan Hospital in Sierra Leone. Going forward they plan to stay involved in both countries, working remotely with the hospital staff and returning on short-term trips, while mentoring, teaching and learning with doctors, nurses and community health officers that serve at the hospitals. They also hope to connect North Americans to the hospitals in order to better resource and support the critical work of these ministries.
Dr. Bob and Marcia
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