Health Empowerment in Mozambique
In collaboration with Global Partners Health Network (GPHN), a health team recently set out to Mozambique, establishing a foundation for future efforts and medical education.
Led by Dr. Scott Addison, director of GPHN, this trip was a result of his visit to the Maratane Refugee Camp in 2018. Ever since then, he has wanted to return with a health team, and it finally became a reality. In connection with Wayfinders Africa, the trip’s initial focus was on women’s health issues.
Ultimately, the group began establishing relationships with doctors and nurses at the hospital in the Maratane Refugee Camp. They also interviewed people and assessed medical needs in surrounding villages populated by Makua, a local tribe.
From the beginning, this group was formed and led by the Lord. Angela Leyrer, a nurse practitioner at the same family practice as Scott; Rachel McMartin, a longtime friend of the Addison family and an Indiana Wesleyan University senior; and Sue Schryber, a nurse and former coworker of Angela, teamed together.
When planning the trip, Angela said the group received a list of topics they could focus on, but actually sitting and talking with women and hearing the issues directly from their perspectives was even more beneficial.
A major need within the refugee camp is a blood program. Scott said that while the camp had the ability to collect blood products, they did not have a way to store the blood. The GPHN group realized that a blood bank was needed, especially with many women dying from blood loss during childbirth.
Some of what is taking place in the camp, like a recent cholera outbreak, are things that could be preventable through the use of latrines, hand washing and sanitation, Sue said. Teaching refugees and tribal members how to shift their mindset so they feel empowered to take care of their own health will have a lasting impact.
The GPHN group also traveled to worship with newer believers at a recently established Wesleyan church in the village of Natitti. They were even able to join in a baptismal celebration, which might have even been one of the biggest highlights.
Sue and Rachel echoed this reflection; seeing the way they wholeheartedly worshiped the Lord was an incredible thing to witness.
As for what’s next, Scott said he is working to create a new project under GP to continue raising money for projects in Mozambique. The next thing he hopes the funds can provide is a refrigerator, which would enable the reestablishment of a blood program.
He said the team also plans to continue meeting monthly with hopes of a 2024 return trip. Each member of the team expressed a desire to remain involved in one way or another.
Scott reflected that to have positive long-term effects, teams need to continue to return to invest in education and empower the people there.
For more information or ways you can get involved, feel free to email Scott at email@example.com.