Beit-CURE International Hospital of Malawi (CURE Malawi) and CFAO, the largest distribution network in Africa, partnered together to identify children with treatable disabilities in the Chitipa district, a rapidly growing and marginalized farming community 1,000 kilometers (621 miles) away from Blantyre where the hospital is located. The goal of the partnership is to improve the quality of life of children with disabilities in the Chitipa district.
In rural areas where district hospitals are understaffed and severely resource-limited to perform complex orthopedic and plastic surgeries, many children with correctable physical conditions don’t get the treatment and care that they need. A strategic way to identify and diagnose those children is through CURE mobile clinics, which are a lifeline for many families in communities where CURE serves. CURE mobile clinics go to underserved villages to provide pre-operative evaluations and post-operative consultations and share the love of Christ with children and families. Through these face-to-face engagements with the community, CURE clinical staff work together with Ministry of Health workers in districts to identify children who are in urgent need of surgical intervention.
Yet, often, the biggest obstacle for children who have been identified for surgery on a mobile clinic is the transportation costs to and from the hospital. The 2,000 kilometer round trip takes three full days in a private vehicle, even longer if taking a public bus. It is unrealistic to expect sustenance farmers to afford the high cost of transportation. That is why CFAO Malawi — which used to be known publicly as Toyota Malawi — donated 14,000 euros to CURE Malawi to fund the transportation needs of children and their families. Inspired by CFAO’s donation, the Chitipa District Health Office committed to three round trips from Chitipa to CURE Malawi, bringing patients to the hospital and taking them home.
“For the last several years, Chitipa District has been plagued with one health emergency after another, and our focus has been on life-threatening conditions, so when CURE Malawi extended a hand in cooperation, we were excited to plan together and serve the district,” shares Dr. Wilson Chingani, Ministry of Health, Director of Health and Social Services – Chitipa District. “We could not have served the people of Chitipa in this way if it were not for CURE Malawi and CFAO Malawi.”
The CURE Malawi-CFAO partnership is key to the efficient operations of CURE mobile clinics. With combined resources, partnerships can reach more children and families with hope and healing.