On 15 June 2023, Beit-CURE Children’s Hospital of Malawi (CURE Malawi) visited the Dzaleka Refugee Camp to screen children with treatable disabilities at a mobile clinic. This was an opportunity to reach out to the refugees on several fronts, including patient screening and door-to-door evangelism.
The most recent data shows that 51,415 refugees and asylum seekers are registered in Malawi, with the majority living in the Dzaleka Refugee Camp. Approximately 48 percent of the people at the camp are children.
At the mobile clinic, 90 children were screened and 23 were booked for surgery at CURE Malawi.
Relieving the Plight of Child Refugees Living with Disabilities
Life is extremely challenging for children with disabilities, but add to that living in an overcrowded refugee camp, and things become extra troublesome.
One small hospital attempts to serve the medical needs of all those in the camp and Malawians from the surrounding communities. This means many children have little or no access to the healthcare they desperately need. The main objective of establishing the mobile clinic at Dzaleka was to ensure that these forgotten children found appropriate medical care.
The CURE medical team tended to the physical needs of these young refugees, while the ministry team addressed their spiritual concerns. They conducted door-to-door evangelism to some refugees in the camp, and they also showed a gospel movie, shared gospel songs, and held a crusade where the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ was preached. The team reached 1,537 people with the gospel, and 224 within the camp expressed their faith in Jesus.
Presenting a Lifeline to Child Refugees
Through a partnership with Development Aid from People to People (DAPP Malawi), CURE Malawi staff donated assorted items, including soap, toy balls, and learning/writing materials. They also donated 53 bales of secondhand clothes to the Mtendere Respite Care Center (MRCC). The center is supported by Welthungerhilfe Malawi, an organization implementing a disability-inclusive program in the camp. MRCC cares for children with disabilities in the camp and surrounding villages. The center currently supports 305 children with different types of disabilities.
Elly Chemey, CURE Malawi’s Executive Director, emphasized CURE’s important role regarding healthcare within the camp. “Children born with disabilities in refugee camps face many challenges that hinder them from getting the right services,” he said. “As most of the health services provided in the designated health centers focus on treating communicable diseases and not orthopedics, our coming is to ensure that we provide this service to the vulnerable children and their caregivers.” Sending a mobile clinic to Dzaleka delivers invaluable services to people in the country who truly need interventions like those CURE Malawi provides.
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About the Beit-CURE Children’s Hospital of Malawi
Established in 2002, Beit-CURE Children’s Hospital of Malawi is the only hospital in Sub-Saharan Africa recognized by the Royal College of Surgeons of England. Located in Blantyre, the teaching hospital comprises 58 beds, three operating theaters, and performs over 2,100 life-changing reconstructive and orthopedic surgeries each year for people suffering from treatable disabilities. In addition to world-class clinical service, CURE Malawi ministers to the emotional and spiritual needs of patients and their communities. The Beit Trust, a UK-based charity, provided the initial funding for this facility as a gift to the people of Malawi.