Since our last update in September 2015, the nature of our work has changed in a direction we did not expect at that time. Angie had worked hard at the St John’s University, putting a lot of effort into drafting of new policies and protocols, as well as guiding students in their studies. Gradually she became aware of a desire once again to teach students the practical skills needed for nurses starting their first diploma.
After discussion and prayer, we decided to offer to move to Mvumi mission hospital, where Brian was already doing part-time work. This offer was accepted. At much the same time, Brian’s responsibilities at the English Sunday Service in Dodoma came to an end, as he was able to hand over to a full-time pastor. We left St John’s University in January 2016, and after a refreshing break, we took up residence at Mvumi, in the country 40km south of Dodoma.
Mvumi Hospital is a 280 bedded mission and district hospital run by the Anglican church, but served by Christians of a number of different denominations. It also has 3 training schools, for nurses, clinical officers and laboratory technicians (a total of about 400 students). The hospital is in a rural area, which is economically deprived, and semi-arid with unreliable rainfall. There are major financial constraints, as many patients who need treatment cannot afford to pay, and some other patient fees are the responsibility of a community scheme, which unfortunately cannot always reimburse expenses in full or in time.
Angie is enjoying a return to classroom and clinical teaching, while Brian has also increased his clinical and teaching commitment. Angie has been fortunate to develop a link with a Young Businessmen’s Club in Poland that has managed to obtain funds from Polish Aid. This has enabled much needed renovation of 3 wards (maternity, delivery ward, and children’s), installation of solar panels to supply lighting for these 3 wards, and new mattresses, sheets, pillows and blankets for all the hospital. We hope that in due course funds can be found to upgrade medical, surgical and eye wards and also theatre, and to obtain equipment and supplies. The hospital is looking to recruit volunteers, specifically a physiotherapist and a general surgeon.
Brian is finding that full time work in the eye department at Mvumi continues to be interesting, but involves surgery on long lists of patients, as well as taking time to teach eager students who come for three-month practical courses on eye care. Outpatient sessions are also very long; the patients seem to keep coming from early morning, and explaining their eye condition to them, and the treatment needed, in Kiswahili, is rather a challenge, often with hilarious results.
We are grateful for continued prayer support from Lymm Baptist Church friends, and also some generous financial donations, which help provide items to support our work. May God bless you as you support us and others.
Click here for more details on Brian & Angie and their work.