by Dr. Sylvia Campbell
“It is said that a seed well planted, nourished and cared for with warmth, light and love, will bear fruit of the most amazing sweetness and beauty.”
Eighty-eight percent of all maternal deaths worldwide occur in Africa and Asia, with the highest rate of life lost occurring in Sub-Saharan Africa. According to data supplied by UNICEF, 1in 31 women there will die from pregnancy-related complications, primarily preventable. In developed countries, this statistic is 1 in 4,300.
In Papoli, Uganda, no easy access to prenatal care existed prior to 2013, and the high maternal mortality was duplicated here. This fact was brought home to the members of PCPC, and, working with VPI, funds were raised to establish the Jay and Janice Jester Maternity Clinic in Papoli, Uganda, whose doors opened in 2013. There, quietly, over 400 women annually are able to receive prenatal and maternity care, with an average of 6 deliveries occurring weekly.
In addition, the clinic serves as an outpatient treatment center for the elderly, caring for those in the surrounding community who are unable to travel into the city for care. In the Robert H. Cooley Pediatric Clinic and Safe House, children who have been identified as high risk with malnutrition, HIV, and malaria, are brought to the clinic where an average of 60 children/day receive nutrition, medication, and care on an outpatient basis. An immunization program is run there, and education and public outreach programs are directed to the community.
The Medicine for Miracle Program, initiated in 2016, was created to bridge the gap between the poorest community members and the clinic’s inability to distribute medicines free of charge to those in dire need. This program provides worming for malnourished children and malaria medications for children and elderly in the village who have no resources and are not able to pay even a minimal charge. By providing much-needed malaria medication for free, this program was implemented to save the lives of the most vulnerable members of the community: the children and elderly. It is aimed to target those in the community who are unable to pay for vaccinations.
The hearts of the people of this congregation allow the continuation of these vital programs, which give life to the most vulnerable in this world. These seeds, planted, nourished and watered with your help, continue to grow hope and healing to those so in need.
“No one has ever seen God; but if we love one another, God lives in us and his love is made complete in us.” – 1 John 4:12