Malawi outreach – update
By late Saturday, 30 June we arrived at St Andrews Hospital, Malawi Midlands.
During 28 and 29 we had many cataract operations and outreaches during the afternoon, and closed the day showing Christian Films. One of the patients we helped was the founder of Neighbour Mission. His photo is attached. On Friday afternoon we visited the area where we showed the film about a young African Muslim that converts to Christianity through various dreams (from the series More than Dreams). Uncle George had an impromptu service close to the Church which we were visiting. The Lord was very gracious and many came for counseling after the film. In Salima there are many Muslims.
The film also touched many and a few gave their lives to the Lord Jesus. The Lord is very gracious. Early on Saturday, we realized we were robbed during the night. The thieves stole a few items such as a laptop from the Neighbor Mission, one mobile phone, etc. The worst for us was Dr Jac Potgieter. They took a bag with all his documents, money, Passport etc. He had to fly on Sunday so we contacted our Head Office and Johan obtained the number of the RSA consulate in Lilongwe. The lady told Johan that they could only help on Monday. Jac contacted the lady from Malawi and after prayer and a Police visit to our camp site she promised us that he would be issued with traveling documents. The thieves also took sister Kitty Ghampsi’s hand bag but dropped her passport not far from the camp. What can we say? A few trials but many blessings! Can we experience the Lord’s special grace without trials? We appreciate our prayer partners so much. Please let uncle Waldemar and others know about the Lord’s faithfulness.
This morning we were invited to take the service at the local St Andrew Anglican Church which was very well attended. The team was also introduced to the congregation.
Our dentist, Dr Ferreira and his wife Gisela took Jac to the airport (the consulate even organized a place for Jac to sleep). Now, on Sunday afternoon they picked up the rest of the team that flew from London and RSA. Herman started operating this afternoon.
Please keep praying that the Lord in his grace will conquer the darkness with His precious Light.
Malawi outreach – update
From the DFL Malawi medical team
“Today we removed the eye covers of those who had operations. There was much joy and Mr Mario Rocha interviewed some of the patients. A little later in the morning Mr Rocha (representing DFL) was interviewed at a local government office. The message was broadcast 4 times yesterday and today, and twice on Friday. We are considering working till midday on Saturday and then moving to our next destination.”
Malawi outreach – update
The DFL medical support team departed from Pretoria at about 7:00 pm on Thursday evening. They arrived at the Zimbabwe border at about 2:00 am in the morning. Although, according to the border officials, two of the vehicle’s documents were not in order, they were finally allowed to proceed to Harare. They were stopped at various road blocks and because the police found fault with the vehicles, some small fines had to be paid.
Mario Rocha – volunteer
After an interesting drive through Harare the team arrived at the Highlands Presbyterian Church by 6:00 pm on 22 June. They basically drove for 24 hours and some of the drivers did not sleep at all.
After a light meal in the evening, everybody retired early to get some rest. The next day they left for the Malawi border. The goal was to arrive at Salima, Malawi, that the same day.
“Driving through Malawi was an experience, especially at night. We had a few narrow escapes and it was obvious that the Lord kept us. At one stage we were behind a big truck and there was a stationary truck on the other side of the road. Suddenly another huge truck came from the opposite direction and probably did not realise that the other truck was not moving.
The second truck came with a terrible speed and moved over to our lane to avoid a collision with the stationary truck. In the process it missed us by centimetres. In fact we could not understand how the truck could have missed us. There were these three huge trucks and us right in the middle of them on this narrow road. Oom Volkmar had to swerve quite a bit to avoid colliding with the oncoming truck. It was grace that we did not leave the road or even roll the truck.”
The team arrived about 23h00 at Salima where they are staying at a neighbouring mission in tents. The people there really put in a lot of effort to prepare for the medical team’s arrival and the outreach. The team were all very tired after two days of continuous driving. After pitching their tents etc, they went to sleep after midnight.
On Sunday Pieter Bos left for the airport to fetch Dr Jacques Potgieter, Nick Ashton (MESF) and his colleagues Paul and Daisy. Unfortunately some of their luggage containing medicines did not arrive with them.
The team tried to arrange a meeting with the officials today but it was not possible. They were going to meet them on Monday morning at 8am to plan the work. Eye surgery has however been delayed and would have only started on Monday night
Angeklika Bohmer – nurse
Extensions by SODA to the DFL Zavora clinic, Mozambique
The building work at the DFL Zavora clinic in Mozambique is going well. This is due to the help of the SODA volunteers, the clinic will receive a new laboratory, prenatal examination room, dental room and vaccination area. The building work also includes expanding the accommodation for volunteers.
Outreach to Zambia – Field Update
The 1st outreach in Western Zambia, Kalobolelwa has come to an end. In total we prescribed 75 eye glasses, saw 112 dental patients, did 440 GP treatments, saw about a 100 other eye patients, 32 surgeries. Pathology in this area was incredible: gangrene, leprosy, broken leg, many malaria cases, HIV, 6 fingers on 1 hand, accidents, trachoma, cancers, weird growths etc. On our way to next area Sinjimbela on the border of Angola. Its even more remote.
Doctors For Life Outreach to Zambia April 2012
Two weeks from now we hope to be on our way! The apparently unavoidable last minute rush is starting as I am writing this. No matter how early you start, there will always be the last minute emergencies. Will we be able to get all the necessary documents in time? The medications and surgical supplies have to be picked up, the food supplies to be purchased etc. etc. The worst of all: Did we remember everything? We have done it lots of times before, but still there is this thing …
A road team of about 9 people plans to leave from Pretoria on April 11. We’ll travel in three vehicles including the MAN truck with the mobile theatre on its back. First overnight stop is Francistown in Botswana, second Katima Mulilo in Namibia. The next day we’ll pick up the two ophthalmologists at Livingstonia Airport in Zambia on our way towards Sioma in the Western Province. Crossing the borders is still a bit of a nightmare with all our supplies, but as the staff at the borders get to know us they seem to become less suspicious.
We hope to set everything up for the work at Sioma as soon as we arrive so that we can start screening and selecting patients on Sunday already. There are so many causes of blindness, and not everyone will benefit from an operation. It is nice to be able to help many of them, but it breaks your heart every time to see those whom we unfortunately cannot help. We are very glad to have two ophthalmologists who can take turns inside the theatre and outside. This should save a lot of time. We hope to perform lid procedures, cataract operations and other surgeries while our dentist and the GPs will help the other patients with their respective needs.
We are looking forward to see our Zambian support team again with whom we have become good friends by now. They will help again with translating as well as other tasks. We greatly rely on them for identifying the areas we go to, notifying the people about our coming and other preparations in various ways. Sometimes they even put up “road signs” against trees or write them on the road so that we can find our destination. You see, we like going into the very rural areas, where hardly any services (or road signs) are available.
From 16 to 20 April we plan to work at Sioma. Then the first team of ophthalmologists have to return to South Africa while the second team arrives again at Livingstonia. The other team members break up camp, pack everything and travel to Sinjembela, where we’ll be working the next week. Afterwards we’ll enjoy a rest day at Katima on the banks of the Zambesi River before returning to Pretoria on May 1. We are looking forward to another opportunity to reach some of the poorest of the poor to help them in their need!
OSSA 2012 Congress
We would like to welcome the 14 ophthalmologists who joined DFL at the 2012 OSSA congress recently at the Sandton Convention Centre in South Africa. DFL had an opportunity to display the work done in remote areas in Sub-Saharan Africa. Cataract and trachoma surgery has become an integral part of the free medical service DFL renders in these areas. The countries include Malawi, Zambia, Zimbabwe, Mozambique, Angola, South Africa and this year, Botswana.
Open Day – Pelindaba 2012
The open-day introducing DFL at Phelindaba Mission on the 3rd of March was a huge success with 7 doctors and just under a 100 people attending. DFL staff presented their departments through PowerPoint presentations and video clips produced by Orison Pictures. We are encouraged by so many who shared our vision and would like to thank “everybody” who made the day possible.
Angola: Medical and eye surgery outreach to Cuito Cuanavale and Mavinga
Update on the 2011 Aid to Africa medical outreach to Angola
Update on the 2011 Aid to Africa medical outreach to Angola
20111102 Aid to Africa
The team finally reached the first destination of Cuito Cuanavale after about six days on the road. The target area is isolated and the team had to travel on bad roads, some of which were marked with land mine warnings! The 500 litre drinking water tank broke off the truck, damaging the vehicle, and one of the trailers broke down twice. Thankfully the damage was not too serious and everybody arrived safely in a hot Cuito Cuanavale.
The clinic started on Monday and the first few patients who received cataract surgery had their eye pads removed today (2nd Oct). Their joy at being able to see again was wonderful to witness. One man, Joao Babtista, a pastor, is looking forward to preaching again and being able to read his bible. For the last few years he has preached from memorized bible versus. Joao is one of 18 blind patients who have received surgery so far. They team also attended to about 300 other patients. The DFL team of 3 doctors, 2 nurses and the support team will continue working in Cuito Cuanavale for 4 days and then move on to Mavinga for another 4 days of work.
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