United Methodist health partnership offers hope

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Key points:

 • Focusing on pregnant women and young children, church’s mobile clinic brigades serve isolated communities.

 • About $3,700 (U.S.) for the project was donated as part of the Mozambique Initiative, a partnership between the Mozambique and Missouri conferences.


In partnership with the Mozambique Ministry of Health, United Methodists are using mobile clinic brigades to serve isolated communities.

Focusing on pregnant women and children up to 5 years old and offering consultation to adults, the mobile clinics serve the districts of Maxixe, Morrumbene and Massinga.

“Our main target is children, pregnant women and women in general for family planning,” said Dr. Karima Ussene, head of mobile clinics at Massinga Hospital.

To carry out the public health project, the church used about $3,700 (U.S.) donated as part of the Mozambique Initiative, a partnership between the Mozambique and Missouri conferences.

Already, the mobile clinics have traveled to three districts, but the mission is expanding to the rest of the province.

One place that the mobile clinic visited was Mabumbuza.

“Today, as you can see, a few women from our community have come to benefit from this care,” said community leader Américo Chirindza. Located in the district of Massinga, Mabumbuza is home to more than 50,000 inhabitants. More than 200 people benefited from the consultations.

“We thank the church and the Ministry of Health for the partnership and provision of basic health care for our population that is without a hospital,” said Chirindza. He noted that others will be encouraged “to come and benefit from these services that the church brings to our community.”

Joaquim Luís performs a malaria test on a patient during a mobile clinic brigade set up in Mabumbuza, Mozambique. The clinics, an outreach project of The United Methodist Church in Mozambique, serve isolated communities. Photo by António Wilson, UM News.
Joaquim Luís performs a malaria test on a patient during a mobile clinic brigade set up in Mabumbuza, Mozambique. The clinics, an outreach project of The United Methodist Church in Mozambique, serve isolated communities. Photo by António Wilson, UM News.

For a variety of reasons, including COVID-19, the work had been stopped since 2020.

“We must take seriously the issue of controlling the health and growth of our children, as well as women during the gestation period, to avoid the risk of developing some diseases, and thus putting their health at risk," said the Rev. Maria João Matsinhe, the newly appointed public health conference coordinator.

More than 25 religion, community and medical leaders met in May to develop plans that would ensure more adequate and timely action to address health concerns of rural communities.

“The activities were characterized by the positive participation of mothers with their children, pregnant women, and those who sought to do family planning and other health packages,” said Naira da Edite Mário Bule, preventive medicine and environmental sanitation technician at the Muria health post in Massinga.

“This participation reassures us as a work team,” he added. “We are … calling more women to seek these services.” Bule was especially pleased that the women were learning about recommended measures for a safe birth, as well as children’s vaccinations and parasite prevention

Because of back problems and rheumatism, Filipe Sendela, 75, could not travel long distances to the Muria Health Center. He was pleased with the care he received at the mobile clinic.

“After the interruption of the activities of the mobile clinic brigades, we suffered a lot to find these services,” said Elisa Sebastião Zunguze. “With the restart, we are very satisfied … with the spirit of delivery that exists from health professionals.”

Isménia Alexandre Licuco was happy that her son could receive medical treatment at the mobile clinic. “We hope that it will be so forever to alleviate the suffering of all the inhabitants of this locality of Mabumbuza,” she said.

At Maxixe, the mobile clinic brigades worked in Teles, Nhamaxaxa and Inhabanda. In June, they were scheduled for the district of Morrumbene on an interim basis.

Wilson is the communicator for the Mozambique South Conference. Sambo is the  Africa Lusophone correspondent for UM News. News media contact: Julie Dwyer, [email protected].


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