Sub-Saharan Africa in Midst of the Pandemic — And the Response by Bread and Water for Africa®

Sub-Saharan Africa in Midst of the Pandemic — And the Response by Bread and Water for Africa®

Photo credit/Deutsch Welle

In the Sub-Saharan African countries where Bread and Water for Africa® works, health care systems are underfunded and poorly equipped; climate change has caused everything from severe drought to cyclones, and food and clean water are in short supply.
Now, during the global coronavirus pandemic, “Poverty turns lockdowns into a death sentence,” states a recent Time magazine report.
Thanks to our supporters, since COVID-19 began spreading around the world earlier this year, we have been able to continue to provide life-saving assistance that will benefit tens of thousands of African children, parents and elders in countries including such as shipping medicines and medical supplies for use at hospitals and clinics in Ethiopia and Sierra Leone, providing emergency funding to children’s homes in Zambia and Zimbabwe, and continuing our clean water development initiative in Uganda.
This sad predicament has caused some to come up with innovative ways to help deal the with the problem in their countries, such as a young inventor in Ethiopia, Ezedine Kamil, an 18-year-old natural science student.
Deutsche Welle reported earlier this month that Ezedine has 30 inventions to his credit so far, 13 of which have been patented.
The onslaught of the virus presented a unique opportunity to Ezedine who first designed a contactless electrical soap dispenser with a built-in sensor, which could also be operated using a mechanical pedal during power blackouts — a common occurrence in Ethiopia.
And, his invention has been embraced by the local community where 50 dispensers have been produced by the local university and distributed in banks and local hospitals in his town of Welkite.
We commend Ezedine and his determination to make the best of a terrible situation for the benefit of others.

Caring for Children: Social Distancing is Easier Said Than Done

Caring for Children: Social Distancing is Easier Said Than Done

These are the faces of the children at the Kabwata Orphanage and Transit Centre in Zambia that keep us awake at night, particularly in these times of a worldwide pandemic which is just now beginning to strike the continent of Africa.

Although as of April 2, the country had only 39 confirmed cases of coronavirus, The New York Times today reported that Zambia recorded its first death from coronavirus today.

Africa has now registered almost 6,000 cases of coronavirus and more than 200 deaths, according to Physicians Weekly. Zambia and the entire continent is already suffering a huge economic impact from lockdowns aiming to contain the virus and a sharp fall in global demand for commodities.

Kabwata founder and director Angela Miyanda is doing all she can to prevent the coronavirus from reaching the 56 children who live at this orphanage by following all safety precautions and severely restricting visitors from coming on the grounds.

At Bread and Water for Africa® we are doing all we can to assist Angela in her mission of protecting the children she has taken under her wing and praying for a quick end for this global pandemic and that she and “her” children remain safe and healthy. Without the support, hundreds, if not thousands, of children that Angela has taken under her wing during our 20-year partnership would have fended for themselves streets on the Lusaka.

These are the children we love and care for, and we wonder which of them will succeed — continue their education through secondary school, find a job that allows them to become self-sufficient adults and raise a family — and those who sadly will not.

In Zambia, the odds are not in their favor.

But thanks to the supporters of Bread and Water for Africa®, they are beating those odds by getting a good start in life that most orphaned, destitute and vulnerable children in Zambia would otherwise never have.

First and foremost, they have found peace, safety, and solace in the loving arms of Angela who provides them with a warm bed to sleep in at night with a fully belly and without worry where their next meal is coming from.

She holds and comforts them when they are feeling sad and all alone in the world, and she takes them to a doctor when they are sick.

And she gives them the hope for a brighter future they would never have through an education guaranteed to them through primary and secondary school — their only chance out of a life of dire poverty in an impoverished country.

Frequently, Angela reports how proud she is of individual children who have grown and matured under her care and through their own dedication and determination have not squandered the opportunity they understand how fortunate they are to have received.

Christian Health Association of Sierra Leone: More Than the Sum of its Parts

Christian Health Association of Sierra Leone: More Than the Sum of its Parts

CHASLWhile Ebola is the most immediate health concern in Sierra Leone, that does not mean that other equally life-threatening illnesses have vanished, and our partner there, Christian Health Association of Sierra Leone (CHASL), continues on its mission to meet basic health care needs for the residents of the country.

CHASL is comprised of 53 member institutions located throughout the country which include 10 general hospitals, two eye hospitals, 35 health centers and clinics and six faith-based non-governmental organizations with health promoting programs, according to its 2012 annual report.

Bread and Water for Africa® is proud to be a long-time partner with CHASL by providing hundreds of thousands of dollars in in-kind donations of medical equipment and supplies and medicines to ease the suffering of those being treated for malaria, respiratory tract infections, typhoid, severe diarrhea, HIV/AIDS and hypertension, as well as providing pre-natal and post-natal care for women and infants.

CHASL’s hospitals and clinics provide life-saving health care services to hundreds of thousands children, women and men annually and oversee the births of thousands of new Sierra Leoneans every year.

Through its hospitals and clinics, CHASL is able to provide services to those living in the most remote areas of the county thereby bringing about monumental change throughout the entire nation.

Bread and Water for Africa® is glad to be a part of that success – a success you help to bring about.

Christian Health Association of Sierra Leone

Christian Health Association of Sierra Leone

Local Partner: Christian Health Association of Sierra Leone

Program Director: Walter Carew

Areas Served: Communities located in all districts of Sierra Leone, with a total population of more than five million people.

Program Goals: Christian Health Association of Sierra Leone’s (CHASL) mission and goals are to equip and support Christian health institutions in the provision of affordable, high-quality, easily accessible and sustainable health care services for the people of Sierra Leone. Its overarching goal is to provide quality medical care to an ever-increasing population of patients.

OperationProgram Services Provided: Treatment of life-threatening diseases such as malaria and respiratory tract infections continue to be the amongst the largest number of diseases treated, while there are also high incidences of typhoid, hypertension and diarrhea. In addition to providing inpatient care, surgery obstetric delivery and newborn care, CHASL also provides laboratory, ultrasound and x-ray services. A full-service outpatient clinic is operated open six days a week, and CHASL also operates a malnutrition treatment and stabilization program under the direction of the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF). It also operates eye clinics providing examinations and glasses, as well as a program offering cataract and other eye surgeries. In addition, its Pharmacy Department also assists members in drug procurement and handling. It has secured clearance and import permits for prescription and non-prescription drugs and medical supplies imported into the country by CHASL Member Institutions in the United States.

Number of Program Beneficiaries: Through various services rendered, CHASL member hospitals and clinics attended to a total of 322,841 patients in 2013. CHASL members participated in 5,133 live births, of which 3,832 were normal deliveries. Also, 639 Caesarean sections and 37 assisted deliveries were conducted.

Current Need: Challenges for CHASL members in recent years have been to provide quality health care services to people in its catchment areas as they struggle to manage with inadequate resources. The organization also faces considerable challenges in its efforts to coordinate the activities of the member institutions, helping to create an enabling environment for them through supportive services, advocacy and training. Significant constraints faced by its Secretariat and member institutions include inadequate funding for the operation of the Secretariat and to effectively support its members in their delivery of health care, training and other logistical support, transportation in order to do monitoring and supervision of its members, and lack of access to reliable drugs at reasonable cost for its members’ operation. Also the lack of funds means the staffs were made redundant and asks to continue working as volunteers. Also the Secretariat would be better served if they had a delivery van that would be doing distribution of materials to members to avoid congestion in the CHASL store. Due to the emergence of the Ebola outbreak, CHASL members are specifically in need of PPE kits and thankfully we have been receiving them from various donors, but they can never be enough.

Program Summary: CHASL membership comprises a total of 54 Health Institutions owned by both church denominations and Christian organizations registered in Sierra Leone. It is includes 10 general hospitals, two eye hospitals, 35 health centers/clinics and seven faith-based non-governmental organizations with health promoting programs. Its members have a presence in all but one of the 14 districts in the country and mainly operate in rural settings, serving the poor and needy communities. Total staff of member institutions was 561 at the end of 2013.

Update: Ebola Cases Continue to Increase in Sierra Leone

Update: Ebola Cases Continue to Increase in Sierra Leone

Donate NowUpdate 11/19/2014

In Liberia, the Ebola outbreak there peaked in September, and by early this month signs of normalcy are returning to the capital of Monrovia as the rate of new Ebola infections are decreasing.

Sadly, that is not the case in Sierra Leone where our partner Rev. Frances Mambu, founder and director of Faith Healing Development Organization, and the healthcare workers in its clinics continue the fight.

Sierra Leone is reporting what USA Today calls “an alarming increase in the number of new Ebola cases,” with 435 in the first week of November alone. And, according to the World Health Organization, about 24 percent of the Ebola cases in Sierra Leone have been reported roughly in the period from October 15 to November 7.

Bread and Water for Africa® has been, and remains, on the forefront in providing assistance to Rev. Mambu as he continues his heroic effort to treat the sick by providing FHDO hundreds of Tyvek suits and personal protection kits, hundreds of thousands of dollars’ worth of medicines and medical supplies, and tens of thousands of dollars in cash grants to purchase emergency food supplies.

We, along with Rev. Mambu, and the thousands of sick and dying residents of Sierra Leone and their family members coping with the tragic loss of their loved ones, thank you for helping us to be able to help them in their time of greatest need.

Ebola Update: Faith Healing Development Organization Says “Thank You”

Donate NowUpdate: October 22, 2014

His words of appreciation say it all – “We greatly appreciate Bread and Water for Africa® for bringing hope to the people of Sierra Leone.”

Since early this summer, Bread and Water for Africa® has been shipping hundreds of thousands of dollars worth of protective gear to the health care workers battling the Ebola virus in Sierra Leone and medicines and medical supplies to ease the suffering of those with the deadly disease.

Bunumbu Clinic, Sierra Leone

In happier times, before the Ebola outbreak, Reverend Mambu (in grey) tours the nursery at the Bunumbu Clinic, Sierra Leone

In September, Bread and Water for Africa® provided thousands of dollars in cash funding to purchase food supplies in the country that is now experiencing a food shortage, and otherwise healthy people are facing the threat of starvation.

Rev. Frances Mambu, founder and director of our partner there, Faith Healing Development Organization, wrote to thank Bread and Water for Africa® — and you, our supporters – for the lifesaving supplies and providing grants to buy basic necessities.

“I want to take this opportunity to thank you and appreciate you from the bottom on my heart for your timely support to us I this moment of great need in our land. In a nutshell, it has become extremely difficult to live in the country.”

Letter of Apprectiation – Grant Received for Eboloa Emergency Need

October 9, 2014

Dear Bread and Water for Africa® Board Members, 

On behalf of the entire staff and the beneficiaries of [Bread and Water for Africa® partner] Faith Healing Development Organisation (FHDO) I want to take this opportunity to thank and appreciate you from the bottom of my heart for your timely support to us in this moment of great need in our land.

The financial support received from Bread and Water for Africa® will be used to procure basic necessities for the running of the clinics, buy food stuff to give as relief items to the most vulnerable in varies communities.

The Ebola Virus Disease (EVD) has had a devastating effect on the country. Many people have lost their lives far above the official figures released by the Government. Even in the capital, sometimes dead bodies are found in the street or left uncollected by the burial teams for more than three days! The disease is seriously affecting the fabric of our society. The economy has been seriously affected. Prices have sky rocketed and many people are starving. Far in excess of 24,000 workers have lost their jobs, cinemas have closed down, schools are not functioning, many offices have scaled down their operations, government revenue from taxes has dwindled. The spread of the disease to other parts of the country especially Port Loko and Kambia Districts – the main rice producing areas is likely to lead to decrease in the area under cultivation as the usual ‘Group Work’ on the rice farms cannot be undertaken. According to recent analysis, five people get infected every hour. This statistic will rise to ten infected persons for every hour by the end of the month. The daily statistics issued by the Government’s Ministry of Health and Sanitation, showed that for the 5th October 2014, 121 persons died from the Ebola Virus and 81 new cases for a single day! In a nutshell, it has become extremely difficult to live in the country. That is why Faith Healing Development Organisation greatly welcomes the grant from Bread and Water for Africa® to help alleviate the suffering of the populace.

Bread and Water for Africa (BWA) and Christian Relief Services (CRS) have always been supportive partners of FHDO. These organizations started supporting FHDO with material and financial support since the dark days of the Civil war in Sierra Leone. The relief items received during this period seriously alleviated the suffering of thousands of Sierra Leone who could not afford the basic needs for their livelihood.

BWA and CRS continued to support FHDO even after the war till now. Our clinics spread all over the country – Rokel village in Freetown (outskirt of the capital), Bo in the southern part of the country, Kenema in the eastern part of the country and Bunumbu village in the Kailahun district also in the southern part of Sierra Leone. These clinics treat over 14,000 patients in one year! Thanks to BWA for saving the lives of our people especially the volunerable who cannot afford to pay for cater for their health. Since its formation, the clinics have also been able to delivery thousands of women and no women has ever died in our clinics whiles giving birth!

Another great area of support by BWA is education which is very pivotal in the development of any nation. Through support of BWA, FHDO operates schools Freetown (Grafton, Hill Station (IMATT) and Waterloo) and Rutile in the Bonthe District Southern Sierra Leone. The schools currently have more than 750 students in its roll. These students are doing extremely well and our students have excelled themselves in public examinations. BWA has provided furniture, financial support to construct a permanent structure for the Waterloo school. BWA has also been supporting the operations of the school through the provision of funds to augment the operating cost.

BWA have also assisted FHDO to undertake farming activities where its employs mainly women. The project aims to build a seed bank which will be used to give out as loans to farmers especially the community women. The project also aims to especially a training institute to train farmers on methods to improve crop yield.

The EVD outbreak will impose a great challenge when it would have subsided and schools resume operations. Currently, all schools and colleges remain closed indefinitely. We may be in dire need of furniture and other school items when schools will eventually reopened.

The situation in the country is really desperate thousands are in need of food and non food items. This is why we greatly appreciation the Board and entire BWA family for bringing hope to the people of Sierra Leone.

Please join us pray that God intervene and rid our nation and West Africa as a whole from this evil virus and restore our economy.

Donate Now

If you wish to support Reverend Mambu’s and Faith Healing Development Organization’s efforts – please give today!

Our more, thanks for showing the people of Sierra Leone love and concern at this very difficult moment. This grant will in no mean way restore hope in the lives of many Sierra Leoneans especially those suffering from chronic starvation.

Yours Sincerely,

Reverend Francis A.M. Mambu
Executive Director, Faith Healing Development Organisation

Ebola Virus Outbreak Devastates Sierra Leone

Ebola Virus Outbreak Devastates Sierra Leone

This summer, more than 600 Africans, including many in Sierra Leone, have died due to an outbreak of the Ebola virus, including many health workers themselves trying to save lives. For many years, Bread and Water for Africa® has been working with its partner there the Faith Healing Development Organization (FHDO) to provide thousands of impoverished women and children with health care services, such as the Christian Health Association of Serra Leone.

Ebola

Geographic distribution of Ebola virus. Click for larger image.

In its efforts to improve healthcare in Sierra Leone, FHDO has also established clinics in the Rokel community on the outskirts of the capital city of Freetown, as well as in the provinces of Bo, Bunumbu and Kenema, where the outbreak has been particularly devastating .

To help combat Ebola, Bread and Water for Africa® just sent two pallets of personal protection equipment to FHDO to be used by healthcare workers.

Sierra Leone President Ernest Bai Koroma recently reported that they had 199 confirmed cases and 65 confirmed deaths and nearly all of them occurred in the Kenema and Kailahun districts and urged his countrymen to “remember in our prayers our brothers and sisters that have fallen victim to the Ebola disease. Ebola is real; Ebola kills.”

We here at Bread and Water for Africa® join with President Koroma in remembering those afflicted with the deadly disease and those who have lost loved ones in our prayers and hope for a speedy end to the outbreak.

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