We have found over the years that people with disabilities are the most poverty stricken and often outcast from their community. They are often viewed as being possessed with an evil spirit and people think if you touch them, that evil spirit will come on to you and your family. In 2012 we set up our Disability Register of which we now have over 300 beneficiaries.
One of the groups we work with closely is 500 Miles, who support the development and delivery of prosthetic and orthotic services. We facilitate regular visits of 500 Miles doctors to hold clinics in the area centres which we serve, we organise check up visits and we transport patients to Kamuzu Central Hospital, Lilongwe when needed.
If you would like to give a donation to buy a prosthetic leg (£50), fund a clinic session in a remote trading centre (£300) or even buy a proper pair of trainers to support a growing child’s feet (£15), then please click here:
Update: our minibus windscreen is cracked and the minibus is essential to transport disability patients to appointments in Lilongwe. It will cost £100 to replace. Would you like to donate to help?
Another group we work close with is Malawi Action for Physically handicapped (MAP). Sometimes referrals from 500 Miles suggest providing a wheelchair or other aid, and MAP make the equipment for us.
Here Heather Palmer describes a visit in September 2015 with our disability outreach programme:
“I had a positive and negative day today with Julie Ndalama, where we saw 18 patients. Most of them are existing patients and we were checking up on them in their home environment. Generally the visits were positive and the one that stuck in my mind was Jennifa. Jennifa has had a prosthetic limb made for her and it has enabled her to now walk to school. She cried when it had to be taken back to 500 Miles’ headquarters as the strap had broken! She was so proud to show it off to us! Another patient we saw was Lewis who could not even sit upright before. Now he is smiling and holding his body upright, although still trying to walk with his walker support.
Sadly the day ended with a negative, where we were in a village visiting an existing patient and asked to see a 4 year old child who was badly burnt in a fire 2 weeks ago. She had gone to Kamuzu Central Hospital, but been discharged after a day. Crazy when you see her burns! She is now being treated with traditional medicine, which I am sure will end up with infections. We offered to take them to another hospital, but the chiefs decided to wait a few days to see what the natural medicines did.
We are soooooo lucky to have the NHS in the UK and if people could see what I have witnessed today, they would realise they have nothing to complain about!”
If you would like to help more children like Jennifa and Lewis then please click here:
We are grateful for all our supporters who make this work possible.
You can also follow recent stories of our work and about patients like Jennifa and Lewis on Facebook.