Over the past two years, Macha Mission Hospital in Zambia has faced its share of challenges. The Covid-19 pandemic, supply chain issues, and aging facilities all contributed to stretching the hospital and its staff.
But God is good, and Macha Hospital has continued to provide quality healthcare to its community. This work was made possible in part by funds from the General Support and Clean Water projects in the World Missions Partnership Handbook.
Thanks to generous donors, we distributed a total of $66,834 in 2020 and $129,633 in 2021, helping accomplish the hospital’s mission of caring for patients in Southern Zambia. “Through your giving, lives are being saved, the sick are being cared for, and those in spiritual need are meeting Christ,” said Dr. Mark Roth, BIC U.S. missionary doctor and medical superintendent of Macha Mission Hospital.
As Covid-19 began to spread in 2020, the hospital quickly became an important location for Covid testing in Southern Zambia, administering thousands of tests over the course of the pandemic. Their 16-bed isolation ward saved countless lives, and in 2021 they administered hundreds of vaccine doses.
Under normal circumstances, the Zambian government provides basic supplies like gauze, gloves, and IV catheters on a regular basis. Due to global supply chain issues, these shipments from the government were interrupted, and necessary supplies and medicines have been extremely difficult to obtain. Through many smaller installments over the past two years, we have provided $107,498 to purchase supplies necessary for daily hospital operations.
Even before the pandemic added extra strain, the hospital’s kitchen was struggling to provide meals for the patients as equipment started to break and show signs of wear and tear. Thanks to a special gift of $10,000, the hospital was able to purchase two new industrial cook pots and a refurbished industrial stove to meet this need and continue serving their patients.
As the hospital approached its 65th anniversary, many facilities were starting to show their age including the operating theater (OT). Hospital administration decided to expand their facilities, and initial grants for the construction of a new OT were provided by Beit Trust and Sida (a Swedish agency). Leading up to the OT’s completion in 2021, $48,000 from the General Support project was used to finish construction, including terrazzo flooring, a dropped ceiling, three air-conditioning units, cabinets, chairs, and tables. The new surgery facility was completed and dedicated on October 1, 2021.
The hospital also constructed a covered walkway, pavilion for waiting families, and an ambulance bay to accompany the new building. Additionally, the old operating facility underwent an extensive renovation – including a new roof – and is now an intensive care unit.
Another area at Macha Hospital starting to show its age was the water infrastructure. With ever-increasing failing parts, the water system has struggled for years to provide enough water for the hospital and its 70 housing units.
At the beginning of 2020, $16,000 from the Clean Water project funded the drilling of three new bore holes. Additional funds from the project were used to erect two new tanks and stands with all the needed connecting pipes and electrical support. New water pumps were also purchased.
Later in 2020 and throughout 2021, an additional $14,969 was spent to further upgrade the water system. A large water tower that previously held dam water was cleaned and is being converted to a freshwater reservoir. Several new bore holes will be used to fill this water tank. These updates will address ongoing water storage issues and provide a more consistent, reliable source of fresh water for the hospital campus.
As a mission hospital, the staff of Macha has the great privilege of sharing Christ with their patients. Staff chaplains see about six hundred individuals each month, many who make first-time commitments for Christ or receive counseling in various areas of life.
One such patient is a young man who was brought to the hospital in 2021 after attempting to take his own life. He was having marital problems and was dealing with an alcohol addiction. As he recovered at the hospital, he met daily with a chaplain who led him to Christ. Even after he recovered and was discharged, he biked to Macha for counseling and discipleship several times a week and has now started a new BIC church in his village.
The staff of Macha continues to face challenges as they seek to provide quality health care in Southern Zambia; however, the opportunity to make a lasting difference—physically and spiritually—in the lives of patients inspires perseverance and dedicated service.
We are thankful for the generous financial support that cared for so many practical needs at the hospital over the past two years, and we invite you to support the ongoing ministry happening at Macha Mission Hospital by contributing to the General Support project.