Muamba Mukengeshayi’s life has been transformed thanks to the support of our MBF partners. Here is his story. It is nothing short of God working a modern-day miracle. Muamba was one of 15 students in the first graduating class at the ISTM (Institut Superieur Des Techniques Medicales) in Tshikaji, DR Congo. ISTM is the new 3-year bachelor degree program offering degrees in pediatrics, midwifery and health administration. Muamba was one of 5 graduates in the midwifery (“accoucheuse”) discipline – the only male student. He graduated with distinction and tied for top grades in the class. Because of our wonderful partners, he is now working as a trained nurse at Good Shepherd Hospital, thanks to the training he received at ISTM.
It wasn’t an easy road to get there. Muamba found his way to ISTM after his high school diploma in general nursing wasn’t enough of an education to allow him a job in medicine. Instead, he had to work in the fields, desperate to find ways to make money to survive. He heard about the new nursing program, applied, and was accepted. Once he was accepted, Muamba had other seemingly insurmountable hurdles to scale. As a husband and father to 5 children, he still had to care for his family. They lived far from the school, so Muamba had to stay with friends in a nearby village apart from his family during the week. He and his children got sick, and the financial burdens were overwhelming.
Then a gift from God was given to him in the form of an MBF scholarship. This changed everything. His financial responsibilities were manageable, and he could concentrate on his studies. He vowed that he would do his very best to try to earn top honors. Muamba is now able to support his family well AND give top quality medical care to needy patients in his community. Muamba and his family say they will never be able to thank God and MBF enough for giving him this second chance. They are living out their gratitude by giving back every day.
Ekwendeni Hospital, serving a poor community of over 75,000 in northern Malawi, is one of the oldest mission hospitals in the country. One of the hospital’s preventive services is training chiefs and older women in the community, stressing the benefits of delivering babies at the hospital where there are trained midwives and doctors, rather than at home, as culture might dictate.
The training has been successful in drastically reducing the rates of maternal and infant death. Each month, the number of women coming to have hospital deliveries increases. Ekwendeni, in a rural area once known to have high rates of maternal deaths, is now recognized as a center of excellence with a very low maternal and infant death rate. Despite that good news, there are still some who discourage hospital deliveries. This is one woman’s story.
Alinafe was pregnant and about to give birth. Her grandmother, a strong voice in her life, wanted her to deliver at home in the same way she had. Her grandmother did not like going against traditional practices for medical care. It didn’t seem to matter that many mothers had died, and more frequently, babies had died in this way. Alinafe had already gone to Ekwendeni Hospital for free medicine to fight malaria. She went for help with prenatal care too, and received iron tablets to keep her healthy, as well as bedding for the baby.
Finally, the grandmother’s opinion seemed much less important than her health and that of her baby. She decided to go to the hospital and delivered a beautiful healthy boy. Before she left she received clothing for her new son, a malaria net and other essentials. She was so excited and grateful for the opportunity of being taught how to take care of herself and her unborn baby during the pregnancy, receiving vital medications and giving birth in a safe place.
Kikuyu Hospital is a prime example of sustainable impact, and we are grateful to God for all the progress. Kikuyu Hospital was even acknowledged by the country’s government.
During Kenya’s 50th Anniversary of Independence Celebrations, Kikuyu Hospital received the “Golden Jubilee Award” from the Head of State. Kikuyu was one of only 4 institutions receiving this award in recognition of their commendable service to Kenyans. These commendations are awarded by the President of Kenya, upon the advice of the National Honors and Awards Committee, “in recognition of outstanding or distinguished services rendered to the nation in various capacities and responsibilities.”
Kikuyu Hospital, one of MBF’s partners in Kenya, is a mission hospital of the Presbyterian Church of East Africa (PCEA), and has been serving Kenyans with compassionate and skilled healthcare in Christ’s name for over 100 years. While God’s “well done good and faithful servant” is what we want to hear, it’s a joy to see Kikuyu Hospital recognized by the government as well.