Generous Donations Bring Healing to Zimbabwe
New York, NY, January 9, 2009—United Methodist health facilities in Zimbabwe remain open in the face of the country's burgeoning health and economic crises, and their capacity to treat persons with cholera is increased by generous donations from First United Methodist Church in Mansfield, TX and a program of the North Carolina Annual Conference.
While nearly all public hospitals have been shuttered and the doctors are on strike, Nyadire and Old Mutare and Mutambara United Methodist hospitals continue to treat patients as they are able.
The latest assistance package for the two hospitals and their clinics is a donation of cholera medicines-sufficient to treat 80,000 people, purchased by donations from Mansfield First United Methodist Church and ZOE Ministry, a program of the North Carolina Annual Conference. The gifts are in response to the Zimbabwe emergency appeal of the United Methodist Committee on Relief (UMCOR).
Julie Warren, a member of Mansfield First United Methodist Church, explains, "My pastor, Mike Ramsdell, asked if I needed anything for Zimbabwe I told him about the cholera packages so he announced it at Christmas Eve services as an extra offering and raised $8900.55."
The cholera medicines are being bought and shipped through Children Giving Hope, a faith-based humanitarian agency that has already organized such shipments for other organizations assisting Zimbabwe.
"The generosity of First United Methodist Church and ZOE Ministry are an answered prayer," said the Rev. Sam Dixon, UMCOR's top executive. "The cholera medicines, combined with the watchful care of the hospital, will extend our health ministries in a time of critical need."
Humanitarian Needs "Beyond Description"
A cholera epidemic broke out as the people of Zimbabwe were burdened by an inflation rate of two million per cent caused by a political system in chaos.
"The humanitarian needs in Zimbabwe are almost beyond description," Dixon said. "The church there is attempting to respond but all institutions find themselves overwhelmed."
Most hospitals in Zimbabwe are without even the most basic supplies and many of the country's doctors are on strike. At great personal cost, United Methodist hospital staff members continue to help people with the supplies at hand.
UMCOR is helping them to stay open by providing additional support for salaries, food and fuel as well as sending medical supplies. An emergency shipment of cholera kits has already been received by the hospitals. These additional medicines will allow them to treat many thousands more people.
In addition to cholera medicines, 35 Medicine Boxes are also en route. They contain medicines and supplies for basic primary care. Each box has sufficient supplies to treat a community of 1,000 for basic illnesses and injuries for three months.
How You Can Help
In addition to supporting local hospitals, UMCOR is implementing immediate and long-term projects that will provide food and water for thousands of people. Financial gifts will support these efforts. Please give to Zimbabwe Emergency, UMCOR Advance #199456 to support the general response. Gifts to Hospital Revitalization, UMCOR Advance #982168 will specifically support United Methodist hospitals.