Providing hope for people living in a nightmare

Being very sick and very poor is a nightmare that you never wake up from.

CIt is the nightmare that medical missionaries have walked through with countless families for over a century, running hospitals, clinics, community health programs, and widespread training programs at all levels.

 And yet, the nightmare is still all-too-real for hundreds of millions of vulnerable families.

With SIM’s encouragement to “think outside of the box”, the Banda Health dream was born - using technology and gospel-shaped relationships to extend medical missions’ impact to the clinics in slums and villages that provide frontline care for these patients.

Many of these clinics are run by Christians who have been deeply impacted by the cross. They live and work in these communities because they understand what John meant when he said, “If God so loved us, we also ought to love one another.”

 Twenty-five years ago, a Christian nurse, Mary Mambo, was running two successful clinics when some street boys took her to a Nairobi slum called Mukuru. At each home they visited, a parent was in bed, HIV-positive, dying. Though they could have easily looked the other way, gone home, and carried on with life, Mary and her husband Joseph chose otherwise.

 They sold their house – “our kids’ inheritance” – and moved near Mukuru, slapping together four walls of iron sheeting for the clinic. They called the clinic Cana, because “That is where Jesus did his first miracle, and these people needed a miracle.” They then ran headfirst into the harsh realities that the people there were living with. Too many kids on the streets? They opened a school. Schoolgirls being sexually abused? They opened a rescue centre. Mothers and babies lost in home births? They opened a maternity ward. People walking through life without hope? They opened a church.

 There are many other clinics like Mary’s bringing hope for people living in a nightmare.

 Sylvia and her husband Stephen, Kenyans living outside of Toronto, have invested tirelessly to make schooling and healthcare available for thousands at risk in western Kenya.

 Janet and her husband Godwill left Nairobi to move to a poor village on the Kenyan coast.

White Indimuli moved to one of Kenya’s toughest slums to set up a clinic where he and Balala and others care for their neighbours.

 But each clinic faces incredible challenges trying to provide good sustainable healthcare to patients who have almost no money.

 Banda Health’s technology, an “always improving” online clinic management system called BandaGo, currently helps 41 of these clinics keep track of their patients, drugs, and cash flow, with 240,000 patient visits supported so far. The team is working to triple these numbers over the next two years.

What these clinics do daily is a sacrifice. What they do not do is despair or give up. They keep working tirelessly to bring gospel-shaped love tangibly to many in the midst of the nightmare of illness and severe poverty.reate your story here…

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