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Anti-Malaria Work Continues in Mozambique

by Mary Beth Coudal

 
Laurina looks happy but uncomfortable with 8 months of pregnancy behind her.
Laurina Osseia leaves behind her husband Fernando, three year-old Fernando, Jr., and baby Ylva Marvett.
Image by: Carol Kreamer
Source: Mission Personnel

“Like HIV and unsafe water, malaria in Mozambique is a weapon of mass destruction… I have four grandchildren and I hope to take them there someday,” said Global Ministries missionary Carol Kreamer, coordinator of Mozambique Initiative in the Missouri Area.

Although The United Methodist Church, like many faith-based groups, is doing all it can, it is not yet enough to save one of its own church workers, Laurina Osseia, who is remembered by Kreamer, a friend and colleague in the story,Each statistic has a name. Laurina.

Almost a year after the United Methodist Community-Based Malaria Prevention Program was launched at the United Methodist Hospital Kissy in Sierra Leone, the anti-malaria work continues through an ecumenical and interfaith effort in Mozambique. Doctors, teachers, and volunteers attempt to wipe out this recurring, deadly, and preventable disease.

There is urgency to the work because the disease is taking its toll.

“When you know the name, it becomes more than a non-person, more than just another who has died from malaria every ten seconds somewhere in the world. Laurina Osseia. A young woman of thirty-four, a mother, a student, a wife, a devout Christian, a United Methodist, a worker, a friend. Laurina,” wrote Kreamer in a recent article.

“Malaria does not discriminate between Muslims and Christians,” begins a statement by the Inter Religious Campaign against Malaria in Mozambique (IRCMM) an umbrella group of which The United Methodist Church is a founding member.

Dr. Cherian Thomas of the health and welfare area of Global Ministries will travel to Maputo, Mozambique from August 7 to 10 to meet with United Methodist Bishop Machado and other religious leaders from IRCMM. Dr. Thomas is the staff person in charge of the Malaria Initiative, which is administered through the United Methodist Committee on Relief (UMCOR).

The United Methodist community-based malaria initiative, first announced a year and a half ago, draws on the strength of existing United Methodist churches, community-based groups, hospitals, and schools to educate on and eliminate the disease.

Carol Kreamer, like Dr. Thomas, is committed to the cause of fighting malaria. She has preached in churches and visited the offices of senators, including a meeting in Missouri Senator Jim Talent’s office.

“We met with an aide in Jim Talent’s office. It wasn’t until I told the story of Eziqual – how someday we’re going to lose him – Eziqual! An educated man who went to Africa University -- ‘Someday, we’re going to lose him. To lose him to something stupid like malaria’ – that the aide looked up from his work and heard the story,” said Kreamer.

Kreamer requested that all members of The United Methodist Church connection bring the issue of malaria’s on-going toll to their elected officials. “Let your members of Congress know that attacking this killer is a priority. Friends like Laurina Osseia are dying...and we cannot stop crying,” said Kreamer.

Because Kreamer has made so many friends in Mozambique, a child is named after her. Kreamer explained her worries about her namesake, “Twenty-five percent of the children in Mozambique will not reach age five. Carol’s one of five children. Will Carol survive?”

The death toll from malaria has a face and a name. One of whom is Laurina Osseia. The church continues to work to save all people of all religions in Mozambique and in all sub-Saharan African countries, the land most severely impacted by the scourge of malaria.

The United Methodist Church Community-Based Malaria Initiative is based on the notion that education, advocacy, and five-dollar bed nets can reduce the casualties of this weapon of mass destruction, malaria.

Malaria Initiative

The Community-Based Malaria Initiative is a part of the Global Ministries goal of alleviating human suffering.

For more information on the Global Ministries Malaria Initiative, see http://new.gbgm-umc.org/work/initiatives/malaria/

To support United Methodist efforts to eradicate malaria, give to UMCOR Advance #982009, Malaria Control

Online: UMCOR Advance #982009, Malaria Control
http://secure.gbgm-umc.org/donations/donate.cfm?code=982009

By check: Please write the Advance number and name and in the memo line of your check and mail to  
                                           UMCOR,
                                           PO Box 9068,
                                           New York, NY 10087

By Credit Card:  Call toll-free (800) 554-8583

 


 
See Also...
Topic: Christian love GBGM programs Health UMCOR United Methodist Church
Geographic Region: Mozambique
Source: GBGM Mission News
 
 

arrow icon. View Listing of Missionaries Currently Working in: Mozambique   

Date posted: Jul 27, 2006