Deep within the rural landscape of Zimbabwe, Nyadire United Methodist Hospital strives to deliver quality health care services to the community. The spirit and dedication of the staff is inspiring, however, the hospital's real impact is best conveyed through stories of the patients who are so well served.
Merienia Hodzi spends her day sitting on a straw mat under her lemon tree, waving a long stick at her cattle to keep them from trampling her garden. Her youngest grandson, who is hearing impaired, keeps her company. The produce in Merienia's garden - peas, corn and maize - provides the only income and food source for her family.
A recent widow, Merienia is also raising her late daughter's six children. This is common for many grandparents in Zimbabwe, who must assume the parenting role for their grandchildren as so many of the middle, working-age Zimbabweans have succumbed to HIV/AIDS. Currently there are more than 800,000 AIDS orphans in Zimbabwe; children like Merienia's grandson who have lost one or both parents to the disease.
The welfare of Merienia's family was recently threatened when Merienia was leading a cow to plow her garden, stumbled and was gored in her lower back. Realizing she had a severe puncture wound, Merienia immediately traveled to Nyadire United Methodist Hospital. The nurses quickly stopped her bleeding, cleaned, and bandaged the wound. Merienia spent four days in the hospital and and every few hours had to take sitz baths with the help of a nurse.
Though a painful experience for Merienia, she is thankful that the Nyadire United Methodist Hospital is available for her and her family. She appreciates the gentle, caring nature of the medical staff, especially her friend, Matron Joyce Tsiga. Merienia is back to working in her garden and tending her cattle each day, knowing that, because of the help she received from Nyadire, she can continue to care for her family and her farm.
Photo: Merienia Hodzi (foreground) was gored in the back by a cow on her family farm. Nurses at Nyadire United Methodist Hospital worked quickly to stop the bleeding and bandage her wound. She enjoys visits from her friend Joyce Tsiga, Matron of the hospital. Photo by Amy Squires 2004.
Nyadire United Methodist Hospital, Advance #982168
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