We are keeping in close contact with our partners in northern Malawi, and are glad to report that (at the time of posting) they are not experiencing any pressure on their hospitals or communities as a result of Covid-19. The clinical students have returned to their home towns and are working in their clinics, following the temporary closure of their colleges. We understand that, so far, there are not many reported cases of the virus in the country, but a big unknown is to what extent the many people returning from the lockdown in South Africa will effect the infection rates.
As part of the Scotland-Malawi Partnership, we are keeping abreast of events and seeking too understand the needs on the ground in Malawi.
There will be no Focus on Malawi clinical visit from the UK this year, and our joint plans to encourage wider communication and co-operation amongst eye-care practitioners and hospitals in the north have been postponed.
In this holding situation regarding eye work, we are looking to understand how we might be of assistance to our partner hospitals in their immediate needs to deal with the pandemic if it hits their areas. We are discussing with them and other well-wishers now how we could participate in sponsoring the local production of face coverings and scrubs, and to help finance the improvement of clean water supplies.
Thank you for your interest in, prayers for, and support for the Trust and our partners in Malawi. At this time, we want them to know they are not alone in facing this unprecedented challenge.
We’ve just despatched another 16 parcels for stowing in the next freight container shipment for Malawi. Inside are glasses (carefully measured and labelled by volunteers at our Goggle Works parties or at home), lens meters (focimeters) for measuring glasses at the mission hospital clinics, and trays for indexed storage of glasses. The parcels will be loaded into the next container being sent to Malawi by the Bananabox Trust, expected to leave their base at Dundee in April 2020. Thanks to everyone who has worked on this and to those who have donated funds which pay for the transport!
Happy New Year everyone! 2020 is already speeding on, our medical students are busy at college, and we’re looking forward to the next Goggle Works Party. Join us on 21 February 19:30 to help sort and measure donated glasses, check and repair donated equipment, and pack the next delivery to Malawi. And with plenty of refreshments to keep you going. No previous experience necessary! Call 01206 622712 for more info and venue details.
Jesus said: “I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me has the light of life”. What a promise! What a hope held out to us in a world of conflict, lies and injustice. This is the Christmas message.
We do trust that in some way, the work of Focus on Malawi somehow contributes to people finding the light of life, as we partner with our friends in the Jesus-inspired mission hospitals in Malawi.
Our prayers are with them as they continue to serve their communities in difficult economic circumstances.
So at this special season, we’d like to send Christmas greetings to all our friends out in Malawi, and at the same time to all our friends who support this work in the UK.