CENTRAL AFRICAN REPUBLIC
“The Central African Republic (CAR) has been unstable since its independence from France in 1960 and is one of the least-developed countries in the world.”- BBC News
Why the Central African Republic (CAR)? For generations, people have had little access to health care in the CAR. Too poor to pay, sick people delay seeking treatment, and too often die of preventable or curable diseases. For most villagers, help has been available only at great distances. At the urging of the President of the Lutheran Church of the Central African Republic, GHM partnered with Lutheran Partners in Global Ministry to build and equip Emmanuel Health Center. Since the opening of this center in 2010, critical health care services have been accessible to villages across the Gallo region. Funding to help sustain Emmanuel Health Center is a basic need, to continue serving a hurting people in this troubled region. Learn more about Central African Republic.
After an initial container in 2010 designed to equip the new Emmanuel Health Center, GHM has consistently found creative partnerships to supply Emmanuel with urgently needed equipment and supplies. Violence and chaotic conditions in the CAR have made it necessary for GHM to ship Emmanuel’s materials to the Lutheran health department in Cameroon. Such networking and partnering is part of the mission of strengthening Lutheran efforts at health care under challenging conditions.
GHM’s Suitcase Ministry has offered another creative solution. Small items and even large sums of money for operating expenses and purchase of medications have been hand-carried across the border.
Today, Emmanuel is a busy 16-bed health center, providing critical services such as ultrasounds to identify complicated pregnancies and surgery for trauma patients. Roughly half of their revenue comes from patient fees and other partners, and the other half comes from U.S. supporters. Our financial gifts pay for medications for patients, diesel fuel for back-up generators, staff salaries and more.
An important component of Emmanuel’s design is its strong Village Health Outreach program, funded by the ELCA. Health and nutrition education is brought to the villages weekly, and community members are trained to assist Emmanuel in immunization campaigns, and malaria and cholera prevention through bed nets and sanitation projects.