God’s Work through Vaccines
By Debbie Colvin, serving with the Evangelical Presbyterian Church, Ghana.
Today was our monthly Immunization Clinic. Children from birth to five years of age receive free medical care and immunizations. They are brought by their mothers and then weighed, measured, and immunized. This is always an organized, chaotic day at Dzake Community Health Clinic. Mothers carry their children strapped to their backs with a long, wide strip of cloth wrapped around to hold the children snug. They bring with them the “weighing card,” which is a booklet that contains their medical history from birth. (There are no computerized medical records here). They also have a “weighing sack,” which is a sack that the little one is put into and carefully hung from the scale to record their weight.
The room is packed with children running around. Babies are crying, and the TV is blaring. The community health nurses run the clinic, and this is just one of their locations. They travel to several different locations throughout Peki to reach as many children as possible.
They also have a polio campaign where the nurses walk through the communities and stop at each house to see if there are children under two who need the vaccine. In September 2020, Africa achieved the status of being certified free of wild poliovirus. Wild polio is one of the three strains of the deadly virus. Yet, unfortunately, the fight against polio is far from over. Another strain of the virus (type 2) continues to spread across sixteen African countries, including Ghana, and has paralyzed more than 170 children in 2020.
Malaria is another disease that affects a lot of Ghanaians. The World Health Organization, along with the Ghana Health Service, implemented a Malaria vaccine pilot program in April of 2019 in select areas of Ghana. Hopefully, soon this will be another vaccine on the immunization list as it becomes widely available.
I remember taking my own children to the health department for their immunizations. I am thankful they were able to receive these. I am thankful that our clinic provides this service for the community. It is a joy to know that these children are safe. This is just another way I see God’s work in our world.
Global Ministries Mission Co-workers in Ghana:
Larry and Debbie Colvin serve with the Evangelical Presbyterian Church, Ghana. Their appointment is made possible by your gifts to Disciples Mission Fund, Our Church’s Wider Mission, OGHS, and your special gifts.