Furnishings and Equipment for Essukula Health Center
Angola Special Project
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The Evangelical Congregational Church of Angola
Founded in 1880, the Evangelical Congregational Church in Angola (IECA) is an active partner of Global Ministries of the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) and the United Church of Christ. Even before the civil war in Angola, which lasted for 30 years, the Evangelical Congregational Church worked to serve people in need in the areas of evangelism, education, community development, and health services.
As the war in Angola raged, between 1991 and 1998, IECA implemented an integrated program to provide education, agriculture support, and water sanitation to the people of Huambo. However, increasing war hostilities in the area in 1998 created an interruption of much of the good work that was being done by IECA. Though the war is now over, the damage is very extensive and reconstruction is an uphill task. Among the rural population, 78 percent live in extreme poverty. One out of every three children never reaches the age of three and forty percent of all children die before the age of five primarily from malaria, diarrhea, and measles. Fifty-three percent of children have stunted growth, and less than 50 percent attend school.
Essukula is located in Ekunha Municipality and is comprised of twelve villages that are about 22 kilometers from Huambo. The availability of adequate health care facilities is sorely lacking in the Essukula area. Those in need of medical attention must travel on foot to a public health center in Ekunha Municipality, which is as far as thirteen kilometers away for some inhabitants. Unfortunately, the Ekunha health center is lacking in equipment and medicines that would be needed to render suitable services to those who have undertaken the daylong journey. An unacceptable alternative for some Essukula area residents is to seek medical treatment within their own villages from untrained nurses.
Now, through efforts led by IECA, construction of a Health Center was begun in August 2003 in Essukula. The Essukula Health Center will serve a population of 5,400 (or about 900 families) in the immediate area. In the future the Center will likely serve more families from nearby Caala and Huambo. A focus of the Center will be to decrease the staggering mortality rate among children. Along with a broad array of health care services, another important element will be providing potable and drinking water to residents of the community.
The Health Center structure is nearly finished. Several things are necessary to complete the facility. Among them are windows, doors, furnishings, fixtures, and roof covering. The government already has pledged to participate in the Center by providing funds for the salaries of nurses and a visiting physician. Additional funds are necessary to adequately equip and purchase supplies once the center is open. There also will be a need for nominal resources to retain a facility coordinator and support staff.
The people of the Essukula community have made a financial commitment to build their own Health Care Center. They have taken the first step in erecting a structure, but their meager means are insufficient to allow the Center to become a fully operational reality. Medical supplies of all kinds will be needed to establish the Center as a comprehensive health care resource. The Evangelical Congregational Church of Angola is exploring every funding option in order to complete and supply this critically needed facility that can serve as a health care beacon for the families and children of Essukula.
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To make a gift for this ministry online or by check use the online donation page.
- 100% of your gift will be directed to Furnishings and Equipment for Essukula Health Center
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