Reflections from Ghana

September 11, 2013

Alcides Martins (left), East Angola Health Board Representative, Phil Bandy, director of Cal-Nevada UMVIM, Rev. Joao da Graca and Dr. Felisberto Neto, both West Angola Health Board members. Photo by Phil Bandy.

by Phil Bandy, Director of CA-NV UMVIM
Accra, Ghana

Malaria is the topic and stopping it is the objective. This week, doctors, clinic administrators and church officials from all over Africa are meeting in Accra, Ghana for the fourth annual Pan-Africa Health Summit, to learn how to better wage the fight against this killer disease. The summit is sponsored by the denomination's Imagine No Malaria campaign and the United Methodist Committee on Relief (UMCOR), with support from United Methodist Communications (UMCom).
On the summit's first day (September 9) representatives from Southern Africa and West Africa presented summaries of their most successful malaria projects in 2012-2013. They also shared challenges and lessons learned. Participants are also being trained in a number of areas including community-based primary health care, sustainable agriculture, Imagine No Malaria policies and processes, budgeting and disaster risk reduction.
While here, I will be meeting with our Mission Partners from Angola, Rev. Joao da Graca and Dr. Felisberto Neto, to learn more about how to engage with UMCOR as part of the Imagine No Malaria program.
The discussions from the meetings took a very personal turn. As I bedded down, I noted a mosquito homing in on my arm. I knew there was a real possibility that it could inject me with a deadly infection. I am deep in malaria country and it is a very real threat. Right there on my arm was like a loaded gun pointed at me. This brought everything into perspective and underscored the need for our continued support and engagement.
In two weeks, they will accompany me to California -- and everyone is invited to an Angola Partnership Reception, Friday, September 20, 6-8 p.m. at the Cal-Nevada UM Center, 1276 Halyard Drive, West Sacramento, CA 95691 and churches are signing up to host our visitors. For complete details, click here.
I hope all of you will be able to attend this rare opportunity to find out exactly where your donations are going and how they are being used to save lives.