Sharp rise in malaria cases keeps Eva Demaya clinic busy

In the last few weeks there has been an enormous increase in the number of malaria cases in Malawi. The Eva Demaya Centre’s clinic has a reputation for always having good stocks of the necessary test kits and medicines to treat malaria, and people have been coming in large numbers, by bicycle, on foot, in oxcarts, or carried by a family member, from all parts of Northern Malawi to get treatment. Often they come to the Centre after finding that there are no test kits or medicines available at their local hospital.
As a result, the dedicated medical staff has had to work flat-out, often till late in the day. On some days they treat more than 100 patients, many of them young children.

The support the Centre gets from her donor base allows them to be well prepared for such emergencies and thereby to save many lives. They We have efficient systems for ordering and supplying of medicines, and a dedicated team of medical personnel in place at the Centre doing their best to reduce the misery caused by malaria.

The populations we are able to help in this way are grateful, and we in our turn are most grateful to our donors for making our work possible!

Remote community welcomes basic health care

On the Nyika Plateau, which belongs to the area of activities of the Eva Demaya Centre, live around 500 people. The main part of the plateau lies in the Nyika National Park, an area with a protected status. The park has a diverse wild life and a unique landscape with a specific flora, under which a large variety of orchids.
Only workers of the park are allowed to live on the plateau, together with their families.

A few years ago the Centre was asked if they could help to give the people of the Nyika Plateau acces to basic healthcare. Because the plateau lies very remote, the health care workers of the government refused to work there.
During several years the Centre has educated health care workers. In 2014 one of the volunteers, who were trained to be a community health care workers, came from the Nyika Park, his name was Bannet Kaonga.
Bannet lived on the Nyika Plateau and was part of the small community there. He took great interest in being a health care worker and he turned out to be a very good student. On the picture showing the succesful candidates from 2014, Bannet is in the middle, with the red shirt.

As from September 2014 Bannet is working on Nyika as a health care worker and in is treating diseases and disorders like malaria, diarrhoea and vomiting, stomachache, bronchitis, injuries and skin diseases, backache and so on.

Recently a German foreign aid organisation decided to build a new, small clinic for the community on the Nyika plateau, which was recently officially openend.
With this new clinic and the services of Bannet, people in the remote area of Nyika at last have access to basic health care nearby, which is of great value to all of them.

New training for homeopathy assistents

Training session May 2014‘The Eva Demaya Centre recently started a new programme for students to become homeopathy assistants. The programme is quite intensive and lasts 6 months. Previous to these courses, the students followed the training programme “First Aid with Homeopathy”, which took one and a half years.

The eleven students are selected on criteria like their motivation to serve their community, their interest in homeopathy, their learning abilities and their commitment. Additionally, all students come from very remote areas in the catchment area of the Centre.

The lessons are given by four different, experienced homeopaths from Switzerland, Germany, New Zealand and the Netherlands.
The medical courses are held by Chawezi, a Malawian who will graduate this year as a doctor. The programme’s overall director is Nicoliene Potgieter, who has been connected with the Centre for ten years.

Students first aid with homeopathy qualify

It was a festive happening at the Eva Demaya Centre on April the 15th, when 19 students received their certificates after successfully closing their training.

Homeo graduation 15 04 14From December 2012 on, the students gathered in the Centre two days a month for lessons in first aid with homeopathy.
The students have their roots in the most distant areas in the catchment area of the Centre, where people have a minimum of health care available in their neighbourhood. People have to walk for hours for a visit to a clinic. Because of this tiresome journey, people wait to long to go to a clinic with their health problems. Illnesses which can be cured easily with quick treatment and first aid, then get severe or even life threatening.

The newly graduated health workers work in their own villages which gives direct access to first aid for all inhabitants of the village.
The health workers can treat in a simple and cheap way disorders and complaints like fever, vomiting, diarrhoea, bronchitis, injuries and skin diseases and bladder infection.
Especially fever in combination with vomiting or diarrhoea can quickly become life threatening. The first aid these health workers can offer, prevents the illness to become severe. Furthermore the health workers can diagnose on severe disorders and urge people to visit a clinic or hospital.

After this successful study on first aid, the students will all continue to study for the next level: homeopathic health workers.

First aid with homeopathy

The Eva Demaya Centre supports people in the villages of northern Malawi with a cheap additional form of healthcare. Life expectancy in the northern part of Malawi is shockingly low; the most important cause was (and still is) the lack of good healthcare near peoples homes.
Often people wait too long to go to a hospital because it’s a long way and the journey is difficult or expensive. Because of this, people and specifically young children die of diseases which can be cured very easily with timely treatment or First Aid.

To tackle this problem, in the last 10 years the Centre has trained ten people as homeopathic health workers (HHW). These health workers can treat, in a simple and cheap way, disorders and complaints like bronchitis, vomiting, diarrhoea, fever, injuries and skin diseases. The health workers work from their homes in the villages and treat thirty to fifty patients each month; the contribution asked is only (the equivalent of) 25 eurocents per treatment.

To offer even more uncomplicated healthcare in the villages, the centre recently started to train 24 new students in giving first aid with homeopathy. Studenten 1ehulp homeopathie
The students attend the centre during 2 days per month where they receive lessons from Peter Msowoya, who has been working at the centre as a homeopathic assistant for six years now. As a result of the work of the homeopathic health workers and soon also of the first aid helpers, many more sick people are receiving treatment at an early stage. Because people get adequate heath care near their homes much more quickly, the original complaints no longer develop into more serious illnesses or infections, dehydration or severe fever. In this way, lives are saved!

Blankets for the cold season

Uitreiken van de dekens
Uitreiken van de dekens

In the months of June, July and August temperatures drop significantly here, Our annual distribution of blankets to the most needy orphans throughout the area we cover is greatly appreciated by both the children and their families; being able to sleep under a blanket at night greatly reduces the risk of pneumonia or burns from sleeping too near an open fire.
Blije kinderen met hun ouders
Blije kinderen met hun ouders

Ministry of Health very happy with our work

Certificate of Excellence 2012
Certificate of Excellence 2012
The Malawian Ministry of Health regularly carries out inspections at the clinic of the Eva Demaya Centre and of the various medical services which it provides.

For the third time in a row the Centre’s AIDS clinic has been awarded a Certificate of Excellence in recognition of the way in which the clinic is run and the AIDS patients are treated.

The AIDS clinic is open every Tuesday and over a hundred patients come there for treatment. In addition to getting the medicine they need, patients are supported by counselling and advice.

Malawian government plays its part

Since 2002 our Centre has been offering conventional healthcare to people here in the north of Malawi. This service is greatly appreciated by the many patients who are treated every day at our outpatients clinic. We also run a maternity unit where woman can come for antenatal checkups, to deliver their babies or to attend our weekly family planning clinic. Young children under five years of age can be brought to our monthly under-fives clinic where they are followed up and vaccinated. People wishing to be tested can come to the HIV laboratory and those needing AIDS medicine can attend the weekly clinic which was created for this purpose. To reduce the spread of AIDS infection as much as possible, the Centre offers an awareness programme for people at home in their villages. Seriously ill patients and undernourished children are supported with food packages.

We have always had a good relationship with the Ministry of Health in Malawi in all the years we have been operating. About 26 kilometres from our Centre there is a government hospital with which we work closely. Through the hospital the Ministry supports our work through the provision of:
• medicines
• material
• personnel

The medicines which we get from the government are LA (Lumefantrine Artemeter), used for treating malaria, and ARV (antiretroviral) medicines which are used to treat AIDS sufferers. Until now we have been getting these medicines free of charge from the hospital and these are offered to patients with no extra charges added. Each month an average of 210 patients are helped with malaria medicine and there are 91 patients registered to receive the anti-retroviral treatment.

Medical staff EDC 2013
Medical staff EDC 2013

The materials we get from the hospital are HIV test kits, malaria tests, latex gloves, condoms and mosquito nets. The mosquito nets are used in the prevention of malaria and are distributed to pregnant women, to women who have just delivered, and to the mothers of young children who come to the under-fives clinic for the first time. Malaria is still one of the main causes of infant mortality and the use of mosquito nets helps significantly in preventing such deaths.

The Centre’s medical staff regularly attend refresher courses at the hospital. The government has established a rigorous programme of top-up training for medical personnel and our excellent relationship with the hospital means we can benefit from this. The hospital also assists us whenever we need replacement staff. This close collaboration with the hospital has meant that so far we have never suffered from any staff shortages at our clinic.

It is therefore also thanks to the efforts of the Malawian government that we are able to offer first-class medical care to all the people here

Bicycles for healthworkers in the villages

Eight of our health workers recently received bicycles to help them to do their work in the villages.

The health workers received a six-year-long training in first aid assistance so that they can serve their own communities. The main elements of this training are hygiene, nutrition, basic anatomy, the fundamentals of pathology, wound care, HIV prevention and AIDS care as well as homeopathic first aid.

Our health workers are active in their own communities and treat an average of twenty to thirty patients per month. The patients come to them with complaints such as cough, fever, vomiting fits, diarrhoea, wounds, sprains, back pain, skin aliments and many other health problems. Where the health workers cannot treat the complaints themselves, the patients are referred to the nearest clinic.

Bicycles for Health Workers
Bicycles for Health Workers

During their six-year training the health workers worked on a purely voluntary basis. Now they are able to ask for a contribution from the patients they treat. In this way they are able to earn a modest income. In practice, however, the contributions from the patients they treat are so small that any such income is too insignificant to be of any practical advantage.

Now, with the bicycles they have been given, the health workers are able to visit the more remote villages to treat patients there. Having a bicycle will also allow them to travel much more easily to our Centre where they attend their monthly refresher training and collect their medicine stock and wound dressing materials.

Having locally placed health workers in the villages means that any health problems in these localities are treated swiftly and are not allowed to develop into serious or life-threatening issues. Every month on average some 250 patients are helped in this way.


600 Trees and Esperanza stoves

Watering trees
Watering trees
The Eva Demaya Centre has planted 600 trees on the grounds the last couple of weeks.
These trees are meant as firewood, since firewood is used every day for cooking. Due to the amount of children born in Malawi is higher than the amount of trees being planted, deforestation is becoming a big problem. A problem which is clearly seen on the mountains surrounding the center where many trees have disappeared these last decades.
In cooperation with the heads of the surrounding villages and the community, Eva Demaya Centre started protecting the hills around the center. Right now no more trees are chopped down and the hills are protected during fires. The results are visible to everyone and is very much appreciated.
However, we cannot protect all the woods and deforestation is still happening on a rapid pace; People need firewood to cook their daily meals! Therefore Eva Demaya intends to plant many new trees every year. These last weeks that were 600 trees, but hopefully many will follow!

The interior chamber of the stove
The interior chamber of the stove
Another project to protect the trees are the stoves which are being built at the center. To cook food this stoves only need half of the trees which are normally used to cook food. This way only little branches are needed which fall from the trees instead of chopping complete trees which cannot regrow. Since the beginning of the project over 500 stoves are built at the Eva Demaya center.

By spreading the Esperanza stoves in Malawi, deforestation is reduced!