Mission Medic Air, Zambia

In 2008, CompassioNow started working with Mission Medic Air (MMA), a group of compassionate healthcare professionals providing much needed medical care in rural areas of Zambia. They volunteer their time to fly into isolated locations using a 6-seater Cessna aircraft, owned by MMA and bring medical supplies, medicines and professional healthcare into the rural areas of Zambia to support remote clinics and missionary hospitals.

Medical Issues

Availability of medical care and transportation are huge problems for the poor in rural Zambia. MMA’s ability to cover large distances using small aircraft makes it possible to provide assistance through bringing volunteer doctors, dentists, eye specialists and even surgeons to the people who need them. These medical professionals hold clinics and attend to different ailments ranging from malnutrition, anemia, eye problems to surgeries such as intestinal blockages, cesarean sections and amputations. Seriously ill patients are also transported to urban hospitals and MMA brings vaccines and medications to the remote locations they serve. They truly are a life-line to these remote regions.

Staffing and Programs

Mission Medic Air (MMA) is operated on an all volunteer basis and relies on donated funding to finance their activities. In October 2008, the CompassioNow board approved a new “flying clinic” program to support Mission Medic Air and help them expand their work to new locations. MMA currently flies to eight locations on a scheduled basis. In 2010, CompassioNow raised the necessary funds to replace the airplane engine in the MMA aircraft as it has reached the end of its useful life. This major undertaking was successfully completed and MMA continues its regular flights to bring health and healing to remote locations in Zambia.

Geography

MMA serves much of the country of Zambia which is a landlocked country in Southern Africa. Zambia has a tropical climate and consists mostly of high plateau, with some hills and mountains, dissected by river valleys. The neighboring countries are the Democratic Republic of the Congo to the north, Tanzania to the north-east, Malawi to the East, Mozambique, Zimbabwe, Botswana, and Namibia to the south, and Angola to the west. The capital city is Lusaka, located in the southeast of the country. The population is concentrated mainly around the capital, Lusaka in the south, and the Copperbelt region to the northwest.

Culture

Once known as Northern Rhodesia, this former colony of Britain became the Republic of Zambia on 24 October 1964. The people of Zambia are descendants of many tribal groups that moved through and settled in the region over the last 700 years. Major tribal groups include the Bantu-speaking tribes, the Tonga people, the Nkoya, the Ksokolo, Ngoni and Sotho peoples. While English is the official language of the country, it is estimated there are 72 tribal languages spoken and 13 dialects that are counted as languages in their own right, bringing the total number of languages spoken to 85.