Caitlin Hussey (US)


Zambia,
Chilubi Island

Fidesco volunteer back from mission on August 2015Nurse with the diocese of Kasama

The Santa Maria village is located on Chilubi Island, which is reached only by boat where it sits in Lake Bangwelulu and a series of marshes in the northern Zambian province. The shores are lined with villages while the interior consists of patchy wooded grasslands. Santa Maria was first discovered in 1868 and soon after settled by Catholic missionaries. They built a church, a school, and a hospital, all of which are utilized today.

I am working as a nurse at Santa Maria Mission hospital alongside other Fidesco volunteers and local staff. This is long standing Fidesco mission. You can actually see a video of prior volunteers at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fyfSZfE9R4Y

 

 

As a nurse on Chilubi Island I am learning every day, whether it is clinically in my work at the hospital or about Santa Marias sense of community, culture, and strong faith through each experience I have and each person I meet.

These employees consist of a clinical officer, a laboratory technician, nurses, a radiology technician, and environmental staff. It is a first level reference center, meaning it can provide care for more complicated cases than the local clinics on the island. This provides for a busy work day and a high demand from employees with patients ranging from the local village or those who have traveled miles, most of the time by foot, in order to recieve this higher standard of care.

The hospital consists of four inpatient wards; female, male, children, and maternity. In addition, there is an operating theatre, radiology department, ART (antiretroviral treatment for HIV/AIDS) treatment room, and an outpatient department. The hospital faces many challenges including financial struggles, unrelible electricity or running water, lack of medical supplies, and caring for a poverty stricken community. Consequences of poor diet, living conditions, and hygiene are all evident as being some of the main causes of disease in the local population. Common diseases seen include malaria, HIV/AIDS, malnutrition, and tuberculosis to name a few.

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Dear friends,

As the world continues to deal with the pandemic of the Covid 19 virus, the

United States is now confronted with the virus of anti-Black Racism that permeates

the history of our country. How can we stop the spread and treat it? What is the cure?

Fidesco acknowledges this grave sin of white supremacy and recommit to our work

to fight for the equal dignity of all in every place where we serve—including the

lives of Black, Indigenous, and People of Color.

May we not let God down!

We pray for all our sisters and brothers of color who are victims of racism and may

our actions bring about change for the better.

Sincerely,

The Board Members of Fidesco USA

                 “At the core of the virtue of solidarity is the pursuit of justice and peace.”

                                         (US Conference of Catholic Bishops)