HelpMercy International works in the Macha Region in the Southern Province of Zambia
The Macha Mission Hospital
Macha Hospital was originally started as a Mission Hospital by the Brethren in Christ Church in 1906. It is located on a high arid savannah in south-central Africa. It has grown substantially over the century and now contains 208 beds plus numerous outpatient services serving approximately 140,000 people scattered across a large rural area of southern Zambia. Its patients are overwhelmingly poor with little or no income, living as subsistent farmers in small groups dependent entirely on the fertility of the soil and whims of the weather. Consequently, it is impossible to charge enough for hospital services to sustain the expenses of running the complex. Malaria is a large problem during the wet season. AIDS is a growing and major concern, but with Macha being certified as an Antiretroviral Clinic there is evidence that people now see hope and are more willing to confront the disease.
The Macha Region
Macha, Zambia is in Southern Province and its region contains about 135,000 rural people. The closest town of significant size is Choma. Many people in the region are quite poor subsistence farmers. The average earnings in Macha are about $1 / day. HIV is common at about 10-12% and is treated at Macha Mission Hospital in an HIV Program that HelpMercy International assisted in founding.
Zambia is a land of incredible beauty and sometimes hardship. Established as a portion of the British Colony Rhodesia, Zambia is now independent. Zambia was ranked as one of the world's fastest economically reformed countries. Also, HIV incidence in Zambia has declined by 25% from 2001 to 2010. Despite these very encouraging statistics, Zambia still has dire needs. About 68% of Zambian live below poverty line, 78% in rural areas. HIV still affects 13.5% of the population and continues cause suffering and decreased life expectancy.