202 MMM E-newsletter January/February 2021

202 MMM E-newsletter January/February 2021

MMM Communications, Rosemount, Booterstown, Dublin. Ireland. Tel :353-1-2887180 Fax:353-1-2834626
To contact MMM Email: mmm@mmmworldwide.org

Number 202 - January/February 2021

Dear Friends,

We begin 2021 conscious of how the world has been deeply affected by COVID-19. Word about a new virus began to emerge around this time last year. No respecter of borders, it has caused great suffering and hardship and aggravated already serious issues affecting the environment, access to food, migration, economies, and of course, health. We are conscious of those who lost loved ones, often at a distance. We are grateful to all who cared for them in many ways - many times at personal risk.

As we mark World Day of Peace on 1 January, the message of Pope Francis, A Culture of Care as a Path to Peace, seems especially appropriate.  He describes stories from the Bible as ‘full of symbolism, bear[ing] witness to a conviction which we today share, that everything is interconnected, and that genuine care for our own lives and our relationship with nature is inseparable from fraternity, justice and faithfulness to others’.

He said that ‘the very concept of the person ... fosters the pursuit of a fully human development ... Persons are created to live together in families, communities and societies, where all are equal in dignity. Human rights derive from this dignity, as do human duties, like the responsibility to welcome and assist the poor, the sick, the excluded, every one of our neighbours, near or far in space and time...

‘In the face of the pandemic, we have realized that we are in the same boat, all of us fragile and disoriented, but at the same time important and needed, all of us called to row together, since no one reaches salvation by themselves and no state can ensure the common good of its population if it remains isolated.'

Francis commented, ‘How many resources are spent on weaponry, especially nuclear weapons, that could be used for more significant priorities such as ensuring the safety of individuals, the promotion of peace and integral human development, the fight against poverty, and the provision of health care.’

He encouraged ‘promoting a culture of care’ that calls for ‘a common, supportive and inclusive commitment to protecting and promoting the dignity and good of all, a willingness to show care and compassion, to work for reconciliation and healing, and to advance mutual respect and acceptance. As such, it represents a privileged path to peace.... There is also a need for peacemakers, men and women prepared to work boldly and creatively to initiate processes of healing and renewed encounter.’

Reflecting on this day, the Solemnity of Mary, Pope Francis concluded:  ‘As Christians, we should always look to Our Lady, Star of the Sea and Mother of Hope. May we work together to advance towards a new horizon of love and peace.’

On 8 February we observe International Day of Prayer and Awareness against Human Trafficking. It is the feast day of St. Josephine Bakhita. Born in Darfur, Sudan, she was kidnapped as a child and sold into slavery in Sudan and Italy. Such was the trauma she experienced that she forgot her birth name and her kidnappers gave her the name Bakhita, meaning ‘fortunate’.

She experienced great humiliations and in 1882 she was bought for the Italian Consul. In this family, and later in a second Italian home, she was treated with kindness and respect. Later Bakhita was entrusted to the Canossian Sisters of the Institute of the Catechumens in Venice. She was freed and became a Canossian Sister, dedicating her life to sharing her story of deliverance from slavery and comforting the poor and suffering.

This information is taken from the website of RENATE: Religious in Europe Networking Against Trafficking and Exploitation. Established by religious from several congregations, RENATE collaborates with Talitha Kum, an international network of Sisters working against trafficking in persons, and with many other groups.

World Day of Social Justice is marked on 20 February. Its website says: ‘Social justice is an underlying principle for peaceful and prosperous coexistence within and among nations. We uphold the principles of social justice when we promote gender equality, or the rights of indigenous peoples and migrants. We advance social justice when we remove barriers that people face because of gender, age, race, ethnicity, religion, culture or disability.’ MMMs, MMM Associates and our partners promote social justice and human rights as an integral part of our work.

Other news
Sister Margaret Nakafu is our latest MMM participant on ‘The Life’ panel, a monthly feature of 'Global Sisters’ Report (GSR)'. 'GSR' is a project of the National Catholic Reporter and is a source of news from and about Catholic Sisters around the world. Contributors reflect a diversity of ages, nationalities, religious congregations, and ministries.

Margaret is from Uganda and trained in sustainable human development, HIV counseling and computer science. She has worked in Uganda, Rwanda, Kenya, Tanzania, and Ireland. Currently based in Honduras, she does parish pastoral work and advocates for youth, vulnerable families and the elderly. She described how an extensive work plan for the youth ministry was impacted by COVID-19. Still, she was able to ask: ‘What can I do to be resilient? Are there opportunities for transformation?’ She had much to celebrate at the end of 2020.

The link to Sister Margaret’s article is:

In this newsletter you can read about the ribbon-cutting for the Sister Bernie Kenny, MMM, Clinic in Clintwood, VA, USA. We describe the programmes supported by one of our partners, illustrating how much can be accomplished by people who care. Other groups, working together, make possible our services for women affected by obstetric fistula.

Thank you for your interest and support in so many ways during 2020. We wish all of our readers good health, peace and happiness in 2021. Be assured of our prayers for your intentions.

Sr. Carol Breslin, MMM

‘Hope and fear cannot occupy the same space. Invite one to stay’ (Maya Angelou, American poet, actress, memoirist, and civil rights activist).


Angel of the Mountains

Just a year ago we covered the ground-breaking ceremony for the Sister Bernie Kenny, MMM, Clinic in Clintwood, Virginia, USA (2019 Christmas Supplement; Dec 2019 E-newsletter). Because of the partnership of many groups and individuals since then, we were able to witness the ribbon-cutting for the clinic opening in September 2020. The facility was named after Sister Bernie to honour her legacy and many years of service as the ‘beloved founder’ of The Health Wagon.

When Bernie arrived in Virginia over forty years ago she found a place of great scenic beauty. Yet the people of rural Dickenson County faced huge challenges, including lack of clean water and sanitation, a high infant mortality and poor nutrition. For many years coal mining formed the basis of the economy but underground coal extraction was dangerous, resulting in conditions such as lung disease and cancer. Many young people were left disabled. Strip mining began, with devastating effects on the environment and the people’s health. More recently the coal industry itself has been decimated, resulting in chronic poverty and social problems.

From small beginnings
Trained as a nurse, Sister Bernie became a family nurse practitioner. She began simply, visiting homes in a Volkswagen Beetle, and soon saw the need for a more substantial unit. An adapted old Winnebago (motor home) became the first health wagon in 1984. Plying dangerous mountain roads, she used it to bring basic care to people in remote locations.

At the ribbon-cutting event Executive Director Dr. Teresa Tyson said, ‘Sister Bernie started with a heart, inspired with a vision, which has expanded into four mobile and three standing clinics. It is still expanding and giving quality, compassionate health care to people in the central Appalachian Mountains.’ Last year (2019) there were almost 20,000 patient encounters, very often for children and women who cannot afford health insurance.

In an inspiring speech, nurse practitioner Dr. Tyson described how this ‘amazing facility’ is ‘an example of how one person can make such a tremendous impact. [Sister Bernie] has devoted her life to championing causes for the needy, empowering everyone she touches along the way.’ As a result of mentoring others, several years ago Bernie handed over the mantle of managing the Health Wagon to her colleagues. It is now the oldest mobile clinic in the nation.

Fruits of empowerment
Bernie was also instrumental in bringing Remote Area Medical (RAM) to Virginia in 2000. It developed into a yearly intensive three-day medical clinic that brought together committed volunteer doctors, nurses, medical students, and non-medical personnel. Thousands of families in need received a range of free medical services. With the success  in recent years of The Health Wagon and other organizations in building infrastructure and capacity around eye, dental, and medical resources, and because RAM receives many other requests for its services, in July 2019 RAM staff decided that they could move on to other remote locations.

On the RAM website Dr. Tyson commented, ‘The Health Wagon and the residents of the region are forever indebted to RAM, for they brought countless resources to patients in Wise, Virginia for 20 years. We are honored to have worked with RAM and all the incredible partners who have made the largest health outreach of its kind in the nation possible year after year. The Health Wagon is planning to continue health outreach annually as the Move Mountains Medical Mission to provide free medical, dental, and vision services to patients in Wise and surrounding regions.’

Unfortunately because of COVID-19, the intensive event could not be held in 2020. Undaunted, Health Wagon staff continued to see patients and to build up telehealth services. Telehealth uses digital information and communication technologies, such as computers and mobile devices, to remotely access health care. Another innovation was a Federal Aviation Authority-approved drone delivery of medications, the first in the USA.

The right to health care
Preparing to open the new clinic, Dr. Tyson said, ‘Health outcomes should not be dictated by your zip (postal) code.’ The new building houses a non-profit organization that will provide integrated state-of-the-art services to the medically underserved. There will be free primary, preventative care, mental health and specialty services, with examination rooms, optometry, ultrasound and x-ray, a laboratory, a pharmacy, conference rooms and support spaces. It will also house telemedicine technologies so patients can access specialists at tertiary medical centres without leaving their community.

Keeping in mind infectious disease concerns, including COVID-19, an entrance allows a sick person to pass directly into an exam room, limiting contact with other patients and staff. Spread of infection is further limited by negative pressure and filtration systems.

Generous contributions were given to build the facility and the Dickenson County Industrial Development Authority donated the land. Teresa especially thanked pulmonologist and Board Chairman Dr. Joseph Smiddy, who encouraged the staff to ‘dream big, wonderful dreams’.

Living the Gospel
While the ribbon-cutting ceremony was a virtual event this did not diminish the excitement and joy of the participants. Dr. Tyson proudly said, ‘This clinic is just so much more than bricks and mortar. The clinic for us represents how we address and care for humanity.’ Even now, she noted, life expectation for people in the area is twenty years less than for their counterparts in Virginia’s Eastern Shore.

She continued, ‘Sister Bernie taught us about social justice and health equality. The clinic celebrates a lot of love that she embodies.’ Teresa was reminded of the Bible passage: ‘Greater love has no one than this that one lay down one’s life for one’s friends.’ Sister Bernie ‘died daily to herself ... and gave her life to the people.'

Reflecting on their own faith commitment, at a recent interview Dr. Tyson and Clinical Director Dr. Paula Hill-Collins said that providing quality health care is more than a job. They want people ‘to see the face of God’.

Preparing to cut the ribbon, Dr. Tyson said, ‘It is a great, great honour that we’re naming this clinic after Sr. Bernie today, forever recognizing her humanitarian legacy that she’s instilled here in our mountains and will live on for years to come .... This is truly a momentous day for our region.’

This is the link is to the ribbon-cutting event: https://vimeo.com/472237706?ref=fb-share&1

Social Service Sister Simone Campbell is executive director of Network, a USA-based Catholic group that emphasizes the Church's commitment to social justice. One of their activities is Nuns on the Bus, a cross-country tour that raises awareness about income inequality and the working poor. In October 2020, Nuns on the Bus visited The Health Wagon and Sister Simone interviewed Teresa and Paula. What a dynamic duo! https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pS5AtobTIPQ


What You Make Possible

Saint Brigid's Third World Group has helped the Medical Missionaries of Mary since 2006 in a variety of projects in Africa and Latin America. Based in Belfast, Northern Ireland, its aim is to relieve poverty in developing countries. It was established about thirty years ago by a couple who were active in the parish. It has always had wholehearted support from its parish priests - initially Monsignor Ambrose Macauley and currently Father Eddie O'Donnell.

The group was also featured in our August 2014 MMM E-newsletter. Parishioners are involved in fundraising activities, ranging from bread and soup lunches to concerts and quizzes, and an annual collection. They receive donations through standing orders and legacies. Unfortunately, with COVID-19 it has not been possible for them to run their fund-raising events in 2020, which has had a significant effect on donations.  

In spite of these constraints, Saint Brigid's Third World Group currently supports three MMM programmes: families affected by violence in Brazil; a health centre in Nigeria and countering human trafficking work in Kenya. The group embraces Mother Teresa's philosophy that it is better to light a candle than to curse the darkness.

1. In Brazil: Projeto Consolação – The Consolation Project

The Consolation Project assists families that have experienced trauma caused by violent death in Nordeste de Amaralina in Salvador in the state of Bahia. We have worked in this neighbourhood since 2000. The area is marked by violence and a high incidence of substance abuse. Most of the people are young and of Afro-Brazilian descent. In addition to problems with drug trafficking, there are high rates of unemployment and illiteracy. In Salvador, women head about 53.6% of households.

Following the assassination of a member, families experience stigmatization and isolation. The process of bereavement is disrupted and distorted and family disintegration often occurs. The Consolation Project helps families through the stages of intense grieving and reintegrates them back into the wider community.

Sr. Gladys Dimaku said that St. Brigid`s Third World Group has helped to fund active listening workshops, a community therapy group, and recycling and handicraft workshops. Recently they have supported the programme’s response to COVID-19 in supplying food and food supplements, running campaigns on safety measures, and providing face masks, disinfectants, hand sanitizers, etc. In 2021, the MMMs plan to continue many of these activities.

On 17 September 2020 the National Institute of Geography and Statistics announced that hunger was affecting 10.3 million people in Brazil, including 7.7 million residents of urban areas. Hunger has increased by 43.7% over the past 5 years. In the next few months the Sisters will place special attention on alleviation of hunger, especially in children and the elderly, with food distribution and seed grants. They also want to provide training in income generating activities for 15 families.  

Facing the pandemic
Brazil now ranks third in confirmed cases of COVID-19 globally. Government statistics shows that infections and deaths have been on the rise since mid-November. Violence also increased in 2020, leading to fear and silence. Sr. Gladys reported that many people are depressed because of the lockdown and physical distancing. They stay at home, so it is very difficult for people to get away from the tense environment for fresh air and just to breathe.

MMM wants to offer online sessions in meditation, deep breathing exercises, and trauma healing through Capacitar and bio-dance. If possible, they will produce short video clips of exercises to share on social media and will encourage their audience to participate. They will emphasize wellness and preventive health, with health talks and online therapy sessions by a psychologist.

2. In Nigeria: Primary Health Care

Fuka Primary Health Care Programme serves a rural village in north central Nigeria. Medical Missionaries of Mary began in Fuka in the 1980’s and we established a mission there in 1996. A clinic now offers basic treatment, antenatal and child welfare services, and services related to HIV. There is a 17-village outreach and many people come from outside the catchment area, including nomadic Fulani people.

Sickle cell disease (SCD) is common and the programme provides tests for this condition. Children with SCD may require frequent blood transfusions, which are expensive and a strain on family finances. With help from the St. Brigid’s Group, a 9-year-old child received blood as well as medicines for other conditions.

A small income-generating project promotes self-reliance for women and men, including machine knitting, fish farms and poultry rearing. People with special needs, such as widows and patients who cannot afford the full amount for treatment, receive assistance. A young woman with a thyroid problem who needed to gain weight before surgery was helped with food and money for tests. She is already much better and will be helped to pay for her surgery.

With a high incidence of tuberculosis in the area a TB unit was started. Patients need to be monitored during the first stage of treatment so there is accommodation for twelve patients. Each two-bedded room houses a patient and a carer. In 2019 a second bed was provided in each of two other rooms so carers do not need to sleep on the floor, protecting them from cold nights and from visitors like scorpions.

When statistics indicated that phase 1 treatment was increasingly unsuccessful the staff went to churches and mosques with information on TB prevention and treatment. They received great cooperation from religious leaders. As a result of the campaign many people with prolonged cough came forward for investigation. Others wanted to be vaccinated.

The programme also helped with the construction of public toilets in three villages. While the COVID–19 lockdown and the rainy season made progress difficult the facility in Fuka was completed. Another is nearly complete and construction of a third has started.

Challenges for services
The laboratory is small and with COVID-19, staff became concerned about conditions in which some TB tests are done. With physical distancing space had to be reconfigured. The government has also promised a Genexpert machine, which contributes to the rapid diagnosis of TB and drug resistance. Results are available in less than two hours. The Sisters would like to construct a small four-room building to accommodate TB tests and an office for a staff member who observes treatment. The machine will serve other local TB centres.

The MMMs, staff members and local people faced extraordinary challenges in 2020, with attacks from Boko-Haram, COVID-19 and national lockdowns. When Nigerian youth began a protest against the police another lockdown was imposed. As people withdrew money to manage during the restrictions Boko Haram saw an opportunity. They vandalized people’s homes, looted their belongings, and killed, kidnapped and raped the vulnerable. Many families were displaced and had no place to go.

The St. Brigid's Group has been a great friend to the people in these difficult times.


Countering Human Trafficking (CHT)

St. Brigid’s Third World Group also supports some of our work to counter human trafficking in Nairobi, Kenya. Activities are carried out in a large overcrowded slum area and reach many people who are vulnerable to the ploys of traffickers.

Sister Mary O’Malley helped to found Counter Human Trafficking Trust- East Africa (CHTEA).  She and her staff reach the public through interactive awareness workshops. They also assist victims of trafficking with counselling and medical services, training, micro-finance, and support to finish education. The majority of victims are trafficked within Kenya. Mary described the activities of CHTEA in 2020.

‘We began very well in January 2020. Keeping young people in education is critical and we helped 33 young people return to schools and colleges. Most are children of mothers who were trafficked, who are HIV positive, widowed or in other difficult circumstances. Some students are orphans.

Coping with COVID-19
‘From early January we continued with awareness workshops. We held 250 workshops, reaching almost 7,000 people before COVID-19 was announced. Lockdown started immediately, so we had to stop because they involve gatherings of people. All students were sent home, bringing other difficulties.  These students had no technology to follow classes and do exams online. Now they needed smart phones, revision papers, etc. For most parents it was an added burden to feed them. There was unemployment and increased domestic violence.

‘I assisted with small micro-finances to supplement family incomes. Four young women who had completed a four-year college course in dress design and tailoring and had jobs now found themselves unemployed because of the sudden downturn in the economy. I bought them each a sewing machine and they began making face masks. They are now making sufficient money to support themselves.

Rescue and repatriation
‘As the pandemic progressed we found a number of child trafficking victims who had been physically and psychologically abused. Some were from distant areas of Kenya and were taken to be domestic servants in Nairobi slums. We managed to repatriate 12 children. Sometimes it is difficult to trace families with borders still closed.

‘From November 2019 to January 2020 we negotiated with leaders and community health volunteers in four large slums to repatriate some young women to Karamoja, Uganda. They had been trafficked to Nairobi.  Through the police of both countries and the Ugandan embassy in Nairobi we were able to return 96 of them to their country.  We arranged that they would be received by safe houses in Uganda where each would be assessed and offered training or safe return to her family.  The majority had been in forced domestic labour in Nairobi and sexually exploited. Others had been sent to Somalia as wives of Al Shabbab fighters. Some had managed to escape and were sleeping rough in the streets.

‘Other victims were rescued from overseas. These included a Kenyan woman with two children who had been trafficked to Lebanon 11 years previously and was living in terrible conditions. The process involved working with the Kenyan Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Nairobi and a Comboni missionary in Rome who works in countering human trafficking.  She contacted the Comboni Sisters in Lebanon. A lawyer helped the woman to get custody of her children and a woman in Lebanon paid their fares back to Nairobi.  The woman was assisted with counselling and she is doing well in a small business start-up. She is talking about sending the children to school next year.’  

The St. Brigid's Group made many of these actions possible.
Other CHT activities
Mary continued: ‘I was preparing for a training conference in Nairobi in April 2020 for MMM Sisters in our health units in east and central Africa, where we have an outreach to many thousands of people.  My hope is that human trafficking awareness can be included in all health education.  With COVID-19 we had to postpone the conference till next year.’

Sister Mary’s MMM community in Nairobi is responsible for running Mukuru Health Centre, a community-based facility in the midst of Kwa Njenga slum. Included in their work are activities to confront gender-based violence (GBV) and human trafficking. Their experience bears out that of CHTEA [See MMM E-newsletter Nov-Dec 2020]. For example, in 2019 the health centre registered 64 cases of GBV. In the first 6 months of 2020 they attended to 56 cases. With COVID-19 the number of people they rescued from trafficking increased significantly.

The health centre staff plan to increase access to basic human rights for victims of gender-based violence and human trafficking, targeting 40 victims of trafficking and 240 people affected by GBV per year. They will provide access to justice, legal aid, shelter, medical treatment, psycho-social counselling and reintegration into their communities.


‘Woman, You Are Set Free’ (Lk 13:10 NRSV)

Much of the work of MMMs and staff at the Family Life Centre and VVF Unit in Itam, Nigeria, concerns services related to obstetric fistula (VVF/RVF). The fact that camps must still be organized for fistula repair, and training and rehabilitation provided for women and girls after surgery, means that a great deal remains to be achieved before this horrific condition is eliminated.

Hundreds of thousands of women and girls around the world, including sub-Saharan Africa, are estimated to be living with injuries from childbirth because mothers do not have access to timely, quality medical care. The real tragedy is that fistula is almost entirely preventable.

An article in The Pan African Medical Journal on 18 May 2020, stated: ‘Obstetric fistula ... is still prevalent in Nigeria due to the existence of socio-cultural beliefs/practices, socio-economic state and poor health facilities .... It was estimated that about 13,000 new cases occur annually....The role of female education cannot be over-emphasized in preventing FGM [female genital mutilation] and associated morbidities. It is more likely that an educated woman will not subject herself or her child [to] harmful practices. Lack of autonomy has an impact on the time frame to seek care, because women need permission from their spouse, or even their in-laws to go to a hospital, which can delay emergency care.’ The article also mentions the influence of early marriage and childbearing www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7388624/

Beginning with awareness
So prevention of fistula requires a multi-faceted approach. It includes access to education: basic education for girls and education of the whole community about the rights of women and girls. Article 26 of the Declaration of Human Rights states: ‘Everyone has the right to education. Education shall be free, at least in the elementary and fundamental stages’ and ‘Education shall be directed to the full development of the human personality and to the strengthening of respect for human rights and fundamental freedoms.’

If girls have good health and education, and mothers have access to adequate antenatal care, with qualified personnel for labour and delivery, there will be positive outcomes for both mothers and babies. Unfortunately, restrictions related to COVID-19 have kept many children out of school in 2020.

Staff members at Itam raise awareness among village leaders, chiefs, students and patients’ relatives on the need to improve women’s health. They advocate with the Ministry of Women Affairs to encourage the government to provide financial aid. They attend National Fistula Care and UNFPA meetings, contributing to the national agenda for women's health and safe motherhood. The Family Life Centre receives many visitors who bring financial and material donations. The staff share information about fistula with these individuals and groups and encourage them to join in the effort for a zero tolerance to VVF/RVF.

Recent issues
The Itam VVF unit provides repair operations for about 100 new and 50 ongoing fistula cases yearly. The associated costs are considerable. Women who can afford it contribute a nominal fee but poor and vulnerable women and girls are most often affected. Despite great challenges services continued in 2020. At the January repair camp, 25 women were examined and 17 had surgery; 13 had successful operations.

Unfortunately the camp planned for April had to be cancelled. Matron Sister Sylvia said, ‘So many people do not have a livelihood due to the economic situation that is biting very hard in our country. This is worsened by the economic impact of COVID-19.’ Hunger is increasing and the MMMs saw many malnourished children and old people at the Family Life Centre. The centre was already involved in a nutrition project. Food was provided and people were taught about good nutrition, especially in schools. Staff visited homes with malnourished children to supervise hygiene and food preparation. More than 100 women needed food before fistula surgery.

Sister Sylvia commented, ‘We wonder what would have happened if we had not gotten the funding.’ There were also reductions in health-seeking behaviours and an increase in maternal and infant morbidity and mortality.

'Engaging our own pain and vulnerability' (MMM Mission Statement)
The July camp was held when the COVID-19 lockdown was eased. The Sisters decided to go ahead, ‘depending on God’s help after applying all necessary precautions.’ Surgeons Prof. S. Adeoye and Dr. Lengmang took the risk of travelling at this dangerous time.  With 31 women registered there were 22 operations; 15 were successful. So while fistula repair services result in a better quality of life for many women, others do not have good outcomes. Many require multiple operations.

A curfew was lifted two days before the November camp, 37 women registered and there were 29 operations; 25 were successful.

Numerous partners - local, national and International - support the services in Itam. Recently these have included the Gay and Keith Talbot Trust and the Fistula Foundation, as well as the Federal Ministry of Women's Affairs, the Akwa Ibom State government, and many local organisations. Many people also give donations through MMM. Local and national media help to advertise the camps and to educate about fistula.
A long-term strategy
Successful fistula repair can mean re-integration of women into society but many clients are highly dependent, needing improved nutrition, counselling, and rehabilitation with training in income-generating activities. Equipment is needed for training.

In working for prevention of obstetric fistula the Family Life Centre plans to have more intensive awareness-raising in sixty villages about the need for skilled maternal care. They will target community leaders, churches and schools.

In keeping with WHO recommendations and the Nigerian National Strategic Health Development Plan, centre staff will continue to train traditional birth attendants (TBAs), educating them about when to refer women to health facilities. As an incentive, they would like to provide TBAs with basic equipment.

The Sisters would also like to offer full, affordable maternity care, complementing government services, especially for local rural villages. Such a comprehensive approach would contribute greatly towards preventing fistula in a rural area and towards achieving safe motherhood and good health for everyone.

On 2 November 2020 the Catholic News Service carried the following article on its website:
'Nuns in Nigeria provide free maternal health care for women with fistula.'

If you would like to support our healing ministry with an online donation, please click here.
If you do not want to receive our eNewsletter in the future, you can
unsubscribe here or contact Sr. Carol at mmm@mmmworldwide.org Unsubscribe