When young adult United Methodists heard of the shortage of blood in public hospitals in Mozambique, a group decided to respond to an appeal from the general hospital of Mavalane.
About 600 young adults gathered during the Mozambique South Annual Conference, which met June 21-23. A group of 35 decided they should address the shortage by donating blood.
“The night before, I made a reflection on what I could do for the good of the church and during this historic conference,” said Maria Stela Mabecuane of the Maputo East District.
Francisco Muhanzule recalled seeing medical staff moving in the courtyard of Malhangalene during the plenary session.
“I came to know later it was a brigade of the Mavalane Hospital that came to do a very important work in the church,” said Muhanzule, who is a member of Malhangalene United Methodist Church. That’s where the annual conference convened.
Eye exams were also offered, and 56 people had their vision checked. Some were prescribed eyeglasses, while others received eye drops to minimize their problems.
Mabecuane was grateful for the opportunity to donate. “When the explanation was given by the health staff during the session of our conference, I responded positively to the appeal. My prayer was that I had enough blood and an acceptable classification to donate.
“It is important to donate blood because it is a gesture of love that I have with God and … love for the human being similar to me who is in need.”
Élia Jaime, a nurse from the national blood service, said the shortage at hospitals is severe. “Because of this, people are dying daily. Last week, the Ministry of Health appealed to people of goodwill to donate blood.
“We have a lot of people in our hospitals who suffer from anemia or chronic diseases, or people who, after a surgical operation, lose a lot of blood. These people need blood that we know only another human being can donate,” she said.
Seeing the young adults lining up to donate blood, the nurse expressed gratitude. “I want to thank The United Methodist Church in Mozambique because I have always known how to help the needy. I believe that our stock will be replenished.”
Dr. Joaquim Francisco do Amaral, director of the hospital in Manhica District, assured potential donors that they would suffer no ill effects from donating blood. “Each person over the age of 18 can donate up to 500 milliliters [a pint], provided all requirements are fulfilled for the donation,” Amaral said.
Leonardo Júnior, a young donor from Malhangalene, said he agreed to donate blood to save lives.
“I know this act is humane. And saving lives is an act of love. I feel blessed to have donated my blood, for I know it will save someone.”
Sambo is the Africa Lusophone correspondent for United Methodist News.
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