“Mango season is trauma season…”

trauma

“Mango season is trauma season…”

Believe it or not, when mangoes grow ripe in the plateaus of Malawi, the risk of traumatic injury rises. Women and children ascend up mango trees to gather fruit, either to feed families or just to grab a quick treat. Tree climbing, however, comes with its own perils.

In early November, mango season in Malawi, 13-year-old Immanuel did what any other local boys would do and decided to climb a mango tree to pick fruit. The climb was risky, as large mango trees can reach dozens of feet in height. Immanuel fell forward out of the tree with his arms extended, breaking his wrists when he hit the ground.

Immanuel couldn’t find the strength to stand. His friends and family knew this was more than a short fall – he was critically injured. Rather than wait a long time to seek care, as many local families often do, Immanuel was taken to Nkhoma Hospital’s ER equivalent, the “casualty ward,” soon after his injury.

Immanuel’s heart was racing. His elevated pulse signaled something worse than the obvious broken wrists. Hospital staff called in surgical residents and CHSC trauma surgeon Dr. Beth Stuebing, who examined Immanuel with a handheld ultrasound unit on his belly and near his right hip, where the pain was growing.

The tests revealed a positive FAST (focused assessment with sonography in trauma) – Immanuel was bleeding internally. When taken to the operating room, one of the few quality ORs in the country, Beth and her colleagues discovered Immanuel’s spleen was ruptured, and x-rays showed his pelvis was fractured with a thin crack.

“There are the obvious injuries, like what people are complaining about, but the life threatening injury was on the inside,” Dr. Stuebing said. “If he had gone somewhere that just splinted or casted his arms, he could have bled to death. It really gave the staff the importance of the full trauma assessment and looking at everything, prioritizing life over limb.”

The team safely removed Immanuel’s spleen and gave him two forearm casts. He stayed in bed for a week while his pelvis healed.

Having access to qualified surgeons like Dr. Stuebing, as well as the national surgical residents she helps train through the Pan-African Academy of Christian Surgeons (PAACS) made the difference in diagnosing and treating Immanuel’s injuries. CHSC and PAACS hope to raise up more national surgeons so more children like Immanuel can receive the same high level of care no matter what hospital they visit.

“If the family had gone to a health center somewhere else, or a smaller hospital without an ultrasound, it could have been a very, very different outcome.” Dr. Stuebing said.

Hospitals

Angola

Contact a Recruiter

Recruiter form

Preliminary Application for Missionary Service

This application is step one in making application to Christian Health Service Corps as a long-term medical or support staff missionary. If you are interested in serving for less than three years, please see the CHSC Reserve Corps Application.

Preliminary Application for Missionary Service

Faith Questions

Christian Health Service Corps is an interdenominational Christian mission that holds the Apostles' Creed as our Christian Statement of Faith. The key qualification for missionary service is being a true disciple of Jesus.  


Upload C/V and Professional Licenses


Reserve Corps Application

Our Reserve Corps program allows healthcare professionals seeking to volunteer short-term to do so in a way that supports long-term Christian medical missions work. CHSC places healthcare professionals in a growing list of Christian hospitals across Africa, Asia, Latin America and other regions. Christian Health Service Corps works to improve access to primary healthcare, surgical services, and community-based disease prevention services. Non-Christian volunteers are accepted on a case by case basis but solely at the discretion of the hospital and CHSC team the volunteer will be supporting.

Reserve Corps Application

Faith Questions

Christian Health Service Corps staff are missionary medical professionals, but we do invite our non-Christian colleagues to join our effort to bring quality healthcare to the poor at the discretion of mission hospital and CHSC staff at the facility. Every volunteer is expected to follow the hospital dress code, where there is one, and code of conduct.


References and Document Uploads