Amid pandemic, Missionary Sisters of our Lady of the Holy Rosary
Persevere in ministering to those in need
Since the start of 2020 when we heard about COVID 19, we had no idea of the impact it would have on humanity around the world. It has uprooted and ravaged countries irrespective of race, age, social status, or cultural background. Despite many challenges, Missionary Sisters of the Holy Rosary have stood tall, improvising when necessary and contributing creatively their diverse skills in collaboration with other healthcare ministers. Caring for the most vulnerable has been their priority, providing holistic care services particularly at grassroots level.
At Holy Family Hospital in the North West Region of Cameroon, our Sisters are not only challenged by the pandemic, but since 2016 by the devastating consequences of the ongoing political crisis in the country, which has killed thousands of people, maimed and displaced many others. Despite this, MSHR have continued to open her doors to patients from both Anglophone and Francophone parts of the country, to courageously venture into surrounding remote villages conducting Covid awareness campaigns and selflessly treating the sick who have no access to healthcare.
In Ngonyek, Kenya at Holy Rosary Health Clinic, some Holy Rosary Sisters recently trained in herbal medicine, are using herbal preparations for immunity, prevention and treatment of Covid. When PPEs (Personal Protective Equipment) were lacking, the staff creatively improvised to protect staff early in the pandemic.
Although the pandemic challenges the health system, placing added stress on resources, our MSHR health facilities in Ethiopia and Nigeria continue to provide essential services at antenatal, child welfare, eye, natural family planning and fertility clinics, as well as ensuring safe motherhood services. They remain steadfast in their commitment to provide quality holistic care for all.
Holy Rosary Health Centre in a remote part of Ghana continue to offer Home-Based Care for those with Covid, communicating with family and conducting regular home visitation. Food insecurity particularly during lockdown, found the elderly often left alone and hungry as families in urban areas were advised not to travel to visit. A feeding program with vitamin supplementation is ongoing for the elderly, 75 years of age and older to relieve hunger and boost their immune system. This same group has been screened for diabetes and hypertension resulting in the initiation of a diabetic clinic. A human rights-based approach to needs in our health ministry, advocating for better coordinated care of the elderly has been initiated in collaboration with local leaders, local government, and the Ministry of Health.
As MSHR meet the challenges of providing healthcare today, we are aware of how interconnected we are around the world. Fighting Covid is a global affair; we need each other. Each new day we draw on the inspiration of our Founder, Bishop Joseph Shanahan whose great missionary zeal reflects for us how graced we are as MSHR healing apostles, gifted to continue Jesus’ healing mission. Reacting to her experience of providing healthcare today, the Sister Matron of one of our hospitals recently shared, “we see our challenging ministry as a grace and a response to the needs of the times.”
NDIDI ANOZIE (MSHR)
(On behalf of SR. FRANCA ONYIBOR, MSHR Congregational Leader)