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Dr Vicky Lavy

Developing Health Course 2010 – part III

Dr Vicky Lavy worked for ten years in Malawi, setting up a palliative care programme for children. She now works for CMF as Head of International Ministries.


The views expressed do not necessarily reflect those of CMF.

Today is community health day and I’m currently in the back of the lecture theatre watching Alex Duncan’s amazing video of life in the back of beyond in Central Asia. He lived there for 6 years with his family, setting up a primary health care programme. It was hard graft but through his work, child mortality fell from 32% to 21%. Amazing.

This morning we had a moving talk from Maureen Wilkinson on community mental onhealthy wellbutrin health. In terms of global causes of mortality, neuropsychiatric disease is low on the list, but in terms of years of life lived with disability, it is far and away the leader of the field. We heard heart-rending stories of people with psychiatric illness shut away for years, or even tied up with shackles, and so often mental health is seen as a low priority in developing countries. Challenging.

Back to Gisela’s question – ‘What is medical mission?’ After her mission director’s crushing assumption that her medical work wasn’t real ‘mission,’ she went away and studied the whole subject. Her conclusion was that restoring health is not a means to an end – to provide the opportunity for church planting – but comes from God’s heart to restore a broken world and build his kingdom. Through medical mission and authentic Christian living, God manifests himself in the midst of suffering, and transforms individuals and communities. Inspiring.

Signing off now for the weekend – hoping to catch up on the tennis which has passed me by during this busy week – back on Monday for the next instalment.

Posted by Vicky Lavy

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