(Lepanto Institute) — Caritas Veritate Missions, in partnership with Father Stephen Imbarrato, director of Life Ministries USA, and the Catholic Archdiocese of Mbeya’s Mwanbani Mission Hospital, is launching an initiative to save the lives of unborn babies, at-risk mothers, and children by building a maternity waiting home (MWH) in Mwanbani, Tanzania.
This home will function not only as an MWH but also a hostel to provide a place for mothers and children to stay near the hospital when treatment requires an overnight stay. Mwanbani is one of the poorest and most remote regions of Tanzania.
Women need a place to stay during childbirth
Thousands of women worldwide die due to pregnancy-related complications annually, with most occurring in developing countries where there is limited access to skilled obstetric care. Maternity waiting homes are one intervention designed to increase access to skilled prenatal care in resource-limited settings. MWHs are defined as accommodations at or near a health facility where pregnant women can stay in the final weeks of their pregnancy, such that they can be easily transferred to the health facility to give birth. In Central America, our first initiative was extraordinarily successful in reducing the overall infant mortality rate by 50 percent in a population of 40,000 remote-living indigenous people.
Following Christ’s mandate to “preach the Gospel to all nations,” we were the first to evangelize the indigenous Cabecar peoples in the cloud forests of the Turrialba region of Costa Rica. We helped prepare and facilitate the baptism of hundreds of adults and children. Our founder Gregory Mitchell is godfather to over 30 people living in the tribal lands of the Chirripo cloud forest. What does this mean for the Church?
The Maternity Waiting Home ministry calls to mind the birth narrative in the Gospel of St. Luke: “And she gave birth to her first-born son and wrapped him in swaddling clothes, and laid him in a manger, because there was no place for them in the inn” (Luke 2:7). Caritas Veritate Missions desires greatly to provide room for the at-risk and the poor on the peripheries of society.
The real mission of the Church is the salvation of souls
“Go, you are sent!” In John Paul II’s papal encyclical on the missions, Redemptoris Missio, he states:
The Lord sends us out as missionaries for the salvation of souls and to preach his word to the nations. Venerable Brothers, Beloved Sons and Daughters, Health and the Apostolic Blessing! The mission of Christ the Redeemer, which is entrusted to the Church, is still very far from completion. As the second millennium after Christ’s coming draws to an end, an overall view of the human race shows that this mission is still only beginning and that we must commit ourselves wholeheartedly to its service. It is the Spirit who impels us to proclaim the great works of God: ‘For if I preach the Gospel, that gives me no ground for boasting. For necessity is laid upon me. Woe to me if I do not preach the Gospel!’ (1 Cor 9: 16)
Clearly the work of evangelizing non-evangelized cultures is just beginning. As baptized Catholics it is the duty of us all to proclaim Christ and to be his witnesses, even to the ends of the Earth, because the message is eagerly awaited.
Caritas Veritate Missions is planning to send missionaries to evangelize and promote the teachings of the Catholic Church in accordance with Humane Vitae and other Church teaching concerning human life and human sexuality. Caritas Veritate Missions is a 501(c)3 Catholic association of the laity and is faithful to the teaching of the Magisterium of the Catholic Church as are all our partners. Any donations are tax-deductible.
Combating the rise in the exportation of the ‘Culture of Death’
Many have described the export of contraceptives and abortive ideologies to poor countries as the worst form of colonialism. This is not a hidden agenda, as can be seen from this screenshot from the Bill Gates Foundation website below.
This type of funding is building clinics that promote depopulation and is counter-cultural to the local beliefs, and in many cases the religion, of the people. These unpopular ideologies are forced upon poor and vulnerable communities using the fear of having too many children. Caritas Veritate Missions, with your help will help, will combat this onslaught not only with free maternal care for the body, but by bringing the message of salvation for the good of the immortal soul as well.
With the full approval of Archbishop Gervas John Mwasikwabhila Nyaisonga of Mbeya, Caritas Veritate Missions will raise funds and help operate a 300-person capacity MWH and maternity ward. Maternity waiting homes are proven to lower the rates of infant, child, and maternal mortality.
Mwambani Mission Hospital is owned by the Catholic Archdiocese of Mbeya and functions under the supervision of the archbishop. The hospital is located in Songwe District Council. Songwe District is one of the four districts in the Region of Songwe. The Missionaries of the Franciscan Sisters of Denekamp (The Netherlands) founded the Mwambani Mission Hospital in 1968. The hospital health services cover the entire district of Songwe, but the service area also extends beyond district boundaries to Chunya and Mbeya Rural Districts (Mbeya Region), Momba, and Mbozi Districts (Songwe region). The hospital provides health services to a population of 174,709 people (87,500 males and 87,209 females) as per the 2012 National Population Census. It is the only referral Hospital in Songwe.
We ask you to visit our website to read more and make a donation to this life-sustaining ministry.
Reprinted with permission from the Lepanto Institute.