Meet a Missionary: Dr. Christina Miller
Christian family practice missionaries help bring hope to communities around the world by providing care for vulnerable people groups.
Dr. Christina Miller is a family practice physician who serves through Christian Health Service Corps in rural Malawi at Nkhoma Mission Hospital. She recently joined a MedSend Virtual World Tour to share her experiences working in one of the least-resourced regions in the world.
What impact did COVID have on Nkhoma Mission Hospital?
Dr. Miller credits the spirit of teamwork at her hospital with helping create as positive a work environment as possible as the pandemic hit in Malawi.
“COVID introduced so many more challenges (into the hospital) but the wonderful thing we had was the ability to prepare. In Malawi, COVID hit a couple months after the rest of the world. We were able to create policies, we were able to have a disaster preparedness committee. Everyone was able to have a voice and have their concerns heard as we were making COVID policies.”
This spirit of working together helps inform Dr. Miller’s work both in the hospital and in the local community. She combines both her interests in medicine and in public health in her work through a process called transformational development.
What is transformational development?
Also known as community health evangelism, this is a type of training philosophy that helps local people learn to solve local problems using local resources. A central focus is breaking the cycle of poverty by examining and working to heal the rupture between God and humankind.
During a recent training event, Dr. Miller connected with local pastors well known in the area as healers. She shared with the women of the church about what they could do to incorporate basic public health measures into their community prayer ministry. Part of this effort included equipping a pastor couple with a thermometer and fever reducing medication.
As members of the community visited the pastor for prayer, she took temperatures. If anyone had a fever, they received both prayer and a dose of medication. If they returned at a later date, still with a fever, the pastor would refer the person experiencing symptoms to the hospital.
Pastors make an impact.
The results of this initiative made an impact. After local leaders noticed a drop in infant mortality rates, they credited the pastors for the improvement.
Dr. Miller sees the authority of the pastors as crucial in helping make sure those in need of medical care seek it out.
“If it was just me, a foreign doctor, telling them to go to the hospital with a temperature, they might not listen,” she said. “But with a pastor, there is a real authority in the community and people listen to them.”
Christian physicians like Dr. Miller provide life-saving public health care and training services in communities around the world. Click here to request a recording of our February 11 Virtual World Tour featuring Dr. Miller and click here to read more about the Miller family on their blog.
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