GAIA Global Health board member Lisa Deal travels to Malawi for onsite visit
Atherton resident Lisa Deal is not new to the work of GAIA Global Health — she’s been a supporter for about a decade. Now a board member, she traveled to Malawi in August to see the organization in action.
For over two decades, GAIA, which is an independent, local non-government organization, has worked to improve access to healthcare via nurse training programs and mobile health clinics in remote, rural areas. The GAIA Malawi staff is 100% local/Malawian, 64% female, and 27% nurses. GAIA Malawi is supported by GAIA U.S. with funding and technical support.
Lisa said what she experienced was not unlike what she expected. “But I was more touched by the work we are doing than I thought I would be.
“Visiting the villages was very moving, seeing the mobile clinics in action way out in the boondocks with people lined up to be served. No one is turned away, every single client/patient is seen. This is the primary health care for these people.
“All the programming is done by Malawians. We met with the Malawi board — it’s an organization that people in Malawi are totally invested in.”
Thanks in part to ongoing financial support from donors, many of whom live in the mid-Peninsula, GAIA has been able to increase the rural population it serves directly by nearly 40% and has ramped up the pipeline of nursing scholars supported by even more.
GAIA supporters — and those interested in learning more about the organization’s work — will be gathering on Sunday, September 11 at 4:00 pm at Lightspeed Venture Partners’ Outdoor Courtyard, 2200 Sand Hill Road in Menlo Park. Honored with a GAIA Global Citizen Award with be the the Kingston Pflaum family who live in Ladera. Tickets are available online.
Lisa is fourth from the left in the group photo; Malawian children gather at mobile clinic.