Mission Aviation Fellowship Flying Coronavirus Vaccines to Remote Lesotho Clinics

Grant Strugnell, a pilot with MAF. (Photo courtesy of MAF)

As COVID-19 vaccines continue to roll out worldwide, Christian ministries are leading the charge in certain countries.

For example, Mission Aviation Fellowship (MAF) serves remote villages in Lesotho, a small country completely surrounded by South Africa. Grant Strugnell, a pilot with MAF, has helped fly COVID-19 vaccines to clinics in the mountains and other hard-to-reach areas.

“The majority of our flying in Lesotho is actually in partnership with the Lesotho government, and specifically the Lesotho Flying Doctor Service. So most of the flights that we do are in some way connected to the Department of Health and to the medical work that they’re doing in the country.

“We’ve been really nicely positioned to very naturally…assist with the delivery of vaccines to some of the most remote places in Lesotho.”

Lesotho is known as the Mountain Kingdom, and rightly so. Sharp ridges and valleys cross the landscape and many citizens live in scattered villages throughout the region.

“A lot of the airstrips that we serve are co-located with a clinic,” Strugnell explains. “But you can’t always build the airstrip right next to it. In some cases, that is true. But…we’ve got a few places where the closest area they could build the airstrip was sometimes a 45-minute walk from the village. So it definitely varies village to village.”

Upon landing at an airstrip where the clinic is not close by, the vaccines are sometimes loaded onto wheelbarrows or any other transportation available. Then they must endure a long hike to the clinic.

But the hike between the airstrip and the clinic is often nothing in comparison to how far villagers must walk to receive the vaccine.

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SOURCE: Mission Network News, Lyndsey Koh

CALL TO ACTION

  • Pray for the Lesotho villagers and clinic workers to know God’s love.
  • Ask God to encourage MAF staff as they carry out COVID-19 vaccine flights.

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