My life as a doctor at Lwamba

Dr Joshua

Dr Joshua Mutangala (Senior Doctor at Lwamba Hospital, Congo)

[Lwamba Hospital was pioneered by Roy and Marion Leeming in 1988 and built by Paul Stephenson and his team. Although responsibility for the hospital has now passed to the Pentecostal Church of Congo, CAM is still involved, and welcomes donations for the hospital and doctors. Dr Ilunga Baba, now retired, was the first doctor at Lwamba. Dr Joshua Mutangala is one of the present doctors, and here is his story.]

I was born and grew up in Lubumbashi. In senior school I majored in the sciences. After years of study at Lubumbashi University, I received my degree in medicine in 2007. I trained for a further year in surgery, gynaecology and obstetrics, paediatrics and internal medicine and gained experience in various private clinics in Lubumbashi.

My mentor
Throughout my youth, I had been mentored by the current Director of ISTELU Bible School, Professor Mwamba. He had a great influence on my Christian life. He suggested that I go to Lwamba in 2008 to improve my skills, especially in surgery. I agreed - and I have been there ever since.

New lifestyle
Arriving in Lwamba was a shock, for many reasons. Lwamba is a very small village compared to sprawling town of Lubumbashi, which is the second largest city in DR Congo. Adapting to this new lifestyle was not easy. Secondly, I had to learn a new language! I grew up speaking Swahili and French, but the language spoken in Lwamba is Kiluba. Another problem was the isolation and lack of long-distance communication. In order to communicate with family and friends, I had to make an 80-mile round trip over dirt roads. Thankfully, communications have improved recently.

Talking to pharmacy worker

Positive changes
Over the years, by God’s grace, together with the hospital nursing staff, we have made several positive changes within the hospital: introducing job descriptions for all members of staff, electing departmental managers, setting up a well-organised pharmacy, and introducing shifts so that a member of staff was always on hand.

Good team
The Lord has helped us to recruit some young nurses to help support the hospital. We now have a good team. Each Saturday, the health care staff meet together to discuss cases and suggest treatments, so that there is always a forum for learning and improvement.

I also thank the Lord for Nick Delport and his wife, Kym. We have welcomed their input over the years and, thanks to their involvement, the hospital now has a new Paediatric Unit which is functioning very effectively.

Dr Joshua and his wife

Wife and son
In 2011, I married my lovely wife Deborah and we have a son, Glory, who is 16 months old now (November 2013). We attend the local Pentecostal church, where I am involved with teaching the Word of God. My wife also shares words of encouragement there.

For God’s glory

Within the community, the hospital contributes to the spreading of the glory of God. Each day I stand amazed at the miracles I see. Given the difficult conditions within which we work and lack of modern resources, I praise the Lord that there have been no deaths on the operating table. We pray for the Lord’s help before any intervention and He always answers. We also meet together as a team each Tuesday to pray. We know that the hospital was built for God’s glory and as a means to evangelise. Many people have come to believe in Jesus Christ after their miraculous recoveries.

Fighting malnutritionMalnourished children at LwambaWe record many cases of malnutrition here in Lwamba, due to poverty and the isolation of the village. The people also have bad eating habits - selling all they grow without keeping aside any reserves. We are encouraging them to change their outlook and to grow and eat nutritious foods.  

Thankful for support
I am extremely thankful to all who support Lwamba hospital, helping us meet some of the great needs in this area. Some of you have given towards an ultrasound scanner. We are so grateful and are hoping to purchase a good quality machine soon.

Please continue to pray for us as we serve God and the people of Lwamba.