In Uganda, 6000 women die every year in pregnancy and childbirth, reports Words of Hope Luo producer Susan Olwa. It is this fact that inspires her radio programming. Along with Bible study, her programs broadcast life-saving health information.
When asked why it is important for the church to be involved in this kind of work, Olwa explained, “If the Bible and the church are going to be relevant to the community we live in, we need holistic coverage. Because women are dying, and people are mourning children’s suffering…It’s not easy to live without a mother.”
Olwa’s programming centers on women’s health, an area often neglected in poor communities. She recounted one story to illustrate this need. After listening to one of Susan’s programs in the Luo language, a new father called her soon after the birth of his second baby. Their first baby had died because his wife was unable to give enough milk. And now, mother and baby were struggling with the same problem. He worried that they might lose this baby too. Olwa gave them simple, practical advice – among other things, to relax and drink lots of water. Soon, the father called back with great thanks – his wife and the baby were doing well. This simple advice had prevented a second tragedy.
Olwa focuses on sharing health information with the whole community, so that everyone can work together to protect vulnerable women and children. Olwa does Bible study too, and these work together with the other topics, to bring a whole life gospel.
Response to the programs has been excellent. Olwa follows up directly with the many listeners who call with questions and comments, speaking to women’s groups and running seminars with community leaders. Additional funding would allow her to expand this follow up effort, reaching more people with the good news of Jesus Christ – good news with an impact on all areas of her listeners’ lives.