With the threat of Avian Flu, a portable lab opens new doors for ministry.

By May 3, 2006

International (MNN)–International Aid’s Myles Fish says their ‘lab in a suitcase’ is unique to medical missions.

A portable, compact, inexpensive lab kit, it provides 85-percent of the basic diagnostic work of the most common diseases.

This may come in handy in fieldwork with avian flu menacing several countries. The quick spread from avian to human, and human-to-human infection presents the reality of pandemic.

One of the ways to combat the problem is quick diagnosis. That’s where the lab-in-a-suitcase is most effective. Fish says it’s a quick diagnostic tool. “We know that the population that we work with, out in the developing world will probably be the people who are the most susceptible to the avian flu, if and when it strikes.”

The victims are those who are either very young, very unhealthy or very poor. Fish adds, “I’m referring to people that either have HIV, malaria or tuberculosis, or they have reduced resistance to avian flu, could very well be the people that are the most susceptible to it.”

The need sets the stage for other interaction, and inevitably, ministry. But, there are thousands of Christian hospitals worldwide and many lack diagnostic equipment. That means less time for ministry.

“Our preference is to work through local Christian hospitals, and Christian doctors,” Fish says. He notes that their partnership furthers the evangelistic work because the tool “…enables them to have the tools that they need to provide for the health care needs while at the same time developing the relationship that’s necessary for them to share their faith in Christ.”

If you’d like to help, contact International Aid.

Leave a Reply