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Medical Teams International | Official Blog

Get the latest updates from our programs in the field internationally and here in the United States.  

  • South Sudanese Refugee: Rebecca's Story

    by Katie Carroll | May 21, 2015
    south-sudan-conflict

    Rebecca is a South Sudanese refugee.  Her husband, a soldier, recently died in the conflict, and she was forced to flee for her life from her homeland.  As civilians in her town were being murdered, Rebecca escaped with her children to a refugee camp inUganda.

    The refugee camp is packed and miserable. The rain is relentless and floods her family’s shelter, forcing them to live in the mud. There is little food, but the children are too full of grief to eat anyways.  Rebecca aches for her husband and her home.

    But she has no home to return to, no income, and no possessions.  She is overwhelmed with the burden of caring for her family. She mourns her husband, and all those who have died in a conflict she says she doesn't even understand.  

    Through tears she says, “My children did not have any disease before we came here, but now we are all sick. And it pains me every day because I don’t know what to do.”

    refugees-south-sudan-conflict

    Fearing her family were on the brink of death, she sought help at the MTI clinic. There, she received medicines she desperately needed - thanks to your generosity.  Your donations shipped critical medicines to help Rebecca and her children when they desperately needed it. 

    Rebecca says, “Without the medicine, we would not be talking as we are now. And I think about this: that the medicine is coming from people I did not know. This is a miracle that comes from God. And it shows that God is real, and that He is here to help me. And so now, I no longer feel that I am alone.”

    medicines-south-sudan-relief

    You are truly demonstrating the love of Christ to those suffering around the world in their hour of need. Your gift of medicines and medical supplies is going to help those who need it most – people just like Rebecca and her children. Thank you!

    You can continue to send life-saving medicines and supplies. Donate.

  • Nepal Quake: An injured elderly woman receives care

    by Katie Carroll | May 15, 2015

    Your gifts to help victims of the Nepal earthquake are making a difference. You helped provide medical care to an 82-year old woman who was injured in her rural home during the earthquake.

    Yadu lives in Budathum, a geographically isolated village in one of the areas most affected by the quake. She has lived here for most of her life with her family, who rely upon farming to feed themselves and make a small income. When the earthquake began, Yadu was near her rural home, and although terrified, she immediately sought protection. Yadu’s village was destroyed, and some of her neighbors were less fortunate than she. There were at least seven deaths. Three of those deaths were fishermen who ran from the water when the earthquake began. As they were getting out of the water they were buried under a massive landslide, and one of Yadu’s neighbors said, “You could hear them moaning from underneath the mud, ‘Help us, help us.’”

    nepal-quake-relief

    A building near Yadu collapsed, and a falling piece of rubble hit and broke her foot. She is grateful that she suffered no further injuries. As the roads were impassable due to landslides, Yadu was carried by her son to the closest health clinic, where she was cared for by MTI medical volunteers, who had set up a triage unit at the clinic. Yadu is now being cared for by her family in Budathum. Her injury is healing, but she may never recover completely from the loss of friends and her home.

    Thank you for your generosity and compassion, which is helping to care for the most vulnerable during their time of need.

  • Ebola Success: Your gifts kept nurses from becoming patients.

    by Katie Carroll | May 13, 2015

    nurse-liberia-ebola

    This year, International Nurses Day held extra meaning for the nurses of Liberia. The country, which was just recently ravaged by the Ebola virus, held its official celebration of "Ebola Free Day" just the day before.

    nurses-celebrating-liberia

    Since the outbreak started in March 2014, a total of 378 healthcare workers became infected, killing at least 192. However, it is with hearts full of thanksgiving that more than 350 nurses celebrated yesterday under theme: "When a Nurse or Midwife Becomes the Patient."

    With a healthcare system that was not equipped to fight the virus, nurses watched on helplessly as "this lethal viral infection [took a] toll on the health system; took the lives of our friends, families and mentors."

    The deaths weighed heavily on the nurses’ hearts. As the outbreak ravaged the country, they had no appropriate supplies or equipment. They could only watch as sick children and pregnant women died before their eyes.

    Most nurses are not even on payroll, and spent years studying purely because they found joy in caring for people. Without preventative equipment, they were unable to care for anyone. As sick people died, the nurses felt they had betrayed those they had sworn oaths to save.

    Thanks to your donations, the nurses received personal protective equipment and other supplies to help those in need. The nurses share, “if God had not been on our side for international partners...during the crisis, maybe a living nurse won’t have been in Liberia today!”

    Your gifts helped keep nurses safe from infection - and helped them to save lives. Thank you.

  • Ebola Success Story: A baby and his parents are alive because of you!

    by Katie Carroll | May 13, 2015

    ebola-survivors-mti

    Your gifts saved the lives of baby Anthony and his parents in Liberia! Because of you, Anthony’s parents survived the deadly virus and he did not contract it. Plus, the family quarantined themselves, saving countless many more lives in their community – and perhaps West Africa. You made this possible!

    Last October, 5-year-old Ramsey became sick. His grandmother correctly feared he had Ebola. He was the first reported case of the disease in his town. At first – as was typical in the community - his parents refused to divulge the nature of his condition and didn't seek treatment.

    With much persistence, Negba – an MTI community health volunteer that your gift trained - convinced the family to take the boy to a hospital. But it was too late for Ramsey, and he died.

    Even after Ramsey had succumbed to the disease, his family did not explain what actually happened to him. They told no one that their house could still be infected by the disease.

    Knowing others in the community were being put in harm’s way by the family’s silence, including the family members themselves, Negba intensified his educational campaign to convince the Sackor family to be quarantined for 21 days.

    It was during the quarantine that three of the family members — father Dioxin, his wife and their 10-year-old daughter Joanna — came down with symptoms of Ebola. An MTI ambulance evacuated the family, including the family’s 13-month-old baby named Anthony. Thankfully, the baby showed no signs of having been infected.

    Under treatment, Dioxin and his wife survived Ebola. However, Joanna wasn’t so lucky, and she later died from the disease. Thirteen-month-old Anthony was the only family member not to have been infected.

    The Sackor family, including little baby Anthony, survived Ebola thanks to your donation. Since then, they have taken the lead in educating the rest of their community about Ebola prevention.

    Having already lost so much, Anthony’s mother called her baby’s survival “miraculous.” She recognizes that your gift was the difference between life and death. While she lost two children to the ravages of Ebola, Anthony’s survival is a blessing, and his life is a sign that there can be hope even among death.

    “I am happy to take Anthony in my arms again,” she said. “Thank God for MTI activities in Polay Town, [to] all those who help us to live again. We listened to Negba to still be alive.”

    Since he returned from the Ebola Treatment Unit, Dioxin enforces “infection prevention control” measures in Polay Town, using what he learned from MTI volunteers. He encourages others to wash their hands regularly, and he asks people to seek medical attention early if they're showing signs of Ebola.

    Each morning, he makes Clorox water for everyone in the community, so they can safely wash their hands when they come back from the farm or other places.

    Because of your donation, baby Anthony and his parents are alive.

    Your gifts provided community education programs, which is seen by the World Health Organization (WHO) and the Liberian Ministry of Health as the most effective way to fight Ebola. Thank you!

  • NEPAL SNAPSHOT: After Quake, Orphans Return Outside.

    by Tyler Graf | May 13, 2015


    Nepal is a country on edge.

    For the second time in less than three weeks, people have taken to the streets to sleep. Buildings have been destroyed. People have died.

    Tuesday’s 7.4-magnitude quake dashed hopes that the aftershocks were over and that Nepal could rebuild in earnest. People remain nervous about where and how to live – whether they should gamble on returning inside, or brave the elements outside.

    Many of Nepal’s young people, however, are trying to make the best out of a tense situation.

    At the ROKPA Children’s Home, an orphanage in Kathmandu, the kids have shown amazing resolve in the face of a difficult situation. The orphanage is run by a nonprofit organization that also runs the guesthouse that serves as Medical Teams International’s in-country base.

    ROKPA post-quake orphans Kathmandu
    The orphans of ROKPA Chidren's Home camp outside following Tuesday's quake in Nepal.

    After Tuesday’s quake, the children were rushed from next door to ROKPA Guesthouse’s backyard, where tents and cooking stations were quickly arranged. This was a repeat of what happened after the April 25 earthquake, when the kids were forced to do the same thing.

    MTI was privileged to meet some of these kids, whose smiles masked the anxiety they expressed. When asked how she felt when the earthquake struck, 14-year-old Sabida said, “We thought we’d die.”

    Post-Kathmandu quake ROKPA2 Nepal orphans
    Sabida, right, and her friends said the second earthquake scared them almost as much as the first.

    They feel safer outside, even if life there is an inconvenience. The kids try to find fun things to do. They mingle a little with the guests of the hotel, including members of MTI’s team, sing songs and generally horse around.

    Like thousands in Nepal, it will be their second time in a short period living outside because of unease. Safety, security and good health are all uncertainties. Despite all of that, they maintain a positive attitude, even when the answer to the question of “When do you think you’ll return to the home?” is “I don’t know.”

    For the past two weeks, MTI has been conducting health assessments throughout the rural areas of Nepal. We plan on continuing our work in the long term and having a lasting presence in the country. Your donations matter greatly in keeping the people healthy and happy.


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