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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.  

  • Field Photos from Nepal

    by Katie Carroll | May 04, 2015

    Nurse Sharon Tissell from our First-In team to Nepal made a sunrise call from Kathmandu Sunday morning. The team had internet for 10 min as they passed through the city en route to a new area. They're doing a lot of trekking to isolated communities, of which there are still many. Treating cases such as this woman who had been suffering with a crushed ankle since Saturday.

    Sharon reports that people in villages have been injured as a result of homes made of bricks & clay, which all collapsed in the quake.

    She says the military is able to evacuate a lot of the very worst cases, but those cases that are less acute need the team's help or they won't ever heal or get treatment. Cases like a tibia fracture and a broken ankle that Sharon treated this weekend. There is still a lot of need for med care in remote villages.

    Thank you for your continued support and prayers.



    Donate to our earthquake relief.
  • Field Update: Team in Nepal

    by Katie Carroll | May 01, 2015

    Dominic Bowen, our Acting Country Director in Nepal, was able to check in with us via satellite phone for 15 minutes this morning. He reported on what the team has seen today and their plans for the next 24 hours.

    Today, the team trekked by car 11 hours about 50 miles to arrive at the northwest part of Dhading District, where we are setting up a mobile medical clinic.

    This district is one of the most affected areas by the earthquake. Dhading District continues to have regular tremors. In fact, there was an earthquake just as the team shut down to rest. The damage here is very significant, with local officials reporting that 80% of household are damaged or destroyed.

    Amidst it all, the team meets a 3-year-old child with a broken leg, whose parents were killed in the quake. God in His mercy allowed the team to come across this boy.

    Tonight the team is staying in camping tents, avoiding structures. The buildings that are not demolished look like a strong wind will blow them over, Dominic reports. It is raining heavily and flooding is a problem for the team. They are camped by a hard ground so they can be prepared to run out in the event of another earthquake.

    Throughout the night they've heard a mother with a crying newborn, in the rubble of a destroyed hospital.

    Tomorrow they will hike about 3 hours through the Himalayan mountains, carrying all of their supplies with them. Each team member has 150lbs worth of medical supplies plus survival gear. They must bring every medical supply they have; they do not want to risk coming across an acute injury and not have the supplies to treat it.

    Dominic reports that it is very difficult to decide which community will get helped first because the needs are so intense. They have no idea what to expect in the community they are entering; it is very remote and has not had any medical assistance yet. It had a health clinic, but the government and team do not know if it was destroyed. They will quickly set up a clinic, establishing triage, treatment area(s), a pharmacy, and a referral system. Because there are no roads, they will identify a suitable landing zone in case they need to coordinate a helicopter for emergency evacuations. Our partner Nepal Shanti will be providing paramedics to compliment the skills of MTI's medical team

    MTI has deliberately chosen to care for those in the most geographically isolated area, to help those in most need. We need to reach the most injured, weakest, and most marginalized people in the community. To do so, volunteers will be walking throughout the area, spreading the word about our clinic. Dominic worries those in most need will be too afraid or unable to get to the clinic: "that is a genuine fear of mine, that we're going to miss out on the most vulnerable." The team will compare demographic data to the types of patients they see, to make sure no subset of the population is being missed. If so, they will find a way to get the message out about the clinic to these groups.

    Thank you for your incredible generosity to help the people of Nepal. Your gift is directly helping those suffering and in urgent need. Thank you for your compassion.


    Donate to earthquake relief. 

    Learn more about our earthquake relief.

    Learn more about MTI's disaster response program

  • Field Update from Nepal

    by Katie Carroll | Apr 30, 2015

    This morning, we spoke with Dominic Bowen, our team member on the ground in Nepal. He reports our team is arriving into Nepal. Due to the influx of aid, the airport is overwhelmed and flights are delayed. Getting permission to land can be difficult, and the airport was damaged in the earthquake.

    Dominic reports that people are still being rescued. People are malnourished and homeless. Water is not safe (as was the case before the quake), and public health issues are a concern. Many places have had no medical assistance. Our teams will start treating people in the mobile clinic as soon as possible. There will be little breaks for the team so they will be prepared to work 100% until the next team arrives around May 10th. ‪Dominic plans to stay in Nepal an additional month as Acting Country Director.

    MTI will continue to coordinate with humanitarian organizations to provide complimentary aid. Our focus continues to be health (disease, medical care and supplies), and we will coordinate with other NGOs who will be focusing on food, shelter, child protection, etc.

    We are so grateful for your support. Your donations are going directly to helping people who have lost everything in this terrible disaster. Injured, with no home to return to, family missing, and disease looming, our friends in Nepal are in desperate need of your help. Thank you for sending them urgent care in this hour of most need.

    Donate to our Nepal response.

    Learn more about applying to volunteer on a disaster response team.

  • Nepal Quake Relief: Meet Our First-In Team

    by Katie Carroll | Apr 29, 2015

    While our Acting Country Director has been in Nepal since the quake, the remainder of our first-in team is departing now. Thank you for your gifts, which make this immediate response possible. Families are in shock, injured, sick and grieving. Your gifts are helping them during their time of most need.

    First-In Team

    Dominic Bowen200x300 

    Dominic Bowen, Acting Country Director

    Dominic Bowen is Medical Teams International’s Global Emergency and Security Advisor. Dominic has held a number of management positions in a variety of complex and insecure emergency settings in the Middle East, Africa, Asia, and the Pacific. Dominic holds a Master of International Relations with Honors and is finishing his Master of International Law degree. He has previously worked for MSF, DRC, Red Cross, Access Aid, GOAL, RedR, and various NGO consortia.

    Sharon Tissell, RN

    Sharon Tissell is a registered nurse who has been practicing for 35 years. She currently is a staff RN in the Trauma Intensive Care Unit at Oregon Health Sciences University and a staff RN in the Pediatric/Adult Post Anesthesia Care Unit at Providence Portland Medical Center. Sharon has volunteered with MTI since 1999, when she first served on a disaster response team in Honduras. She has volunteered in Uzbekistan, Iraq, Uganda, Lebanon, the Philippines, and more. Sharon received her nursing degree from Mt. Hood Community College.

    Dr. Paul Neumann

    Dr. Paul Neumann has practiced medicine for over 12 years. He has been worked internationally on disaster relief teams for over five years, providing medical care and expertise. He has responded to natural disasters such as the 2010 Haiti earthquake as well as manmade crises such as the Syrian refugee crisis in Lebanon. Dr. Neumann has a BA in Biochemistry from the University of Oregon, MD from Oregon Health Sciences University. He completed his Family Medicine Residency at Fort Collins Family Medicine and received his Diploma of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene from the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, East Africa.
     Lai, Kwan Kew

    Dr. Kwan Kew Lai

    Ten years ago after volunteering as a doctor during the aftermath of the Asian tsunami of 2004, Kwan Kew Lai changed her career focus from being a full-time Professor in Medicine to a medical relief volunteer providing medical care in epidemics and natural or man-made disaster situations in Africa and other parts of the world. Dr. Lai has volunteered in Vietnam, Tanzania, South Africa, Malawi, Nigeria, Rwanda, DRC, Libya, and more. Most recently she volunteered in Ebola Treatment Unit in West Africa.
    Dr. Lai attended Wellesley College. She has a dental degree from Harvard School of Dental Medicine and a medical degree from Chicago Medical School. She is certified in Internal Medicine and specializes in Infectious Diseases.

    Connie Cummings, Logistics

    Connie Cummings has worked in relief and development for 18 years after getting her start working in Bosnia and Kosovo providing humanitarian assistance. She has been at MTI for 14 years, initially as a team coordinator and more recently as the Asia Programs Manager. Connie has a BA in Religion from the College of William & Mary and has begun postgraduate studies in MDiv and MBA.

    Tyler Graf, Communications

    Tyler Graf is MTI's Content Coordinator.  Previously he worked for seven years as a reporter, freelancing for publications such as the Juvenile Justice Information Exchange and the NY Times Online. In his most recent position at The Vancouver Columbian, Tyler won regional journalism awards for his coverage of drug addiction and homelessness.  Tyler holds a BA in Journalism and Communications from University of Oregon.

    Emma Childs, Health Coordinator

    Emma Childs is a registered nurse for the past 8 years who recently achieved her MPH. She has experience in emergency response, aeromedical retrievals and remote nursing in the Australian Bush. Emma has responded to previous disasters, including 2010 Pakistan floods, 2011 Typhoon Bopha in the Philippines and 2013 Typhoon Haiyan in the Philippines. Emma is English, currently living in Australia.
  • Field Report: On the Ground in Nepal

    by Katie Carroll | Apr 28, 2015

    This morning we received reports from our Global Emergency and Security Advisor Dominic Bowen, who spent the night outside in Nepal after he was displaced from his hotel room. He reports that Kathmandu is shut down and the streets are a huge bottleneck. People are in shock and suffering from psychological trauma. Shops that are not damaged are locked up, and there is no way to get water and other necessities. Some supply routes from China have been closed due to landslides and avalanches.

    Despite the chaos, he was able to meet with our partners on the ground to establish our response plan. We will be working with partners to provide a multi-sectoral approach, with MTI teams focusing on delivering health and medical services.

    The remaining members of our first-in team are prepping for a morning departure tomorrow. Each will carry with them 150lbs worth of medical supplies to help survivors of the devastating earthquake.

    Thank you for your donations to help injured and ailing people in Nepal, people who are grieving and traumatized and without the basic necessities. Your gifts make a difference and are sending medical care right now.

    Learn more about our earthquake response here.

    Donate to our earthquake response now.

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