Medical Teams International | Official Blog

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  • Field Photos: On the ground in Nepal

    by Katie Carroll | May 05, 2015

    A few photos our team sent a few days ago from Nepal. Thank you for your compassion in supporting our earthquake response.

    A man sits atop what was once his home in rural Nepal. He is resting from scavenging the rubble.


    Dr. Paul Neumann in Dahding District, Nepal.


    A grieving man moves rubble from a collapsed building in Dhading District, outside Kathmandu.


    A man digs through rubble of his house. One person was killed here, in this collapse, in the rural town in Dhading District.


    MTI volunteers Dr. Paul Neumann and Sharon Tissell evaluate the medical bags before heading further into rural Nepal.


  • Field Report: Volunteer Nurse in Nepal

    by Katie Carroll | May 05, 2015

    We just received a report from our volunteer nurse in Nepal, Sharon Tissell. Thank you for your support and prayers for our team.

    "We have now been in this stunningly beautiful country of Nepal for 6 days. I had heard the news on TV like most others of the 7.8 earthquake that had hit a large swath of central Nepal, causing severe damage from mountain to plain. A few days later I was blessed to be flying with a team from MTI to provide medical care wherever there was the most unmet need.

    This disaster, like every other one I have witnessed, is at best controlled chaos. Every part of life for those in the earthquake zone has been affected. There is the loss of shelter, food, health, resources, jobs, any sense of security--and on top of that, thousands have lost their loved ones. The physical, emotional, and psychological impact cannot be overstated.


    The rugged steep terrain of Nepal contributed to the devastating effects of the earthquake. Small communities by large mountain sides of terraced fields had nothing with which to brace against the shaking of the Mountains. The stories we hear are hard to imagine, but I try...

    Think of living on the mountainside at 5,000 feet when at noon on Saturday, April 25th, the ground beneath you shook violently and swayed for one full minute. Imagine that longest minute of your life. The quake caused large portions of the mountains to slide and buildings to sway and collapse (as I write this I stop to look around me for danger, as another of frequent aftershocks occur…that is unsettling enough for me). Great holes appeared in the roads and the dust billowed so thick that one man said, 'I couldn’t see someone 2 meters in front of me.'

    In one town of 4,000 people about 90km from Kathmandu only one house is structurally sound enough to enter. Now one week later many have decided that their only course of action is to take their families away from this area to Kathmandu. Anup, a manager of a tourist place north of Chaku was at the China boarder 8km from here when the earthquake hit. He was standing in the middle of the house and as the quake continued a landlside rushed through the house to his right then his left and a large boulder fell behind him, killing everyone in the house but him. Traumatized, he walked 5 hours over the damaged road back to his village passing scores of dead in buses, trucks, and along the road. He and others who were trying to reach safety, walked or ran as fast as they could always looking up afraid of more landslides.

    The terrain has challenged our team in an effort to mobilize into hard hit area where little or no help has reached. Some roads are barely passable like the one that took 3 hours to travel 31km. We trek further on foot as needed to reach smaller outposts to treat and assess the condition of the communities, the results of which we will pass on to the relief officials. The government has worked to helicopter out the most severely injured to Kathmandu hospitals, but in our clinics we find that moderately injured people are still untreated and have no means to access care. We have found people with a broken leg, toe, and lacerations from last Saturday that still require care, as well as a need for support of the general health of the community as the infrastructure is not functioning as it had previously.

    As this effort continues to unfold I am so grateful to be a part of an international response to come alongside these amazing Nepalese people in their suffering."

  • May 5th is GiveBig: a percentage of all gifts matched!

    by Katie Carroll | May 04, 2015

    May 5th is GiveBIG – a ONE-DAY, online charitable giving event by the Seattle Foundation dedicated to nonprofits that are making a difference in the Seattle community.

    For one day ONLY, a percentage of your gift to MTI through the Seattle Foundation’s website will be matched!

    And this year, Seattle International Foundation (SIF) is offering a special challenge grant to MTI for GiveBig! If MTI raises $5,000 today through GiveBig, SIF will match it! This is in addition to the matching funds that typically stretch your donation!


    Empowering Hardworking Men & Women in the Seattle Community

    MTI's mobile dental program provides desperately-needed emergency dental care to low-income adults in Washington. You can empower them to get back to work and focus on providing for their families and contributing to the community.


    Severe dental problems and poor access to care can prevent people from getting - and keeping - their jobs. This was the case for Dorothy, who was not able to confidently greet guests at the hotel where she worked because of her severe tooth decay.

    See how gifts like yours gave this hardworking mother a fresh start at her job! Read her story.

    Remember, your donation will be stretched to help even more people - just give before midnight tonight.  Multiply your gift now!

    Thank you for making a difference in our community!

  • 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