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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.  

  • Note from the Field: Syrian Refugee Settlements

    by Katie Carroll | Apr 08, 2015

    Today we received a note from one of our staff visiting the Syrian refugee settlements in Lebanon where MTI is working:

    "It’s heartbreaking here. The Syrian refugees are living in challenging conditions to say the least, with little hope of returning back home. They barely have enough to eat, conditions are not very sanitary and there is almost no ability to earn income. MTI is in 28 settlements providing medical care for chronic conditions like high blood pressure and diabetes, as well as dental care for children. We are filling an important niche. It was clear today that the people in these settlements know MTI and they trust our staff. They were very warm and open. I heard from two different people – Ibrahim and Badra (pictured below) – that MTI treats them with dignity and respect. They feel encouraged in the midst of sadness and struggle. This is one way that our staff is 'demonstrating the love of Christ.'

    Please continue to pray…that the refugees here would find hope in the midst of their suffering and uncertain future."

    Thank you for your gifts to our relief programs. You are touching the lives of Syrian refugees during this trying time.

  • Liberian Success Story: Inspiring Community Health Volunteers

    by Tyler Graf | Apr 06, 2015

    Liberia, Armah, April 2015, community health volunteer, Medical Teams International
    Armah, in the middle, flanked by two MTI staff members.

    Armah J. believed he could make a difference in the small Liberian community where he lived.

    He soon learned he could make a difference elsewhere, as well.

    He is a community health volunteer, on the front lines in the fight against Ebola. It’s a fight we’re winning, thanks to your generous gifts. Armah supports Ebola virus detection efforts in rural communities, while at the same time providing outreach and awareness.

    “I wanted to help my community out of my normal farm work,” Armah said. “I believe strongly that everyone can (make a) difference by taking small actions. So I will support (Medical Teams International’s) effort by sharing the same awareness they are doing.”

    He has been working closely alongside health care professionals since August, 2014, the height of the epidemic. The work has sent him to several communities in Liberia. In these communities, his job is to show people they can have confidence in health care workers.

    For many, Armah is the face of trust.

    In March, he returned to his hometown of Gbarngba. It was a bittersweet homecoming, as it came on the heels of the downswing in the number of reported Ebola cases in Liberia. He is better prepared for future health crises because of his experiences with Ebola. Armah said he hopes to use what he’s learned over these past few months to continue improving the health of others.

    “It is every time a new experience for me when I enter in a village to support the community, and I thank God for this opportunity,” Armah said. “My plan is to graduate next year and then attend the university to become a nurse.”

    Liberia is blessed to have such dedicated community health volunteers. Thank you for supporting their efforts through your amazing donations and heartfelt prayers! The Ebola epidemic has been a watershed crisis in West Africa, and the fight continues. To help us prepare for disasters the minute they strike, please donate to our disaster relief programs.

  • Syrian Refugee Success Story: No More Mouth Pain

    by Tyler Graf | Apr 03, 2015

    We recently received a story about three Syrian refugee children who obtained much-needed dental care thanks to your support and kind donations.

    Eleven-year-old Aya, 7-year-old Alla and 10-year-old Abdullah have been refugees in Lebanon for the past three years. Their previous lives in Syria are all but distant memories. Just a week after they left their house during the early days of the conflict in Syria, it was bombed to the ground.

    Lebanon, kid 2 (Aya, who received a filling), March 2015
    Aya, 11, received a filling.

    Lebanon, kid 4 (Alla, with toothbrush), March 2015
    Alla, 7, received a filling.

    Lebanon, kid 3 (Abdullah, who had tooth extracted), March 2015
    Abdullah, 10, had a tooth pulled.

    None of the kids has gone to school in years. None has received dental care, or oral hygiene education, either. The siblings have a sister who is severely disabled, and the family has spent all of its financial resources caring for her. There’s only so much to go around. The family hopes to resettle soon, but that effort will take time.

    Your donations are making a difference. You can see it on the smiles spread across the kids’ faces.

    At a dental clinic at one of the settlements, the three siblings got the care they needed. Aya and Alla received fillings, while Abdullah had a tooth pulled. In addition to the dental care, they received tooth brushes and toothpaste from Medical Teams International. The children are using them “three times a day!” they exclaimed.

    Before seeing the dentist, Aya said she was not able to eat. Abdullah said it was extremely painful to eat, especially when he ate sweets. With a big, sly smile, Abdullah admitted to liking cookies, ice cream and chocolate.

    Now he knows these are occasional foods – not meal replacements. And he should always drink a lot of water and brush his teeth. After seeing a dentist, the kids said they no longer have pain in their mouths. They’ve even become health advocates in their own right, telling their friends how important it is to brush their teeth.

    These wonderful smiles are the results of your willingness to come along side and help the world’s most vulnerable populations. Thank you so much! The lives of thousands of Syrian refugees are improved because of your donations.

  • South Sudan Refugee Story: Sandra Stays Behind

    by Tyler Graf | Apr 01, 2015

    Uganda, South Sudan refugee, March 2015
    Recently married, Sandra and her husband fled the civil conflict in South Sudan when it became too heated.

    Sandra is a recently married woman displaced by the civil conflict in South Sudan.

    Originally from Uganda, Sandra crossed the border into South Sudan to marry her husband, who is from that country. They planned to live there. But when war broke out last year, she and her husband were forced to flee. They ended up at a refugee settlement in Uganda, where the couple has been living for a couple of months.

    In Uganda, prospects for Sandra’s husband are very poor. He regularly crosses the border back into South Sudan, where he can make a small living as a brick maker. Sandra stays behind at the refugee camp, where she has access to medical care as the result of your generous donations. Your gifts are helping women like Sandra stay safe and healthy.

    Your donations are going toward the construction of a medical clinic near Sandra’s settlement. This will be a major boost to women like Sandra, who don’t plan to return to South Sudan because the country is too unstable. This clinic will be within walking distance for everyone at the camp and serve a growing population of refugees who have a variety of chronic and immediate health needs.

    Despite being worried about her husband’s safety, Sandra is grateful that she is safe and has access to medical care while she waits, and prays, for his safe return. Thank you for your gifts to the refugees of South Sudan.

    You are improving lives!

  • Mobile Dental: Lisa's Success Story

    by Tyler Graf | Mar 27, 2015

    Mobile Dental, Lisa Ahne, March 2015

    Lisa and volunteer dentist Dr. Bruce on MTI's mobile dental bus.

    Lisa is a hand-craft artisan who lives in Alsea, Ore., a rural part of the state surrounded by forest. She uses the bounty of the woods to make her crafts. Because of this seclusion, Lisa doesn't have access to primary dental care.

    But thanks to your generous gifts, a Medical Teams International mobile dental van provides services to the rural community of Alsea. Dr. Bruce, as he’s known, is the man in the van. The volunteer dentist has been serving Alsea for four years. He's a face Lisa can trust, because when she sees it, she knows she'll receive amazing care.

    Lisa has received a variety of dental services from mobile dental and is humbled by the generosity. MTI’s Mobile Dental Program provides access to free or reduced-price dental care to people who cannot afford it or don’t have access to it.  

    “To all of you responsible for the dental van’s services in Alsea … the dental van (makes) my life easier, gives me greater peace of mind and increases my joy of living,” Lisa told MTI. “I especially appreciate that you come out to Alsea because I do not have a motor vehicle. Thank you many times over. That you care about providing the services warms my heart.”

    Lisa is so thankful that she repays MTI’s volunteers by giving them her crafts made of grass, bark and other natural items. She said she feels blessed to know so many people care about others living in rural communities.

    Thanks to you, Lisa feels joy in her life. You can donate to MTI’s Mobile Dental Program today.

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