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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.  

  • A Lock on the Door

    by Kristin Simpson | Dec 03, 2014

    This is a special blog post from Dr. Paul Bunge, a recent MTI volunteer sharing his experiences from his time in Liberia to help stem the Ebola outbreak.

    It was a disappointing sight:  the paddle lock on the clinic door.  This community's only clinic now closed, meaning people would have to wait longer and travel farther for care, limiting their choices and perhaps making the difference as to whether or not they or their children would be treated at all.

    Our team had been to this clinic before.  Part of the Medical Teams International (MTI) project to support the healthcare facilities in the Monrovia area, four teams regularly visit the 240 clinics along with personnel from the Liberia Ministry of Health.  These integrated teams provide training, supervision, and supplemental supplies to these clinics focusing on infection prevention and control specifically in the time of the Ebola epidemic.  A well-designed program covering many areas including protective gear, effective triage, waste management, and needle safety has helped these clinics immensely.  Most of the facilities had closed completely or in part over the course of the outbreak, but were now returning to function with the help of our teams. 

    Today was sad.  The nurses on our team wondered why this clinic was closed.  They remembered the staff there was delivering babies (many “clinics” in Monrovia also have small maternity wards).  They had very limited space and limited supplies.  They counseled the midwives that they would need to be much more careful, and to wear more protective gear when delivering babies in this time of crisis.

    I was a volunteer doctor on the teams.  Supplementing the education they were doing with background knowledge, I was able to answer questions and give reasons for some of the strategies we were taking, as well as give input as to priorities and focus for the teams and the clinics.  The project is run by a Liberian staff which is top notch—the nurses on the teams with years of experience generally, and all with harrowing stories of friends and coworkers with Ebola.  The perfect group to teach and supervise in this critical time.  

    Just next door to the clinic, three men were lounging under a couple of palm trees. I asked them if they knew why the doors were locked.  A man in a hammock explained the story.  His wife had been the primary midwife at the clinic.  He remembered the team coming one month ago with their advice and warnings.  Sure enough, a pregnant woman in distress had come to the clinic one night.  They delivered a dead baby, a common presentation of Ebola.  Four of the clinic staff got sick and had to go the Ebola Treatment Unit (ETU), including his wife.  As he told the story you could see the tears gathering.  One of the staff had died, but “thank God we hear that the rest are improving some,” he said.  The three men sitting under the tree were waiting out the 21-day quarantine expected of exposed workers and family members.  They were feeling physically fine, only very bored.  With neighbors bringing them food, they were spending their days chatting and playing Parcheesi.  We encouraged them and exchanged phone numbers for the future when the clinic might be able to come back on line.

    The MTI teams have since been able to bring more protective gear to the clinics, as resources have become more available.   The Ministry of Health and the W.H.O. continue to give updates regularly which are implemented in the teams and the information and materials passed to the clinics.  It is work that must be done carefully, diligently, and with much flexibility and creativity.  Part of the much larger effort in the fight against Ebola.  It was an honor to see these hard-working people in action.    Despite this sad day, several clinics that had been closed were able to safely reopen their doors due to the work of MTI.  Still going out to clinics every day, and now expanding the program into other counties, their work is saving lives on the ground in Liberia, and helping stop the spread of Ebola to the rest of the world. 

    For more information about Dr. Bunge's volunteer experiences or for media inquiries, please contact

    Learn more about MTI's Ebola response in Liberia.

  • Field Photos: Hospital Triage Setup in Liberia

    by Kristin Simpson | Nov 26, 2014

    Check out these photos we just received from MTI staff in Liberia!

    Thanks to your generous donations, MTI is working with clinics in Liberia to establish triage areas that are isolated from the Outpatient Departments.

    God bless you and thank you for helping us stop the spread of Ebola.






  • Field Photos: Ebola Prevention in Liberia

    by Kristin Simpson | Nov 25, 2014

    We are excited to share these pictures we just received from our MTI staff in Liberia. Thanks to your generous donations, MTI is on the ground in Liberia, educating and training health practitioners on safe Ebola detection and triage practices.

    Check out these photos of MTI staff and our partner, Humedica, visiting health clinics in Bomi County and Grand Cape Mount County in Liberia.

    You are making a difference in the world — thank you!





    Learn more about MTI's response in Liberia and donate now to help stop the spread of Ebola.

  • Field Photos: Cholera Prevention in Haiti

    by Kristin Simpson | Nov 24, 2014

    Check out these pictures of your gifts in action! Thanks to you, nurses in Crochu, Haiti, educated children and teachers about proper sanitation practices to help prevent the spread of cholera. Thank you for making this possible!

    haiti-child-health-programsChildren learning about sanitation practices.

    Potable drinking water station at a school.

    Hand washing station "tippy tap" at a school.

  • Haiti Success Story: Baby Chrismène

    by Kristin Simpson | Nov 21, 2014

    We're excited to share with you a story how your gifts changed the life of a baby in Haiti!

    Meet Chrismène, one of many babies living in the remote, mountainous community of Pinot, in Crochu, Haiti. Because of Pinot’s off-the-grid location and limited access to health clinics, it’s very difficult for children to receive the necessary treatment they need to grow and survive.

    Thanks to your generous donations, Chrismène and many other babies are receiving immunizations and health checks every month. Before her first birthday, Chrismène received the right amount of vaccinations as required by the Ministry of Health of Haiti. She is on her way to a healthy childhood because of you!

    With your help and with the participation of local medical volunteers, MTI is coordinating community outreach activities in an effort to offer even more health services to isolated communities such as Pinot.

    God bless you and thank you for supporting our Haiti programs; you are changing lives!

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