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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.  

  • Staff Story: Reporting from Tacloban in the Philippines

    by Kristin Simpson | Dec 17, 2014

    We would like to share this story from Tyler Graf, MTI's Content Coordinator. Tyler is currently in the Philippines with MTI's assessment team.
    Read Tyler's previous story about visiting a hospital in Dolores, Philippines.

    Teachings imparted under the weight of unimaginable sadness have a way of sticking with people.

    That was evident in the Philippines this month, when Typhoon Hagupit — referred to as “Typhoon Ruby” in the Philippines — threatened to sweep through the same areas that Super Typhoon Haiyan (“Yolanda” in the Philippines) did just a year earlier. The coastal city of Tacloban continues to pick up the pieces of last year’s storm, which flattened much of the community. A year later, the resiliency of the people in the Philippines is evident in Tacloban. With the help of Medical Teams International, the city’s first responders learned from the lessons of Haiyan and were better prepared during the recent typhoon.

    At the Tacloban Filipino Chinese Volunteer Fire Brigade, volunteer firefighters said emergency preparedness training sessions conducted by MTI volunteers from Tualatin Valley Fire & Rescue helped them know what to do during Typhoon Hagupit.

    Medical Teams International’s training “opened us up to ideas we didn’t know yet,” said Jerome Eguillos, a volunteer firefighter at the station. “They taught us things. We were amazed. It was like, ‘Whoa, is this even real?’”

    Through MTI’s training sessions in the aftermath of Super Typhoon Haiyan, Tacloban’s first responders learned how to make 72-hour emergency preparedness kits, perform medical assessments on patients and properly coordinate with other agencies.

    Linnet Ryzel Jo, another volunteer firefighter, said the emphasis on communication and coordination was a key part of evacuating residents and keeping them safe during Typhoon Hagupit.

    “Before, every agency was not very well coordinated,” she said. “Since we (attended MTI’s) seminars, most of the agencies have been united.”

    She added: “With Typhoon Ruby, we were prepared.”

    At the Bureau of Fire Protection, Tacloban’s official fire station, those sentiments were echoed. Firefighter Zardoz Abela said more than anything, MTI’s training gave local emergency medical service responders the confidence to take a leadership role during Typhoon Hagupit.

    “We are more equipped than with Yolanda. Our confidence was bolstered because of (MTI),” Abela said. “Every time we encounter a serious case, there’s a sense of confidence.”

    That confidence shone through during Typhoon Hagupit. The volunteer firefighters of Delta Volunteer firehouse in Tacloban, who also underwent MTI’s preparedness training seminars, travelled to nearby Dolores to deliver aide packages consisting of food. Dolores received the brunt of Hagupit’s force.

    Mave Lim, a Delta firefighter, said volunteer responders had adopted new procedures to assess the needs of patients, based on MTI’s training. Those were put to use in Dolores.

    He expressed happiness at being able to assist the residents of Dolores, saying it was “time to reach out.”


    Because of your generous gifts, MTI is able to help provide urgent relief to people in the Philippines and other countries we serve. Thank you!

    Learn more about our work in the Philippines and donate to our disaster relief.
  • Field Photos: Imani House Clinic in Liberia

    by Kristin Simpson | Dec 17, 2014

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

    Imani House Clinic in Liberia was closed for two months. Thanks to your donations to our Ebola response, the clinic is now open and seeing patients.

     

    MTI staff training in the basics of Ebola and how to protect people from infection.

    MTI staff working to establish triage areas at the clinic.

    MTI staff assisting in the triage areas.

    Imani House Clinic staff practicing Infection Prevention and Control (IPC) methods.

    Thank you for coming alongside our efforts to demonstrate the love of Christ those those in need.

    Learn more about our work in Liberia and donate today to help stop the spread of Ebola.

  • Staff Story: Visiting a hospital in the Philippines

    by Kristin Simpson | Dec 15, 2014


    We would like to share this story from Tyler Graf, MTI's Content Coordinator. Tyler is currently in the Philippines with MTI's assessment team.

    Lit by a single candle following a power outage in the wake of Typhoon Hagupit, the small municipal hospital in Dolores, Philippines, lacked even the simplest of medical necessities.

    For more than a week following the storm’s passage, the hospital remained in the dark, with scant supplies at the disposal of its small staff. Dolores, located in the Eastern Samar province, was among the areas most affected by Typhoon Hagupit. In the wake of the typhoon, generators were the sole source of power in Dolores — and the hospital’s was broken.

    The staff made do with what they had. The hospital was staffed by three woman, who worked in shifts. Seemingly always there, day and night, was Dr. Quennie Guilleno. Typhoon Hagupit, while not nearly as devastating as last year’s Super Typhoon Haiyan, imposed hardships on medical providers in Eastern Samar. With the power out, it was difficult for the staff to provide medical treatment, and many patients were sent to other hospitals miles away.

    “Even people coming with puncture wounds, we don’t have the supplies (for them),” Dr. Guilleno told Medical Teams International staff and volunteers when they visited the town. “There are so many people coming.”

    The hospital staff said needs as simple as having enough clean water were difficult to meet. “Sometimes, if we don’t have light, we have problems giving medicine to patients,” Dr. Guilleno said.

    Despite the challenges, the small, understaffed hospital prepared for Typhoon Hagupit as best it could, stocking up on medicines and other provisions. When MTI visited, staff and volunteers provided the hospital with intravenous materials, stitches, medicine and wound-care kits.

    The hospital’s three staffer members — Dr. Guilleno, a nurse and a nurse’s assistant — voiced their appreciation for the materials, saying they would be put to good use.

    MTI staff and volunteers also gave much-needed medical supplies to Dolores’ fire station, located down the street from the hospital. There, the four men on duty said they’d cleared the town of all of its injured residents, but medicine and other supplies were essential for the future.

    Medical Teams International has provided medical training to local first responders throughout areas of The Philippines pounded by typhoons Haiyan and Hagupit. Staff and volunteers returned to The Philippines in December following Typhoon Hagupit to assess medical needs and evaluate how MTI’s training improved preparedness among local first responders.

    Dr. Quennie Guilleno watches as MTI team leader Debbie Bailey and volunteer Dan Livengood dispense medical supplies at her hospital in Dolores, Philippines.



    Because of your generous gifts, MTI is able to help provide urgent relief to people in the Philippines and other countries we serve. Thank you!

    Learn more about our work in the Philippines and donate to our disaster relief.
  • Field Photos: Mobile Dental Clinic in Hillsboro

    by Kristin Simpson | Dec 15, 2014

    Check out these photos of your gifts at work! Recently, MTI volunteer photographer, Rebecca Larson, visited a MTI Mobile Dental Clinic at the Southwest Community Health Center in Hillsboro, Oregon.

    Here's what she captured:

    MTI_Mobile_Dental_Clinic

    MTI_Mobile_Dental_Clinic

    MTI_Mobile_Dental_Clinic

    MTI_Mobile_Dental_Clinic

    Thanks to your generous donations to our Mobile Dental program, we are able to provide free or low-cost urgent dental care services to patients who lack dental insurance or any realistic way to pay for dental treatment. Thank you for making a difference!

  • Volunteer Highlights: Ebola Fighters in Liberia

    by Kristin Simpson | Dec 12, 2014


    As we reported earlier this week, TIME Magazine named Ebola Fighters as their 2014 Person of the Year.

    We would like to extend our appreciation and gratitude to those who have served and are currently serving in West Africa to help stop the spread of Ebola. Thank you in particular to our brave and selfless MTI volunteers.

    Kristy Engel, MTI volunteer
    Kristy Engel, RN, is currently serving in Liberia, working with health care workers at clinics. Kristy is training on Infection Prevention and Control measures (IPC), waste management and setting up a triage point in each clinic.

    Dr. Paul Bunge
    , MTI volunteer
    Dr. Paul Bunge helped train and educate medical workers in Monrovia, Liberia's capital. He was part of MTI's project to help support 240 clinics in the Monrovia area.
    Read more about Dr. Bunge's experience in Liberia.

    Dr. Alan Jamison
    , MTI volunteer
    Dr. Alan Jamison helped treat Ebola patients in the Monrovia area. Dr. Jamison arrived in Liberia on July 7 and returned home on July 25.
    Watch Dr. Jamison's interview with ABC News. 

    Dr.-Alan-Jamison-Liberia
    Dr. Alan Jamison working with MTI staff in Liberia.

    Thank you for coming alongside MTI and demonstrating the love of Christ to those in need. We are so thankful and appreciative for your support and sacrifice. You are making a difference in the world!

    Learn more about MTI's Ebola response in Liberia.


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