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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.  

  • Disaster Alert: Typhoon Hagupit

    by Kristin Simpson | Dec 05, 2014

    As you have no doubt seen in the news, Typhoon Hagupit (named Typhoon Ruby in the Philippines) is expected to hit or pass near areas yet to recover from last year’s Typhoon Haiyan. Typhoon Hagupit’s maximum sustained 1-minute wind speed is between 150-180 mph (241 – 290 kms/h) and is due to hit land on Saturday evening (local time). 

    Over the past six months, Medical Teams International has sent MTI paramedics to train local emergency responders in Tacloban to increase the skill level of local responders for these types of emergencies. Today, local responders in Tacloban are better prepared for tonight’s potential typhoon, and have told MTI staff, “We are ready!”

    Local residents, many of them still living in temporary shelters, are moving away from coastal areas. In Tacloban, 38,000 people from coastal villages are in 26 evacuation centers. Up to 500,000 people have been evacuated and the Philippine government is positioning food for distribution after the typhoon hits. 

    MTI is committed to helping with disaster relief in the Philippines, if needed, after this typhoon. We are tracking the storm to determine the level of destruction. It will be determined on Monday if we will activate our Incident Command System “Emergency Operations Center” and deploy a team with prepared medical supplies on Tuesday, 9 December.

    Please pray for the Philippines!

    Thank you for supporting MTI and our mission to demonstrate the love of Christ to people affected by disaster, conflict and poverty around the world.

    Please donate to help our ongoing efforts to provide life-saving care to some of the world's most vulnerable.

  • Haiti Success Story: Lorie

    by Kristin Simpson | Dec 03, 2014

    We are so grateful to share with you a story of how your gifts changed the life of a young girl in Haiti.

    For weeks, Lorie suffered from a severe injury to her right knee. Lorie was so weak and frail, she could not walk or attend school.

    After learning about Medical Teams International’s Advantage Program, Lorie and her mom sought immediate help and treatment for Lorie’s injury. As a result of your generosity, Lorie is now able to walk without crutches and can attend school. Because of you, the MTI Advantage Program was able to provide Lorie with the physical therapy she needed to recover and thrive!

    You are demonstrating the love of Christ to people in need around the world. Thank you!

  • 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.

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