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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.  

  • 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!

  • Mobile Dental Success Story: Peace & Joy

    by Kristin Simpson | Nov 18, 2014
    We recently received a note from a woman who received care at a mobile dental van thanks to your donations. She wished to remain anonymous, but she wanted to share her thanks for your generous gifts.

    From "Claire":

    "To all of you responsible for the dental van services in Alsea,
    The people who provide the services of the dental van make my life easier, give me greater peace of mind, and increase my joy of living. I especially appreciate that you came out to Alsea because I do not have a motor vehicle. Thank you many times over. The fact that you care... and provide the services warms my heart."

    Thank you for supporting our mobile dental program. You are transforming lives!
  • Revolutionary Exchanges

    by Kristin Simpson | Nov 12, 2014

    This post is unedited and republished with permission from Providence Heart Beat Magazine.

    by Kate Vanskike

    The tiny room had dirt floors, and the daylight that shone through slats in the wooden walls was the only source of light. More than a dozen people joined the homeowner, Mercedes, in watching foreigners install a cook stove that would end the centuries-long tradition of having an open fire indoors. When she lit the first fire and the smoke escaped the home through a ventilation pipe, everyone shouted and clapped. Mercedes was deeply moved. Through a translator, she said, "I want so badly to tell you in your own language how much I thank you. I want to tell you how wonderful it is that you have sacrificed to come here — that you left your country, your home, your own families — to help us."

    Living out the mission in Guatemala

    Twice each year, a dozen Providence employees travel to remote Mayan communities in Guatemala with Providence Health International. One team provides surgical and health care services at local hospitals, and the other installs clean-burning cook stoves and sanitary latrines. Both projects are part of Providence's commitment to building healthier communities within the five U.S. states where it has hospitals and clinics, and well beyond those borders.

    In Guatemala, Providence works alongside Medical Teams International (MTI), a Christian non-profit organization serving communities affected by extreme poverty and natural disasters. MTI's staff includes Mayans who know the language and customs and who provide year-round support to the local people. Together, Providence and MTI seek to eliminate preventable illnesses like chronic diarrhea and respiratory distress. They also address malnutrition with training for women of the community who serve as "Monitoring Mothers" to help families track the growth of their children and address concerns.

    In Sehaquiba, the village where Mercedes lives, teams have installed clean-burning cook stoves in 85 homes, serving more than 300 individuals. The benefits of these stoves are many: Not only do they provide proper ventilation so the smoke is not breathed inside the home, they also burn significantly less wood, which means less labor for the women who chop and haul wood to their homes.

    Sehaquiba residents showed their enthusiasm for the American visitors with ceremonies that included marimba music and traditional Mayan dances. They decorated the guests with hydrangeas and covered the community center's dirt floor with a carpet of fresh pine needles.

    One local leader said, "Thank you for the love you've shown us and for your help in community development. We're so happy having you here working together with our people. We have understood the need for these stoves — no more smoke in the house — this is important for our good health."

    A two-way street

    "We love Americans ... because they become our friends."

    That quote was shared by one of Sehaquiba's leaders after working alongside the team of Providence caregivers, which included hospital executives, nurses, a doctor, a social worker, a writer, a chaplain and a board member.

    In the trips up and down mountainsides to complete the work, there was much camaraderie — Americans and Mayans laughing and enjoying the company of one another, despite not sharing a common language.

    Providence nurse Kendra Darnell describes that connection as revolutionary on both sides. "The first home our team visited was very generous with gifts of plums, coffee, pure water and a ceremonial drinking cup," Darnell shares. "It seemed wrong to accept such luxuries, but it was obvious that their joy was in the giving. Their neighbors were equally gracious in their blessing but apologized that they did not have anything to give."

    She continues, "How to adequately express that we were the ones receiving a gift that would also revolutionize our lives? It seemed impossible to adequately translate our deep emotion."

    Sharing dreams with the women who serve as Monitoring Mothers was equally moving.

    "These women know what they want for their community," says Darnell. "Not wealth, more jobs, less taxes, bigger homes. They want clean water, healthy children and an education.

    "Certainly they know their priorities, and hearing them caused me to consider my own hopes and dreams for my family," she says.

  • Typhoon Haiyan: A Year Later

    by Kristin Simpson | Nov 10, 2014

    On November 8th, 2013, a category 5 typhoon slammed into the Philippines, affecting over 14.1 million people. More than 4.1 million people were displaced, over 6,000 were killed, and over 27,000 were reported injured.


    Thanks to our generous donors, we were able to respond quickly to the devastation. With your help, we shipped urgently needed medicines and supplies to clinics and hospitals in the Philippines. We also mobilized volunteer teams of medical professionals to provide primary health care services to over 300 villages.

    In addition to providing immediate emergency medical care, your gifts helped rebuild the local infrastructure and ability to respond to future disasters.

    Because of your compassion and support, the country's capacity to provide adequate medical care is being restored, and we are continuing to provide support to local partners engaged in a variety of rebuilding efforts.

    Thank you for joining us in our commitment to rise, mobilize and make a difference in the lives of people affected by this historic and devastating typhoon. Your support is a huge blessing to those we serve, and we are so grateful to have you on the team.

    Reflections from MTI volunteers


    "...many parents we saw just needed reassurance after their horrible experiences, that their children were ok. It gave us an opportunity to assess the child for illness, of course, but maybe more importantly, to place our hand on the mom's shoulder and give her comfort, encouragement and let her know that what she was feeling was normal. And things were going to get better." - Sharon Tissell, RN & MTI Volunteer

    "I found the people of the Philippines to be very strong and resilient — their motto was 'Rise up Tacloban'." - Mike Erkel, Physician Assistant & MTI Volunteer


    "I worked with a young family; the mother had 3 young children, one who was an infant. She was in a town that had not seen medical care since the typhoon and stood in line with all her children for hours. When she finally reached me I could see she was doing the best she could to maintain normalcy for her children. She appeared overwhelmed by the situation but her strength to improve her situation was evident by her warm smile and attention to her children." - Michelle LaVina, RN & MTI Volunteer




  • Haiti Success Story: Michaella Rose

    by Katie Carroll | Nov 05, 2014

    Michaella Rose is a small girl of 11 months, born in the town of Tiburon, about 3 hours from Les Cayes in Haiti. Although born without any health problems, at only three days old she came down with a fever that sent her to the hospital for a week. Her illness left her with brain damage. It was at this hospital that she was also diagnosed with a club foot.


    Tragically, Rose's father rejected her as a result of her health issues, throwing her out of the home. Rose's mother bravely decided to fight for the rehabilitation of her daughter.

    After searching throughout her community for help, Rose's mother learned of the Haiti Advantage Program. In December 2013, Rose started her clubfoot treatment. After being treated with casts for two months, the MTI Haiti Advantage Program sent her to Port of Prince to take the final step, a surgery to correct the club foot. The surgery was a success!

    However, despite the successful surgery, her foot was developmentally retarded and malnourished. In February, Rose began regular therapy and nutrition sessions. Today, after months of therapy, Rose is completely transformed! She sits unsupported, plays with toys, and is starting to crawl.

    Your gifts have completely changed the life of one little girl, not even a full year old! You are making a difference around the world. Thank you.

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