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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: 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:





    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 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.

  • Typhoon Hagupit Update: MTI on the ground in the Philippines

    by Kristin Simpson | Dec 12, 2014

    Typhoon Hagupit (Typhoon Ruby) hit land in the Philippines on Saturday, December 6th. The typhoon weakened to a category 3 storm, two notches below a "super typhoon", and only minimal destruction has been reported in Tacloban and other areas recovering from last year's Typhoon Haiyan (Yolonda).

    On Tuesday, December 9th, MTI sent a team to assess the damage of the storm. This team will assess health needs in the hardest hit area and first responder training for disaster preparation. They will also determine any further training needs.

    Check out these photos we just received from our team in the Philippines!

    MTI Team Coordinator, Debbie Bailey, surveys the ruins of a ship left from Typhoon Haiyan's destruction.

    Jerome Eguillos, a firefighter with the Filipino Chinese Volunteer Fire Brigade, points to the rooftop where he and his volunteers rescued stranded families during Typhoon Haiyan. He says the training he received from MTI after the disaster better prepared him and his team for future emergencies.

    Renovations continue at MTI's Tacloban-based partner hospital, RTR Hospital. New dormitories are being built for nursing students displaced by Typhoon Haiyan.

    Wreckage from Typhoon Haiyan is still evident in some parts of Tacloban.

    MTI Volunteer, Dan Livengood, left, and Team Coordinator, Debbie Bailey, right, talk with Linet Ryzel Jo of the Tacloban Filipino Chinese Volunteer Fire Brigade about improvements made to emergency coordination in the lead-up to Typhoon Hagupit.

    Thank you for donating to our Disaster Response program and helping provide urgent relief to people in the Philippines and other countries we serve.

    Please continue praying for the Philippines and for our efforts to serve the neediest and most vulnerable.
  • Mobile Dental Success Story: Maria

    by Katie Carroll | Dec 12, 2014

    Sixty-year-old Maria had been in pain for over three months when she finally heard of MTI's mobile dental program. With no insurance, she had been desperately searching for help with tooth extractions.  The pain was excruciating, and it was taking a toll on Maria emotionally and physically.  Her family was very stressed and much of the time spent at home was in tears as a result.

    Maria's daughter initially took her to a different clinic for the extractions she so critically needed, but the clinic charged $50. Maria's daughter could not even afford that.

    Maria and her daughter after successful treatment at MTI's clinic


    Your gifts are truly a blessing for local adults and children in need. Thanks to you, Maria is now pain-free. She is so grateful for your generosity. She says, "thank you for your kindness, and for understanding people in this area who need this help and assistance."

    Thank you!

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