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Medical Teams International | Official Blog

Stories of hope, health and lives transformed.

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  • Ebola Free Day: Official Celebration in Liberia!

    by Katie Carroll | May 11, 2015

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    Today Liberians celebrated "Ebola Free Day!"  Our field office captured celebratory photos from the Centennial Memorial Pavilion in Monrovia.  On May 9, the World Health Organization (WHO) declared Liberia free of the deadly Ebola virus.  This date marked 42 days with Liberia not reporting any cases since the last burial on March 28.

    Liberia was the first country to report an Ebola case, and reported the highest number of deaths in the largest, longest and most complex outbreak since Ebola first emerged in 1976.  According to the WHO, there were more than 3,000 confirmed Ebola cases in Liberia, and 7,400 suspected or probable cases, with more than 4,700 deaths estimated to have occurred since the outbreak was declared in March 2014. A total of 378 healthcare workers became infected; while at least 192 died of the virus.

    Your gifts to our Ebola response program played a critical role in today's success. Thank you!

    The smiles on the faces of people in Monrovia today on this EBOLA FREE DAY reflects their gratitude. The people of Liberia expressed their thankfulness to you - friends around the world who helped them in their time of need - in different ways: through traditional music, street parades, gospel songs and the President’s big thank you speech.

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    UPDATE 7/2/15: New cases of Ebola are reported in Liberia. Learn more.
  • Earthquake Photos: In search of those in need.

    by Katie Carroll | May 06, 2015

    Field photos from our volunteer nurse Sharon Tissell as her and the team head to remote regions of Nepal to help those in need of medical care.  Thank you for your support of our earthquake response program.

    near-chaku-nepal-disaster-response Driving through the destruction near Chaku.

    children-nepal-earthquake-response With so much of their belongings destroyed, little boys play with homemade "cars."

    earthquake-victims The team encounters this mother & child as they head to remote regions of Nepal.

    Suspension-Bridge-nepal The many suspension bridges across the Bhote Kosi river are still being used post earthquake. They are the only means across this ravine which is up to 160 meters deep.

    nepal-quake-anika-higyhwaDevastating landslides demolish this whole town along the Anika highway.

  • GiveBig Thank You: Best year ever!

    by Katie Carroll | May 06, 2015

    THANK YOU! This year's GiveBig was our best year ever!

    ‪Yesterday was GiveBig‬, a one-day online giving event to support and celebrate organizations working in the Seattle community.  Every year, we join together to share our mission and help even more people in need. Thanks to a pool of matching sponsors, every gift donated to MTI through the Seattle Foundation's website is matched!  Plus, this year, we were also offered a $5k matching grant from the Seattle International Foundation.  

    Your gifts yesterday will be multiplied to provide life-changing medical care to even more people in their hour of need! Thank you for your compassion and generosity. You are making a difference.

  • Field Photos: On the ground in Nepal

    by Katie Carroll | May 05, 2015

    A few photos our team sent a few days ago from Nepal. Thank you for your compassion in supporting our earthquake response.

    A man sits atop what was once his home in rural Nepal. He is resting from scavenging the rubble.

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    Dr. Paul Neumann in Dahding District, Nepal.

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    A grieving man moves rubble from a collapsed building in Dhading District, outside Kathmandu.

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    A man digs through rubble of his house. One person was killed here, in this collapse, in the rural town in Dhading District.

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    MTI volunteers Dr. Paul Neumann and Sharon Tissell evaluate the medical bags before heading further into rural Nepal.

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  • Field Report: Volunteer Nurse in Nepal

    by Katie Carroll | May 05, 2015

    We just received a report from our volunteer nurse in Nepal, Sharon Tissell. Thank you for your support and prayers for our team.

    "We have now been in this stunningly beautiful country of Nepal for 6 days. I had heard the news on TV like most others of the 7.8 earthquake that had hit a large swath of central Nepal, causing severe damage from mountain to plain. A few days later I was blessed to be flying with a team from MTI to provide medical care wherever there was the most unmet need.

    This disaster, like every other one I have witnessed, is at best controlled chaos. Every part of life for those in the earthquake zone has been affected. There is the loss of shelter, food, health, resources, jobs, any sense of security--and on top of that, thousands have lost their loved ones. The physical, emotional, and psychological impact cannot be overstated.

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    The rugged steep terrain of Nepal contributed to the devastating effects of the earthquake. Small communities by large mountain sides of terraced fields had nothing with which to brace against the shaking of the Mountains. The stories we hear are hard to imagine, but I try...

    Think of living on the mountainside at 5,000 feet when at noon on Saturday, April 25th, the ground beneath you shook violently and swayed for one full minute. Imagine that longest minute of your life. The quake caused large portions of the mountains to slide and buildings to sway and collapse (as I write this I stop to look around me for danger, as another of frequent aftershocks occur…that is unsettling enough for me). Great holes appeared in the roads and the dust billowed so thick that one man said, 'I couldn’t see someone 2 meters in front of me.'

    In one town of 4,000 people about 90km from Kathmandu only one house is structurally sound enough to enter. Now one week later many have decided that their only course of action is to take their families away from this area to Kathmandu. Anup, a manager of a tourist place north of Chaku was at the China boarder 8km from here when the earthquake hit. He was standing in the middle of the house and as the quake continued a landlside rushed through the house to his right then his left and a large boulder fell behind him, killing everyone in the house but him. Traumatized, he walked 5 hours over the damaged road back to his village passing scores of dead in buses, trucks, and along the road. He and others who were trying to reach safety, walked or ran as fast as they could always looking up afraid of more landslides.

    The terrain has challenged our team in an effort to mobilize into hard hit area where little or no help has reached. Some roads are barely passable like the one that took 3 hours to travel 31km. We trek further on foot as needed to reach smaller outposts to treat and assess the condition of the communities, the results of which we will pass on to the relief officials. The government has worked to helicopter out the most severely injured to Kathmandu hospitals, but in our clinics we find that moderately injured people are still untreated and have no means to access care. We have found people with a broken leg, toe, and lacerations from last Saturday that still require care, as well as a need for support of the general health of the community as the infrastructure is not functioning as it had previously.

    As this effort continues to unfold I am so grateful to be a part of an international response to come alongside these amazing Nepalese people in their suffering."