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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: On the Front Lines of the Ebola Fight

    by Katie Carroll | Sep 19, 2014

    Michael O'Brien is MTI Africa Health Advisor. He recently wrote to share the need for medical supplies in Liberia.  Patients sick with Ebola or other urgent-care medical issues are being turned away by clinics due to lack of protective supplies.

    This morning I rode out with one of the Infection Prevention and Control Teams. I wanted to get a sense of how they were assessing the health facilities, what they were communicating, how they were received. Our teams completed their assessments of the government facilities a few weeks ago and now are finishing the assessments on the 200 plus private health facilities.

    We visited a private health facility that the inner-city community really depended on for health care. The facility was down a narrow alley, and there was the drone of diesel generators.  There were several patients waiting to enter the facility. We asked some Coca Cola vendors stationed in the alley if the clinic was open and where was the Officer in Charge (OiC). One of the vendors went and retrieved the Officer in Charge, who was a nurse, and she told us that the facility actually wasn't seeing patients. Only people waiting to receive their results from previous health screenings required by various embassies for visa requirements were being seen. Still, the nurse opened the clinic and we were able to go upstairs to ask her some questions.

    The nurse was joined by a laboratory technician and our team asked them about their Infection Prevention and Control for the clinic when they were seeing patients. We also asked them why they had stopped treating people. The nurse told us that it was because the clinic didn't have the Personal Protective Equipment suits (the space suits) needed to work where there is a risk of Ebola infection. I asked them "if you had the suits, would you reopen" and they told me "yes, they would start seeing patients again."

    "If we had the Personal Protective Equipment suits, we would start seeing patients again." - Officer in Charge, Liberian Clinic

    According to my plan, I should have been able to give them the suits right there on the spot and they should have been able to reopen. The problem is that we are out of suits. The supplies into Liberia have been slow and a lot of the items we need to keep health workers and patients safe are running out of stock. Our staff if even having a hard time finding chlorine power to make disinfectant for our own use.

    The lack of supplies has caused the closure of almost 20 percent of the 140 health facilities that we have assessed so far. 

    As our team was on its way out of the clinic a man carrying a little boy ran to the door, seemingly in need of urgent care. The clinic security man just held up his hand and said "Sorry, we aren't seeing any patients."


    MTI is mobilizing to ship pallets to Liberia now. Shipments include Personal Protective Equipment kits (PPEs), gloves, and body bags. Your donation today will help save lives! You are making a difference!

    ebola-supply-shipment
    Shipment bound for Liberia

    liberia-ebola-shipment-PPEs
    Volunteers in our Distribution Center stack boxes of equipment bound for Liberia as part of our Ebola response.
  • Fundraising Rally for MTI's Ebola Response

    by Katie Carroll | Sep 18, 2014

    The Oregon Association for Liberia will be holding a fundraising rally to raise awareness of the deadly Ebola virus in West Africa.  The rally will raise funds for MTI's Ebola response program in Liberia.

    Event Details
    • Time: 4-8pm
    • Place: First Unitarian Church, 1034 SW 13th Ave, Portland, OR 97205 [Map]
    • Light refreshments will be provided by the First Unitarian Church
  • MTI Ebola Response Receives Much-Needed Boost

    by Katie Carroll | Sep 18, 2014

    We are grateful to share news that Paul G. Allen’s #TackleEbola campaign has chosen to partner with Medical Teams International. This partnership comes as a blessing to our teams in Liberia, who are on the front lines battling the spread of the deadly Ebola virus.

    The support from this partnership will provide our Liberian staff with critical infrastructure such as housing and transportation. Mr. Allen’s funding will ensure that our local staff is adequately equipped to continue their focus on stopping the spread of this horrific virus.

    liberian-clinic-assessment-mti
    MTI Staff assess a Liberian clinic and provide counselling on Ebola prevention.

    This gift comes at a critical time in Liberia. Over 2,400 people have already died from the virus, and responders are becoming overwhelmed. Mr. Allen shared, “if support for on-the-ground health workers is not met, Ebola will continue to ravage West Africa. These courageous, selfless volunteers are the front line of defense in tackling Ebola, and we must do all we can to give them the tools to win this battle to prevent further spread of the virus.”

    As you know, MTI has been on the ground responding since the start of the Ebola epidemic and is playing a leading role among NGOs in Liberia to prevent the virus’s spread. We continue to work with the Ministry of Health and local health groups on community prevention activities, primarily training and educating community health workers. Additionally, our teams have focused on tracing contacts, investigating cases and providing preventative trainings for 250 Liberian health clinics.

    ebola-mti-training-liberia
    Providing training to Community Health Volunteers on Ebola facts and prevention.

    MTI President & CEO Jeff Pinneo expresses our gratitude for Mr. Allen’s gift: “we’ve been deeply engaged in Liberia for the past 10 years, building relationships and providing health programming to local communities. By partnering with the Paul G. Allen Foundation, we’re able to enhance our efforts to help lead the fight of responding this deadly disease.”

    While this gift from Mr. Allen is a true blessing, our teams still desperately need your help to combat this Ebola epidemic, which is the worst the world has ever seen. The virus continues to grow exponentially. Liberian families need your help.

    Donate_MTI

    Your gift today will make a difference. Thank you and God bless you for your compassion for those in desperate need.

    ebola-supply-shipment
    A Shipment of Personal Protective Equipment kits (PPEs), gloves, and body bags bound for Liberia in MTI's Distribution Center
  • Field Photos: Ebola Response Teams

    by Katie Carroll | Sep 17, 2014

    Thank you for your support of our Ebola response program in Liberia. Here are some photos from Monday of your gifts in action! Thank you!

    ebola-donation-of-PPEs
    Community Health Volunteers in Grand Cape Mount County receive shipments of Personal Protective Equipment (PPE), gloves, hand sanitizer, and more.

     

    ebola-donations-of-PPEs
    Assessing the shipment of much needed equipment & supplies.

     

    ebola-mti-training-liberia
    Training Community Health Volunteers

     

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    Community Health Volunteers with educational packets about Ebola prevention.

     

    You can continue to fight the spread of this deadly virus.  Donate at MedicalTeams.org/Ebola.  
  • Mobile Dental Success Story: A Second Chance

    by Katie Carroll | Sep 17, 2014

    We recently received a letter from a young woman who received care at a mobile dental van thanks to your donations. She wished to remain anonymous, but she wanted to share her gratitude to you for your selfless gifts. Here is the story of "Ann."

    Only in her twenties, Ann lost her job and therefore became homeless and without health insurance. For a year and a half, Ann struggled to make ends meet. As her life became more unmanageable, Ann neglected her dental care.

    Slowly Ann was able to piece her life back together. She found a job, which she is extremely grateful for. Her job provides her income and a place to live, but unfortunately does not offer health insurance.

    For nearly two years, Ann desperately sought care for her teeth. She was in excruciating pain, which made it difficult for her to feel motivated at the job she worked so hard for. Plus, she knew her dental problems were causing bad breath, which also made it embarrassing and uncomfortable to speak with others at her job. At just 31 years old, Ann was facing dentures.

    Thanks to you, Ann is no longer in terrible pain and suffering low self esteem! Your donations to MTI's mobile dental program have transformed her life. With successful dental treatment, she now goes to her new job with confidence and enthusiasm to work hard.

    In Ann's words: "I am extremely encouraged by the visits I have been blessed with. I am truly grateful and appreciative...I would like to thank everyone involved with making the mobile dental van an available resource for people who have no other options and for making it a reality for second chances. God bless you and thank you from the bottom of my heart and on behalf of those who have also received dental care from the mobile dental van... but may not know how to voice their gratitude."

    Thank you for supporting our mobile dental program. You are truly changing lives!


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