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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.  

  • Liberia Success Story: in Labor and in Trouble

    by Katie Carroll | May 13, 2014
    liberia-maternal-health-programs
    Emma and her baby survived - thanks to your gifts!

    Emma Saytue went into labor knowing she was in trouble. The local medical clinic was closed. And in this part of Liberia there was no one nearby who could help her give birth.

    So Emma, already in labor, walked over an hour to reach a woman named Edwina. Edwina is an MTI volunteer who, thanks to your gifts, had been trained to help mothers give birth—and to know when more help was needed.

    After Emma safely delivered her child, Edwina noticed a dangerous complication. She rushed Emma to the nearest clinic, where Emma received the treatment she needed. Emma returned home with a healthy baby.

    You helped save Emma’s life—and ensured that Emma’s child will grow up with her mother around! It all happens because of your gifts.

  • Cambodia Success Story: Two Lives Saved in One Family

    by Katie Carroll | May 12, 2014

    Your gifts did something simple but lifesaving for a mother named Tert Maes—you taught her how to identify the symptoms of malaria.

    malaria-prevention-cambodia

     

    When Tert recently saw the symptoms in her five-year-old son she knew exactly what to do. Instead of waiting to see if it was just a common cold—and unknowingly letting the disease ravage his tiny body—Tert immediately sought treatment for her son. He was diagnosed in time, received treatment, and recovered completely. That’s the life-saving power of your gift!

    And, just months later, Tert saw the signs of the same disease in her twelve-year-old son. He too was treated in time.

    Your gifts also trained a local health volunteer in Tert’s community in Cambodia. When Tert’s twelve-year-old was bitten by a highly venomous snake, that volunteer knew exactly what to do to save his life.

    “My son almost died.” Tert says, “But he has fully recovered with proper care and essential medicine.”

    Teaching mothers like Tert how to identify diseases and training local healthcare volunteers is so important. You helped save Tert’s sons’ lives (one of them twice!) with your gift. The impact you’ve had on mothers and children in Cambodia and around the world is amazing.

  • Haiti Success Story: Lereste

    by Katie Carroll | May 08, 2014

    We are so excited to share with you how your gifts to our Haiti programs are truly transforming lives.

    Thanks to your donations, Medical Teams International recently was able to hold a mobile medical clinic in La Sucrerie, a rural community near Les Cayes in Haiti.  A mobile medical clinic is a vehicle equipped with WHO-recommended medicines and medical supplies as well as tables and chairs for patient registration and care.  The clinic will set up with tents or use an empty building.  As part of our Haiti Advantage Program, this clinic was held specifically to treat disabilities.

    Forty-eight people came to this particular clinic. As in previous therapy clinics, most people had never consulted or been treated by therapists due to lack of knowledge regarding rehabilitation services or due to lack of access to services.

    Lereste, a 49-year-old man, was among those who visited this clinic. At the age of 25, Lereste, was in a serious car accident and was in a coma for 20 days. Though he was in the hospital, he did not receive proper evaluative care, such as radiographic evaluation. After waking from the coma, he slowly began to move and eventually walk, though he suffered much pain in his back and legs. He had no money for additional medical attention and thought he would always live with the pain and difficulty in walking.  For half of his life, Lereste has suffered daily.

    He arrived at MTI-Advantage Program mobile clinic leaning heavily on the crutches he found necessary to help him walk. His trunk was severely bent forward, and he complained of sharp pain in his leg when walking. The staff evaluated his legs and noted a significant difference in leg length and reduced motion in his back and legs and reduced strength. He showed signs of significant malnutrition. The staff made arrangements for Lereste to come to the clinic for a more thorough evaluation. He was sent to the local hospital for radiographs that showed signs of a previous hip fracture, leg fracture, pelvis displacement, decreased bone density and extreme lower back osteoarthritis. The staff had the information they needed to start a therapy program.

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    Lereste at Physical Therapy

     

    He started specific flexibility and strengthening exercise and was provided with tennis shoes and a custom shoe lift to correct his leg length difference. After receiving regular therapy, his motion and strength improved to the point that crutches are no longer necessary for walking!  His face beams with excitement because he can now walk without severe pain. Though he still walks with a limp, he is able to move about in his community and is so happy to be able to visit he neighbors and go to church. Lereste never misses a therapy appointment and tells everyone what a difference treatment has made in his life.

    Thanks to your generosity, Lereste received simple interventions, which transformed his life. Without you, he would never have know the freedom he experiences today. Thank you for your support of our Haiti programs!

  • Disaster Update: Ebola Outbreak in Liberia

    by Katie Carroll | May 06, 2014

     
    For the past month, Medical Teams International has been monitoring the Ebola outbreak in West Africa, providing support for health workers in Bong County and Liberia’s Ministry of Health.

    MTI continues to monitor the situation, but the epidemic seems largely under control, with most suspected cases being ruled out.

    According to UNICEF's May 2nd report, the current number of suspected, probable and confirmed Ebola cases in Liberia is 13, and the total number of Ebola-related deaths is 11. Of the 141 Ebola contacts, 131 have completed their 21 days of Ebola follow-up are declared Ebola-free.

    MTI’s response now is more geared toward evaluation of the response and learning, together with the County Health Department, how to be better prepared for future outbreaks. In Bong County MTI still attends bi-weekly Emergency Task Force meetings which aim to continue the control of the current outbreak and prepare the county for future emergencies.

    Thank you - your continued support of our Africa programs and disaster response programs allows MTI to be ready to respond to a disaster when it happens.  
  • Haiti Success Story: Mireille

    by Katie Carroll | May 06, 2014

    Mireille lives in Crochu in the locality of Manoailles. She recently delivered a beautiful baby girl. Thanks to your donations to our Haiti programs, a traditional birth attendant (TBA) received training from Medical Teams International.  This training - which could not happen with out your donations - is preventing illness such as cholera in babies.  

    At birth, Mireille’s two first children received “lock” (an oily mixture prepared with castor oil and other ingredients) to “clean their bowel “ and have them eliminate the “goudron: tar” (meconium). They also spent some days before they were fed with breast milk.

    Lorinma, who is Mireille's TBA, is currently attending training with MTI.  As a result of your gifts, Lorinma new to advise that the newborn little girl not receive “lock” and be immediately placed into the breast to benefit the good effects of prelacteal milk.  

    haiti-benefits-breastfeeding
    Mireille and her baby girl.

    In Haiti, many children contract cholera from drinking liquids other than their mother's milk.  Because cholera causes severe dehydration, it can kill a baby within hours.  We are so grateful for your donations to our Haiti programs.  You are helping to transform communities and save lives!

     Reporting and photo by Joanne V. St. Louis, MD, PH

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