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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.  

  • Meet Philips, a Young Man with Nodding Syndrome in Uganda

    by Katie Carroll | Jun 06, 2014

    Our Uganda team recently had a visit with a family in Pader, Uganda, where MTI is providing care. They met with Phillips, a 12-year-old boy with Nodding Syndrome, whose family needs your help.


    Philips and his 16-year-old brother Francis Ochaka, who is also afflicted with Nodding Syndrome, came with their mother Sopia Atto to a local MTI clinic to get the children’s monthly supply of medication. Their sister, Susan Apio, 14, has both Nodding Syndrome and Epilepsy. Philips started having symptoms in 2006, but it wasn't until a few years later - when MTI Village Health Teams started spreading health messages in their village - that they actually learned about Nodding Syndrome and Epilepsy. They've been coming to the clinic for medication for 3 years.

    When the children first received medication, Sophia noticed a drastic change. The kids were responding well! But since there hasn't been a consistent supply of medication, they are deteriorating again. When they are able to get their medication, they can help with chores around the house and attend school. English is Philips favorite subject. He’s shy and soft spoken.

    Philips feels tired a lot, regardless of whether or not he’s taking medication. The last time they were at the clinic for their medication was January, and they haven’t had medication since. When Philips isn't taking medication, he has a lot of problems, especially in the morning when it’s cold. He’ll go outside to begin his day, but then begins Nodding. Sopia will bring him back inside and cover him up with a blanket so he can warm up and calm down. When asked how she was doing, all she says is, “it’s so hard.”

    Sometimes two children will be nodding at the same time and she lays them down carefully, one at a time, and then just sits and prays next to them. She foregoes work and chores to take care of them. No one is around to help her. Her husband died and neighbors rarely help. Sometimes neighbors who have children with Nodding Syndrome will help, but others don't, afraid of catching this sickness.

    This is a great challenge for my family. “When your child is sick, you are also sick,” says Sophia. “We first had war, and now disease. We greatly need this help of medicines.”

    Every $1 you send, ships $83 worth of desperately needed medications to families just like Philips's. These families rely on medications to get through each day, to work, and to survive. Thank you for your compassion. Donate here.

    Story by Megan Steele
    Photo by Trina Chase
  • Drapoh Clinic in Liberia: Treating Those in Most Need

    by Katie Carroll | Jun 05, 2014

    We are so grateful for your love and commitment to those in this world who are in most need. Thank you for coming along side us in our mission. Today we share with you a snapshot of a remote village in Liberia, where you are providing care to mothers and children in urgent need.

    As you know, Medical Teams International is committed to delivering medical and health services and supplies to the most vulnerable--especially women and children--in the world’s most impoverished regions. In these places, many lack access to life-sustaining health services.

    Sinoe County is an example of one such place that lacks access to basic services. Drapoh clinic is situated in the middle of thick, old growth forest. At a good pace, it takes eight hours to walk to Tubmanville, the closest clinic with a certified midwife. The closest road where one might get a ride with a motorcycle is three hours walk in the opposite direction. For the women and children of Drapoh, the only real option for health services is the Drapoh clinic. That is why MTI began supporting community health services in Drapoh, and the surrounding villages.

    Drapoh clinic team with MTI Supervisor James Queateh (far right)
    James holds a chicken the community gave MTI as in thanks for our support.


    Andrew Hoskins, Country Director for MTI's Liberia programs, recently had the chance to visit Drapoh. The isolated village does not receive many visitors. The town chief said that the only other white visitors were missionaries who left in the 1970s. Since that time, the village was burned to the ground twice during Liberia’s civil conflicts. Now MTI has a representative visit Drapoh twice per month to support the clinic and community health volunteers in the area. Providing training and encouragement for community health volunteers is making a difference in the health of this village. Recently, Drapoh had 13 women who came for all four of the recommended pre-natal care visits! This is a dramatic improvement since previously only 2 women attended all four visits!

    Without you, the mothers and children in Drapoh would not receive critical care. Thank you!

    Story by Andrew Hoskins
  • Liberia Success Story: Angel

    by Katie Carroll | Jun 03, 2014
    Mama Lu holding Angel, now five months old and at healthy weight.

    We are so thankful for our donors; you are truly providing lifesaving training in places of the world that need it most. Today we share with you the story of how your gifts likely saved a little newborn baby. Thank you!

    Angel was born in Drapoh Clinic in Sinoe County, Liberia. She was born early and underweight at birth, weighing just over 5 pounds. Being born underweight and a little bit early is extremely dangerous in rural Liberia where the infant mortality rate is already alarmingly high.

    Thanks to your generous donations, MTI was able to hold a training workshop for community midwives in January of this year. Lucy, Angel’s grandmother and the traditional midwife who brought her mother to the clinic for delivery, was a traditional midwife in attendance.

    Through your gifts to MTI, Lucy (or “Mama Lu” as she is known in Drapoh) was trained to pay special attention to pregnant women and children under five years old. Seeing her granddaughter was underweight, Mama Lu remembered from her training that it is important to keep newborns warm, so she postponed the traditional bath immediately after delivery. Instead, Mama Lu wiped Angel down thoroughly with a dry towel, placed her against her mother’s warm chest to begin immediate breastfeeding, and covered her with a soft blanket. These actions likely saved little Angel’s life.

    Mama Lu also made sure that Angel’s mother received postnatal care at the clinic and that Angel received essential vaccinations. She continued to keep a watchful eye on the baby for any newborn danger signs, all practices she learned in the training you made possible.

    In places of the world like Liberia, many midwives lack knowledge of basic lifesaving care. Immediate and exclusive breastfeeding; keeping baby warm; postnatal care at the clinics, and importance of early childhood immunizations are proven cost-effective and high impact interventions. Your gifts are shining a light into these places - providing skills and knowledge to help save and transform lives. Thank you!

  • Haiti Success Story: Yvenia

    by Katie Carroll | Jun 02, 2014

    We are so grateful to share with you a story of how your gifts changed the life of a young mother in Haiti.

    Yvenia is a bright, young mother, but she could not afford to get the necessary treatment to give her the mobility to care for her children properly. Your gifts provided her with life-changing medical care and new prostheses!

    Several years ago Yvenia was in an accident that caused her to lose both of her legs. Since then, she has been hobbling around on old, broken prostheses that were strapped to her limbs with rags and old bandages. Her skin had wounds caused by the poorly-fitting limbs.

    Yvenia receives treatment for her wounds.

    Yvenia receives one of her new prosthetic legs.


    Recently, Yvenia heard about the Medical Teams International Advantage Program. She hobbled into the clinic anxiously, expecting to be turned away because she had no money. The clinic immediately treated her for her skin injuries. Later, after the wounds healed, Yvenia was fitted with her new prostheses walks - and now she only needs a crutch for support! She finally has the mobility she needs to care for herself and her children.

    Thank you for incredible generosity.

  • Haiti Success Story: Jean Baptiste

    by Katie Carroll | May 27, 2014

    Jean Baptiste is a 20-year-old who lives in the rural community of La Borde. His mother recalls that he began to walk later than his siblings and that he often fell down. In school, he was not able to learn as easily as the other children. However he was able to do daily activities and play like other children his age.

    Around age 12 (about 8 years ago), Jean Baptiste's life changed completely after he suffered a fever and was in bed for almost a month. After that, he developed spasticity in his legs and was unable to walk. The family took him to several hospitals, but no one offered physical rehabilitation. He developed severe tightness in his legs. For eight long years - nearly half his life - Jean Baptiste has had to crawl to move himself around, unable to walk.

    Jean Baptiste in his wheelchair.


    In August 2013, the family heard about the Medical Teams International Advantage Program and brought him for therapy. As a result of your generosity, he is now able to walk short distances using a walker and can bathe himself and put on his clothes. Because of you, the MTI Advantage Program was able to provide him with a wheelchair that he uses to visit neighbors and go to church. He no longer depends on his brother to do everything for him.

    Jean Baptiste and his family.


    You are demonstrating the love of Christ to people in need around the world. Thank you!


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