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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.  

  • 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.

    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.  

    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
  • Field Highlight: Oretha in Liberia

    by Katie Carroll | May 05, 2014

    Thanks to you, a pregnant woman and her newborn are alive today.

    Oretha is head of Trained Traditional Midwives (TTMs) in Kilo Town Clinic area in Sinoe County, Liberia. A pregnant woman she was monitoring was exhibiting danger signs - signs Oretha was able to recognize, thanks to your generous donations to our safe motherhood programs. Oretha encouraged the woman to deliver at a clinic. However, the woman lived 5 hours away from the clinic by foot so she was extremely reluctant. Fortunately, your generosity saved her life. Relying on her training, Oretha continued to press the woman, which saved her and her child's life.The woman became anemic during delivery and needed special care that only the nursing staff at the clinic could provide.  

    The nurse in charge at Kilo Town Clinic commented that before MTI came to train and support the TTMs in her area, the clinic was about to close. They were seeing 2-3 patient visits per month, no deliveries and no women coming for pre-natal visits. Now - thanks to you - they are seeing more per day than they used to see in a month. The TTMs are referring mothers and children to the clinic every day. Oretha said, “Now we tell our people, only give [breast milk] to the baby. Big belly woman (pregnant women) and children zero to five years old need to sleep under mosquito net [to prevent malaria].”

    Because of you, Liberians are receiving care necessary to saving lives of women and children.  This would not happen without your generosity and compassion.  Thank you!

  • Success Story: Young Woman Builds her Family a Latrine

    by Katie Carroll | May 04, 2014

    Mimose is a student at the school Institution Henriette St Marc of Démier in Crochu, Haiti. The Institution Henriette St Marc of Démier is one of the schools in Crochu enrolled in cholera prevention with Medical Teams International.

    Thanks to your generous donations, MTI was able to train the teachers in cholera prevention and awareness to help stop the spread of this debilitating bacteria.  Your gifts also provided education materials for the teachers to conduct sessions for the students.

    Mimose, whose family did not have a latrine, attended an education session on how cholera is transmitted. Afterwards, she decided to convince her mother to take all necessary precautions to protect the family against cholera. 

    Because the training your gifts provided was so effective, Mimose was persistent with her family.  After several months, Mimose's mother agreed to build a latrine. Mother and daughter are very proud of their commitment to health.  They are committed to encouraging other families in their neighborhood to also build latrines - and help stop cholera before it can kill.

    Your incredible generosity is truly empowering families to stop cholera in its tracks. Thank you for your compassion.

    Mimose and her mother during the latrine's construction.

    Mimose by her finished latrine!

     Story and photos by Joanne V. St. Louis, MD, PH

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