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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.  

  • Field Report: Maternal Health Training in Crochu, Haiti

    by Kristin Simpson | Sep 16, 2014
    Your gifts are truly transforming lives in Crochu, Haiti and around the world! Check out these photos we just received from the field of your gifts in action!

    Thanks to your donations to our Haiti programs, Medical Teams International recently was able to train community volunteers on the importance of maternal health nutrition.

    Local volunteers and staff came together to discuss the benefits of a healthy diet for pregnant women. They talked about the benefits of iron and vitamin supplementation for expectant mothers and learned what foods are packed with the most nutrients.

    Because of you, community volunteers are educated and able to share their knowledge to help make sure little babies will be born healthy and strong.

    Thank you for your support of our Haiti programs, which makes this training possible.

    A pregnant woman learning about maternal health.

    Community members discussing proper maternal health and nutrition.

    MTI staff and volunteers training local members of the community.

    Expectant mothers learning about the benefits of a healthy diet.
  • Cambodia Success Story: Mork

    by Katie Carroll | Sep 15, 2014

    When Mork gave birth to her first child in a clinic Kampong Cham province, Cambodia, everything seemed perfect. She welcomed a healthy, 9lb little boy. Mork was thrilled: "I and my husband were really happy after we got one son."

    Mork and her son


    After the birth, things quickly took a turn for the worse for Mork. She began to hemorrhage, badly. The doctors and midwives at the clinic implemented many measures to help her, but her condition continued to worsen. Her blood pressure dropped, and she lost consciousness. Mork needed to go to a hospital.

    Thanks to your generous donations, the doctors at the clinic had Non-pneumatic Anti-shock Garments (NASGs), simple medical garments that reverse shock - helping to keep women alive until they can receive the help they need. Mork was wrapped in an NASG and transferred to a hospital, where she was successfully treated.

    The midwives at the hospital


    If not for your donations, Mork would not have survived. Mork is overcome with emotion and gratitude when recounting her story. She says through tears, "I could not believe that I am still alive and stay with my lovely son and my husband."

    Thank you for your life-saving donations!

    You can continue to support our maternal & child health programs through our Survive to Five and Beyond! campaign. Did you know every year, 287,000 women die during pregnancy or childbirth? Every $2.35 helps save one mother & child - just like Mork! Thank you for your compassion.

  • Haitian Amputees on the Soccer Field

    by Katie Carroll | Sep 14, 2014

    Your selfless donations to our Haiti Advantage program make tremendous differences in the lives of Haitians who have suffered amputations. You provide care for mothers whose prosthetics are so mangled they cannot care for their family. You heal grandfathers whose stumps are covered in sores from improper prosthetics.

    And you also provide self-esteem and community for victims of amputees.

    Enjoy these recent photos from a football (soccer) match organized by the Haiti Advantage program!





    The event was a huge success, in which over 400 people from the community participated. In the words of our staff, "Today Les Cayes have new heroes and they are our players, men who have suffered an amputation but in a soccer field they forget everything and run and enjoy the life like the rest of the people who were watching."

    THANK YOU for empowering those around the world in most need.

  • Field Photos: EMS Training in Cambodia

    by Katie Carroll | Sep 13, 2014

    Here are some snapshots of the amazing work you are doing! Thanks to your incredible generosity, MTI is able to provide Emergency Medical Services (EMS) training to Cambodians. Take a look at these photos from our program in Prey Veng Province:

    Conducting a training in childbirth.


    Conducting a training in CPR.

    One of our classes with their certifications.

    In Cambodia, fatalities from traffic accidents is alarmingly high. Thanks to your gifts, local first responders will be able to provide sufficient first aid response on the scene. You are reducing the number of fatalities from trauma in one of the places in the world that needs it most. Thank you!

    Donate to our EMS programs.

    Local children where you are providing care.


  • You Need to Be More Shocked By What’s Happening in Iraq

    by Katie Carroll | Sep 12, 2014

    This post is unedited and republished with permission from

    by Roger Sandberg

    Why we need to get angry, get concerned, and take action today.

    The world should be shocked by what I’ve seen in Iraq in the last week. As Director of Emergency Relief & Global Security for Medical Teams International, I oversee the startup of emergency responses around the world. Recently, I went to Lebanon to increase some of our efforts in responding to the health needs of Syrian refugees living in the Bekaa Valley. From there I headed to Erbil, Iraq (Kurdistan) to do an assessment of the needs and security concerns in northern Iraq.

    Shortly after I arrived, a car bomb was detonated five or six miles away from where I was. Welcome to Iraq.

    While in Erbil, I met Sister Diana, a nun who fled her city with only what she was wearing. Along with two other nuns, she is serving displaced people who have sought refuge and are living in a church and a park. When I asked her about her needs, she replied: “What I really need is to find ways to help my people and let their suffering be heard. That will be the best thing ever.”

    Later, an Iraqi doctor asked me why it has taken so long for me (and other international non-government organizations — NGOs) to arrive. He also asked if the only reason why Americans are scared and worried about ISIS is because of the murder of the journalist James Foley: “Is an American life worth more than an Iraqi life?” As we spoke further, he said, “Humanity has developed a new selective conscience.”

    As of last spring, there have been 191,000 people killed in the Syrian conflict, though the BBC suggests that this number is grossly underestimated. Christians, Yezidis, and other minority religious groups in Iraq are facing extreme persecution by way of executions, beheadings, crucifixions, and rape. The country is littered with mass graves and places where people are being buried alive.



    The couple in this photo arrived from Qaraqosh — the “Christian capital of Iraq” — only two days before I met them. You are looking at all they have. They are sleeping in a church courtyard in Erbil. The woman saved her wedding ring by hiding it in a Kleenex; she kept wiping sweat from her face with the Kleenex so ISIS never found the ring. This couple said they were some of the last Christians in the city.

    Why we need to get angry, get concerned, and take action today.

    All this is happening right now, but it was barely a ripple until Americans saw web videos of the brutal and savage murders of American journalists. Suddenly, presidents and heads of state were “deeply shocked”; suddenly, the nation’s conscience was rattled.

    Even that stirring seems to have passed now. But why were we not shocked before an American was killed?

    Why were we not shocked when we heard the first reports of civilians — children, mothers, brothers, sisters — being murdered, killed, raped, beheaded, executed and persecuted? What makes the murder of American journalists more shocking?

    Edmund Burke wisely said, “All that is necessary for evil to triumph is for good men [note: I would add women, sister Diana] to do nothing.” Are we doing nothing? Do we only do something when evil touches our nation, when evil touches someone we know?

    These are not mere rhetorical questions. Think in specifics: What actions should we take? What is necessary for this evil to be defeated? Is doing nothing an option? What would we want done if we were an Iraqi or Syrian? If we were persecuted? If our families and loved ones were murdered? If we feared for the lives of our children? Who would we go to for help? Who would we cry out to? Who would we ask the Lord to send?

    Here are some specific things you can do:

    1. PRAY. If you are a Christian, get on your knees for your brothers and sisters. Do it everyday. Gather together two, three, a hundred others and pray together.

    2. DONATE to NGO’s responding to the crisis. I recommend that you give — and then give more — to Medical Teams International, Samaritan’s Purse, World Vision, Medair (Swiss), and Tearfund (UK).

    3. ADVOCATE. Email and call your congressmen and senators. There are steps the Obama administration could take immediately to further stop this genocide, including signing legislation that has been sitting on his desk to create a special envoy for religious minorities in the Middle East, appointing a senior administration official to coordinate the response to this genocide, working with trusted NGOs on the ground to help the victims, doing everything possible to support the Kurdish government and, if necessary, reprograming existing funds to support these efforts. Let him and our policymakers hear from you.

    I have been asked if returning to my home and family here in Portland has been difficult. Normally, I reply that having traveled so much, I am used to the extremes. But right now I fee like Bilbo Baggins in The Hobbit:

    “Look, I know you doubt me, I know you always have. And you’re right . . . I often think of Bag End. I miss my books, and my armchair, and my garden. See, that’s where I belong, that’s home. That’s why I came back . . . ’cause you don’t have one, a home. It was taken from you. But I will help you take it back if I can.”

    Yesterday, I received an email from a friend of mine, an Iraqi doctor who is volunteering at one of the church health clinics. He wrote, “I’m glad to hear that you are back home, safe, and sound. I just pray that one day the thousands of displaced people will be able to write to their friends and beloved ones saying, ‘We are back home.’”

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