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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.  

  • Success Story: From Fear & Pain to Smiles

    by Katie Carroll | Mar 12, 2014

    We are excited to share with you a story of how your generous donations helped heal a local boy in need!

    A young boy, about eight years old, recently stepped onto the Mobile Dental Clinic van at a local elementary school, clinging tightly to the hand of his school nurse. He was scared, in pain, and refusing treatment. After gentle coaxing and a few calls home to mom, our friendly volunteers helped him back to the exam room. With a mirror in his tiny hand so he could see and understand everything they would be doing to help him, the volunteer doctors got to work. Quickly, they found the source of his discomfort and began to treat painful cavity that had been giving him trouble for quite some time. One by one, the doctors described each instrument and piece of equipment they would need to help make his pain go away. The detailed explanation, humor and personal touches eased the little boy's fears. By the end of the procedure, he was smiling and proudly showing his shiny new crown to the other waiting children.

    Thank you for supporting our mobile dental programs.  Because of you, last year our volunteers provided dental care to over 4 thousand children just like this. You are making a huge impact in your community!

    Story by Krystal Foote
  • Volunteer Reflections: South Sudan Refugees

    by Katie Carroll | Mar 10, 2014

    Medical Teams International volunteer RN Jennifer Guenwald recently returned from a visit to the Nyumanzi Resettlement Camp in Uganda where she worked to provide basic needs and medical care to the South Sudanese refugees. Amongst many memories she made is one stemming from an event that took place during the last minutes of the final clinic day. Guenwald vividly described a brutal dog attack involving multiple children and life-threatening wounds. When the children were brought to her, she immediately treated their injuries and located transportation for them to a nearby hospital where they would receive vaccinations.


    Register Nurse Jennifer Gruenwald Treats a South Sudanese Patient

     “Had we not been on site at the time of the attack, the children’s wounds would very likely have become infected, and without antibiotics or proper vaccinations they may have died,” said Guenwald. “Local community leaders expressed gratitude for our service which prevented additional catastrophic loss within an already displaced community.

    “After every trip, I find a new sense of gratitude for everything I have access to including, shelter, food and basic healthcare,” said Guenwald.

    The Children After Treatment

    Thank you for supporting our disaster response programs around the world.  Displacement is the new 21st century challenge, with 2013 having the largest number of displaced people ever recorded by UNHCR.  Your gifts are saving the lives of children like these.  Thank you.

    Story by Krystal Foote
  • International Women's Day

    by Katie Carroll | Mar 08, 2014

    Meet Marie Yolaine Occéan,a mother of three, who lives in Pinot I, in Crochu, Haiti. She is proud to be the first mother in Pinot I to have breastfed her baby exclusively for six months.  In that time, her child never became sick and grew very well.  As part of our Community Health Program in Crochu, MTI staff and volunteers teach women the health benefits to both mothers and children of exclusive breastfeeding for the first six months of life.  

    Our Haiti MTI team is working with the health committee of Marie Yolaine's neighborhood to give her an outstanding award this International Women's Day!  We congratulate her on her achievement as well as the great example she is setting for the health of her community!
  • Field Report: Preventative Care for Local Children

    by Katie Carroll | Mar 06, 2014

    Last week was busy for our Oral Health Instruction presenters, as Medical Teams International visited four elementary schools in the Evergreen School District, educating over 400 children. With the majority of the presentations being to 1st grade classes, this was the first time many of the children were exposed to formal dentistry education. We discovered that several children lacked basic knowledge of proper oral care, so it was new information to many.

    With the help of Roo, our dentistry kangaroo puppet, we were able to demonstrate the proper way to brush teeth, with emphasis on how many times a day and for how long. Roo was a hit, and after each presentation there were a number of requests to practice proper brushing of his teeth. To help keep the audiences’ attention, visual aids such a coke bottle drained of its soda and refilled with the amount of sugar it contains, and equipment used to clean teeth at a dental office. Audience participation was used as to demonstrate the importance of flossing, as we asked for volunteers to be pretend teeth by standing next to each other. We wedged tennis balls between them to be pretend sugar and cavity bugs, and used a jump rope to “floss” the excess sugar we were unable to get just by brushing. The children loved the demonstration and giggled as the tennis balls fell to the floor.

    Without question, there was a need for this type of preventative education at the schools we visited. The children were quick to ask questions such as “why do my teeth fall out?” and “where can I buy floss?” After the classes we were able to distribute dental Kits, which contained a toothbrush, floss, and toothpaste. The children were extremely excited to receive the gifts, and eager to share their newfound knowledge with their brothers and sisters at home.

    This was also a good way to introduce ourselves to these schools, as we feel that there is a need to schedule the dental van with them in the future. We look forward to other presentations scheduled in April. We feel encouraged by the success of these clinics, and look forward to scheduling many more in the future.

    Story by Tim Schneider

  • Field Photo: Mother Counselor in Guatemala

    by Katie Carroll | Mar 05, 2014

    Here is a recent photo from Guatemala of a mother counselor sharing the knowledge gained from Medical Teams International at the household level.

    Thank you for the difference you are making around the world!

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