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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 Photo: Ebola Briefing at Liberia Ministry of Health

    by Katie Carroll | Jul 08, 2014
    Another quick snapshot from the field: MTI Liberia Country Director Andrew Hoskins and MTI Ebola Response Coordinator George Kaine attend the daily Ebola briefings at the Liberia Ministry of Health (MoH). These meetings are critical to coordinate efforts of all partners to ensure that everyone is up-to-date on the latest information about the Ebola virus outbreak. Medical Teams International relies on these meetings to monitor the security situation of our staff and volunteers.

     

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    Andrew Hoskins & George Kaine (in 4th row)

     

    Thank you for your support of our disaster response programs. Donate to our Ebola response today.
  • Ebola Update: MTI Coordinating with Liberian Churches

    by Katie Carroll | Jul 07, 2014

    We wanted to share with you and update from Liberia, where we are responding to the Ebola epidemic that is running rampant in West Africa.

    Association of Evangelicals in Liberia (AEL) held a meeting of pastors and church leaders from all over Liberia to discuss the Ebola response and the role the church can play. Medical Teams International was invited to share experience and knowledge and to discuss ways that we can work together.

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    AEL Meeting of Pastors & Church Leaders

     

    The church is an absolutely necessary institution when it comes to disseminating public health information - particularly because there is widespread mistrust of the media & government. Denial of Ebola's existence is a major reason why the outbreak has continued to spread.  Through education in the community, we can take control of the virus's spread.

    Poster and leaflets were given out and pastors were encouraged to talk to their congregations about Ebola. Rev. Abel Menyongar from the Baptist Seminary admitted that he had doubts about the existence of the disease. Now armed with educational tools, he can get the word out to his congregation.

    This Ebola epidemic is unprecedented: most deaths recorded, longest known, widest area of transmission. It continues to be a ticking time bomb. Monrovia, where we are working, is the most worrying area because of the population density.

    Please help us battle this horrifying virus. Donate now.

    Reporting & photo: Andrew Hoskins, Country Director, MTI Liberia
  • Ogur Youth Information & Care Center: Project Transition Report

    by Katie Carroll | Jul 07, 2014

    In Uganda, approximately one million people are living with HIV, including more than 110,000 children under 15 years old. The higher prevalence in northern Uganda, in particular, has been primarily linked to the prolonged civil war that forced local people into Internally Displaced Persons (IDP) camps for over 20 years. During this time, the spread of HIV was fueled by living conditions in the camps, the decline in education and health facilities, and the inability of families to make a living or produce food.

    While progress has been made in preventing new HIV infections and in lowering the annual number of AIDS-related deaths, the number of youth living with HIV and the number of children who are exposed to HIV-positive mothers still remain at critical levels.

    In 2007, Medical Teams International implemented an HIV/AIDS project in Ogur Sub County in northern Uganda. The project goal was to decrease HIV infections among youth and to increase access to preventive care and treatment services for resettled youth in this region.

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    A young woman from Ogur is tested for HIV at the OYICC.


    Prior to the creation of the Ogur Youth Information & Care Center (OYICC), the only available health center in this region had inadequate and inconsistent testing and treatment supplies, and no youth-friendly services. OYICC focused on providing care to children and youth ages 10-24, with the majority of clients 19 years of age or younger. Services included: HIV counseling and testing, treatment of sexually transmitted and opportunistic infections, post-exposure prophylaxis, prevention of mother-to-child transmission of HIV, antenatal care, psychosocial support, recreational activities, and education on adolescent sexual and reproductive health. Training was made available for peer educators, community and church leaders to promote reproductive health and gender equity.

    With enthusiastic support from the local community, huge numbers of youth participated in the project and sought care through the center. The center exceeded its youth usage targets in the first three months after it opened, and beyond its walls, more than 37,000 youth participated in HIV community programming, prevention activities and youth mentoring programs carried out in partnership with local churches.

    Project outcomes from 2007-2010 included:
    • The project reached a cumulative total of 37,118 youth beyond the planned target of 20,000 youth.
    • The OYICC tested a cumulative total of 18,209 clients, a majority of which were females (11,374).
    • During the life of the project 1,476 youth with STIs and 2,144 youth with opportunistic infections received treatment. This exceeds the planned target by more than 140%.
    • A total of 2,177 young mothers benefited from antenatal care services.
    • Through Home and Community Testing) outreach program and facility-based laboratory services clinic, the OYICC also registered a total of 120 babies born to HIV + mothers.

    The continuing need, and the support and encouragement of partners like you, compelled us to do more. In the second phase of the project, we set our sights on providing treatment and care to 100% of the youth and children who came to the clinic, providing increased psychosocial support, and offering safe male circumcision services as part of comprehensive HIV prevention package. Over the course of the past three years, the project met nearly all identified objectives, became a trusted resource in the community, and considered a safe and welcome place for youth to learn and access treatment.

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    MTI OYICC Project Manager Ronald Adam visits an HIV positive youth who is supported by clinic activities.

    Project outcomes from 2010-2013 included:

    • The project provided testing services to a total of 16,500 children and youth.
    • Over 2,200 youth were counseled and referred for family planning services.
    • 17,500 children and youth were reached psychosocially by the youth center spiritual counselor and church leaders.
    • Cumulatively, over 10,000 children & youth were treated for opportunistic and sexually transmitted infections.

    As the project transitions, ongoing activities at the center include linking affected families to churches in their communities for support and using the center as meeting space for HIV health trainings, church and support groups. All medical services previously offered by MTI will continue to be offered at the nearby Ogur Health Center under the direction of the Government of Uganda Ministry of Health

    Thank you again for your support of this vitally important and impactful project. Your generosity and compassion will have a lasting impact in the health and future of the young people of Northern Uganda!

    Story by Angela Pratt
  • DISASTER UPDATE: Ebola Outbreak

    by Katie Carroll | Jul 03, 2014
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    Outside the ELWA Hospital Isolation Unit.

     

    The deadly Ebola virus continues to spiral out of control in West Africa.  This is now the most widespread and deadly Ebola epidemic ever.  According to the World Health Organization, there are nearly 760 suspected cases and over 460 deaths.  The virus is 90% fatal, and there is no vaccine or cure.

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    The Liberian Ministry of Health (MoH) has requested MTI's help, and our response is fully in motion. Our Liberian staff is working to contain the deadly virus in the most effective way possible: through education. We are mobilizing local community health volunteers to educate the community on how the virus is transmitted.

    Although the terrifying and deadly, Ebola is surprisingly hard to contract unless a person comes in direct contact with blood, vomit or other bodily fluids. Plus, a person is NOT contagious until they are acutely ill or have died. However, misunderstanding and rumors in West Africa abound. Some believe the Ministry of Health has made up the virus. Others think that white people (those in protective gear) are causing the virus. Many refuse to identify contacts because they are afraid they will become infected if placed in isolation.

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    One of our Community Health Volunteers with education materials on how Ebola is transmitted.

     

    Additionally, health facilities are short on workers. Health care providers are afraid to go to work and become infected. As a result, people are dying from non-Ebola-related deaths. MTI is training nearly 100 health workers in the basics of Ebola and how to protect themselves from infection.

    MTI is also providing volunteers to support ELWA Hospital, our partner in Monrovia. ELWA is one of three designated isolation units for Ebola in the area. Publically praised by the Ministry of Health, it is a model example of infection control, with zero health workers infected. At one of the other isolation units run by the MoH, nine health workers have already died. With our volunteers relieving staff in hospital assignments, local care providers can go to the front lines to assist with Ebola patients.

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    After exposure in the isolation unit, clothing & boots are disinfected with chlorine.

     

    We are mobilizing volunteers now, with the first U.S. volunteer heading out July 6th. All staff and volunteers near an Ebola-infected area will wear protective suits.

    We need YOUR HELP to spread the word on how this horrifying virus is transmitted and prevent further infections! Please donate today.

  • Field Photos: Lactation Training & Consultation in Haiti

    by Katie Carroll | Jul 02, 2014
    Check out some recent photos from a lactation training and consultation to mothers living near Crochu in Haiti.  Thanks to you, these mothers are receiving a clinic on breastfeeding, which is critical to preventing diseases such as Cholera.  Breastfeeding also improves overall health - it's nature's best vaccine!  Thank you for your support of our Haiti programs, which are empowering the Haitian community to provide healthcare for themselves and future generations.  You are changing lives! 

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    A male Traditional Birth Attendant demonstrates with a doll


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    Mothers outside the clinic.

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    A group of mothers watching and sharing a few laughs during training.

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    Learning proper breastfeeding techniques.

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