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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.  

  • Local Elementary School Generously Donates to MTI

    by Katie Carroll | Jun 11, 2014

    On May 12th, one of our Tigard distribution center volunteers, Duane Younger, visited Happy Valley Elementary to speak with 18 student leaders about our work.  The students were very inspired by what they learned and decided to donate a portion of the proceeds from their annual fundraising drive called the Penny Harvest to MTI.  

    Said Vicky Martin, the Happy Valley Elementary School counselor, "the students at Happy Valley were really motivated by the fact that every $1 goes toward $83 worth of medical supplies for MTI. Also, we liked the high rating you get from the organization that is charged with giving those ratings [CharityNavigator]."

    On June 2nd, Duane accepted a $750 donation on behalf of MTI at a Happy Valley Elementary School assembly. The generous donation will go to helping those in the world who need it most.

    We are so grateful to the student leaders at Happy Valley Elementary School for their generosity and their commitment to rise, mobilize, and make a difference!

    students-donate-mti
    The Giant Check Presented to Duane by Happy Valley Student Leaders
  • Meet a Single Mother in Uganda Who Needs Your Help

    by Katie Carroll | Jun 10, 2014

    Fourteen-year-old Sharon and her family know to come to MTI's clinic in Pader, Uganda because of the community mobilizers. Sharon’s aunt cares for her now that her mother and father have passed away. Sharon has had Nodding Syndrome for two years but has had seizures for 5 years. Sharon falls a lot and she has the scars to prove it. Scars and scabs cover her chin, knees, and elbows from recent falls into the fire. This can happen up to 8 times a day.

    Her aunt is 20 years old and a single mom of four, including Sharon. No one will marry her because they are scared they’ll catch Nodding Syndrome from Sharon. To provide for her family she farms beans, maize, and cassava. Her arms prove she’s a hard worker. Since Sharon is the eldest and unable to help much around the house (or help care for her younger siblings), it’s a great challenge.

    mti-nodding-syndrome-north-uganda
    Sharon's Aunt

     

    Sharon's aunt is relieved when there are medications at the clinic for them. She feels helpless otherwise. “When she is hurting, I also feel her pain.”

    You are critical to providing lifesaving care to young women just like Sharon and her aunt. Thank you for your donations, which help to ship $83 worth of medicine for every $1. You can directly touch the lives of people in need by donating today. Thank you.

    Story by Megan Steele
    Photo by Trina Chase
  • 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.

    nodding-syndrome-uganda
    Philips

    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-medical_team
    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
    sinoe-county-liberia-drapoh_clinic
    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!


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