It’s no secret that it hasn’t been an easy year — again — for our hurting world. From Gaza to Sudan, there has been no shortage of suffering. But as we did our mid-year check-in here at Medical Teams, we saw reasons to be hopeful. Because even in the darkest of times, our incredibly compassionate community keeps showing up to care for our brothers and sisters around the world.

We’re celebrating our committed team members, like our passionate new country directors in Sudan, Ukraine, and Tanzania. And we’re focusing on the positive, like how we’re well on our way to care for more people this year than ever before. For every reason to despair, there’s an equal reason to rejoice.

Read on to see the great work that’s happening around the world today!

Checking in around the world

Every day, around the world, scenes of healing unfold. Mothers hold their newborn babies after emergency C-sections (in fact, 1 in 5 births at Medical Teams this year has been an emergency C-section!). Children return to school after recovering from malaria. Friends find joy in volunteering together through our community health programs.

It’s easy to feel helpless in the face of so much suffering this year. But here are just a few reasons to feel hopeful about the state of the world!


One of our community health workers, Nazly, checks-in on Daria, who has diabetes. Photo by Lina Hernandez.

While continuing to offer innovative health programs, our team in Colombia has been hard at work expanding to serve more people! At our mid-year check-in, we celebrated the launch of the response in the Darién Gap. Our humanitarian storefront and ‘safe space’ for migrant families has been a welcome respite and resource for thousands of people.

We are also now serving people in new regions along the coast. In addition, this year so far, community health volunteers have reached more than 40,000 people in communities across Colombia.

One more incredible thing from Colombia? Our team partnered with a local, migrant-led organization to pilot a program called Hablamé or “tell me.” It’s a national hotline that helps people struggling to get access to Colombia’s health care system. When people call, they can get help with documentation, bureaucratic issues, or other barriers.


Halima is seen by a provider in Ethiopia for a primary health care consultation. Photo by Meletetsega Getachew.

So far, this year in Ethiopia has been all about growth. We’re expanding our services dramatically to help people affected by drought, cholera outbreaks, and increased conflict both in-country and in the region. To that end, we’ve grown from 145 team members to 401 team members. We’ve also increased our nutrition sites to more than 350 this year from 200 last year. And we’re serving at 10 more refugee sites than we did last year, too! We’re now caring at 12 refugee sites over just 2 last year.

Though all of this is in response to the challenging conditions in Ethiopia, it’s a blessing to be able to serve so many families. Our team is working tirelessly to find new ways to help people get the nutrition and health care they need. That looks like piloting innovative new nutrition services. For example, we’re implementing cash programming and family malnutrition screenings.


A community health worker assesses a lactating mother for malnutrition. Photo by Maram Abdallah.

The mid-year check-in in Sudan revealed a situation that grows increasingly dire. Millions of people continue to be affected by the brutal civil war. Forced to leave home and now facing famine, it’s a devastating circumstance to be caring in. Though many other organizations have no longer been able to operate, our team is still on the ground and serving people who desperately need help.

Last April marked one year of war in Sudan. In response, we’ve grown our supported clinic sites from 32 to 89. Now, we’re able to care for a population of nearly 1 million people. One of the greatest needs in Sudan right now is for nutrition services, as many people face famine conditions. Therefore, we’re screening and treating malnutrition, particularly in women and children.

We are also working hard to grow our community health program. Many people are eager to share their time and talents to help their neighbors. With their support, disease outbreaks have been prevented and healthy practices in crowded conditions have been implemented. On average, our community health workers reach more than 85,000 people each month!


A mother smiles after a check-up for her baby. Photo by Suhaila Stanthon Thawer.

In May this year, we celebrated a fourth straight year of zero maternal deaths in Tanzania! This is a remarkable achievement for our clinics. We’re so proud of the hard work of our team members. In just 3 months, our staff assisted with 745 deliveries — including 8 sets of twins! — without losing a single mother.

One of the ways we continue to keep mothers safe in our clinics is through training. So far, this year, more than 150 team members received supplemental training in various technical areas. Additionally, our community health workers are sharing health and nutrition messages. This year, they’ve already reached more than 8,000 households!


Nurse Henry removes the blood pressure cuff from a woman who just arrived in Uganda. Photo by Bridget Mutumba.

In Uganda, we’re celebrating going digital at this mid-year check-in. Our community health workers are implementing a pilot program using tablets to record their interactions and data about health issues. Digitization is a helpful way to more quickly catch outbreaks and health issues in the community before they become widespread.

This is especially important as our team in Uganda supports an influx of refugees fleeing the conflict in Sudan. Nearly 50,000 people have come to Uganda in search of safety and refuge. That said, our team has dealt with institutional funding cuts and are doing more with less.

Still, we remain leaders in quality care. At our clinics in Uganda refugee settlements, our maternal mortality rate is far lower than the national average. At Medical Teams, our maternal mortality rate is just 31 per 100,000 births. That’s compared to the national average of 189 per 100,000 births. Our lower mortality rate is because of the concerted effort of our talented and determined staff.


A provider checks-in on the health of an older woman in Ukraine. Photo by Medical Teams International.

Earlier this year we marked the second anniversary of the war in Ukraine. It was a sobering reminder of the thousands of people who are still struggling to access health care across the country. In conflict-affected areas, it’s particularly difficult for people to get their basic needs met.

At our mid-year check-in, we were happy to note that our mobile medical teams are reaching many of the people who need help. They provide supplies, basic health care check-ups, and can support the mental and psychosocial health of people affected by the violence. Our providers have already offered more than 15,000 consultations from our mobile medical teams so far this year.

The United States

Dr. Susan and Dr. Huang fill a cracked tooth in our mobile dental van in the U.S. Photo by Lauren Odderstol.

No mid-year check-in would be complete without seeing how things are here at home! In the U.S., we’ve already served more than 3,000 people with urgent dental and health care needs through nearly 400 Care & Connect Mobile Health clinics.

This year, we’re also piloting our emergency preparedness program in the Pacific Northwest. Our program will help us respond to disasters in our own backyards. Additionally, we supported 300 Venezuelan and Angolan asylum-seekers taking refuge at a church in Tukwila, Washington. Our team compassionately provided hygiene kits, dental care, and medical screenings.

Finishing the year strong

We’re proud of the work that this compassionate community has made possible already around the world so far this year. And yet, there’s more to do! Though this has been a largely positive mid-year check-in, there are still people who are hurting every day who need our help.

You can be a part of the solution! Consider joining The Pulse, our recurring giving program, to power the heartbeat of Medical Teams’ work day in and day out.