Here are a few updates that provide glimpses into the clinics and how the Medical Mercy team operates.
For day two: two separate clinics in two different communities, almost two hours from our hotel, remote villages, dirt roads with pigs in the way, and 300 children seen.
We were cramped in a room, seeing children and doing pharmacy. We saw more of the same and less of the healthy ones. We caught a few serious illnesses and prevented one child from going blind due to a serious eye infection.
And what about the team? We caught the "fever" of caring and compassion – smiles all around and a willingness to serve. We did nutritional assessments, put in place water filtration systems, left behind comprehensive first aid kits and trained the staff, did dental hygiene, did psychological interventions, and treated patients. We left something behind that they could use and benefit from.
Anne describes the water filtration and the training they offered, a hallmark of Medical Mercy's program which always seeks to equip staff to create sustainable improvements for the health of the children:
The project director and some of the teachers gathered in a small room to be taught First Aid and Water Filtration. There are many aspects of First Aid to cover but in the end we had a profitable volley of questions and answers and they seem to understand the basics.
Doreen finished with water filtration. She put together the set up step by step so they could see. She got them to give her some water from the well, simply purified it through the filter and then – much to the teachers’ surprise – she drank it. There was an audible gasp in the room when they saw her drink it and they, with their eyes wide, told us that they did not drink the well water! Doreen cheerfully told them that it was a powerful filter that she trusted and it took out all the sickness (no small feat in Haiti, where cholera is a very real threat).
The water was good now and in so doing she made believers out of all of them.
The next day, two more clinics with several hundred children seen. Dr. Beyda writes:
And here is the neat part. We again did water filtration that we left behind and "tippy taps" were built for hand washing. Simple and effective. We are making and leaving 2 of them in each of the 12 projects that we will have visited.
And on interacting with the children and the challenges they face:
"Why are you so sad?" Dr. Jerry asked the child. "Because I'm hungry," the young boy said. There's not much one can say after that. Dr. Jerry felt the emotion. I leave it to you to find your own emotion to what that young boy said.
It is part of the ministry of One Child Matters to feed children the best we can. Today the children were given spaghetti with tomato sauce, a hardboiled egg and a banana. It may very well be the best meal they'll have until they come back to the project for more.
The team still has several days of clinics ahead. Please pray for strength and good rest for them as they try to serve the children in a way that reflects Jesus' care for them!
Thank you for praying with us!