Entries in health (3)
Dr. Beyda and a Medical Mercy team of 18 are in Kenya, serving alongside 18 Kenyan Health Care Workers (HCWs). Internet is sparse, but he provided a short update:
It's the rainy season here. Therefore it rains. Rivers flood and washes overflow. You'd think we'd know better....wouldn't you. Not us. We forged ahead. The internet is sporadic so I can send only one picture, but it will give you an idea of what we went through.
We walked across and took all our med over in a small truck, making it across okay. Coming back we didn't. The truck got stuck in the middle of the wash. No 4-wheel drive but a lot of pulling and pushing the truck worked. We spent just 4 hours in the village before we had to leave since the clouds were gathering and we were afraid to get stuck there overnight.
The children sang and danced for us and we then worked with the healthcare workers examining them. We go back there today. Hopefully it will be better. We are well and thankful for being able to do His work.
50 kilometers from Kajiado is a small village called Kiburro. It took us 2 hours to go the distance. 30 miles. It gives you a sense of how deep into the bush we were. This is Masai territory, traditional in dress and culture. Beaded jewelry on the women, rhythmic dancing, leaping men with long sticks, and machetes. We were greeted with that and blessed with it when we left.
I looked out from where we were holding clinic and could see for miles, the valleys of the Masai territory. Umbrella trees giving shade to acres of bush and then open plains. We saw gazelle roaming freely and small herds of goats roaming under the watchful eyes of young Masai boys. I grew up in Somalia and being here in Kenya brings back so many memories of my years there. I feel at home. I'm back fulfilling a dream of being a doctor and practicing in east Africa. I was 6 years old when I made that my goal. God is amazing.
We saw all of the One Child Matters children and then some. The Health Care Workers shined as they examined the children, their skills becoming fine tuned under the guidance of the US team. We are a total team of 36, Kenyans and US. We have one purpose: to care for the children where no one else wants to go. And that is Kiburro. The One Child Matters children were so much healthier than the children in the village who are not One Child Matters sponsored children. A testimony to a HCW program and sponsorship which ensures food, clothing, education, and love. Perhaps one day we will have all of the children of Kiburro under our wing.
The US team is powered by a spirit of love and grace. We move to another village tomorrow, distant as well. We are not weary. We are privileged and blessed.
In all things give thanks,
Today is World Water Day – do you know what your commitment to changing the life of a child allows Mission of Mercy to do?
Because of your sponsorship, we can ensure your sponsored child has access to clean water sources at the project they attend.
Because of your faithfulness, our project staff can reinforce common hygiene practices with the children, who then go home and teach their families and communities, improving the health of all.
Most importantly, because of your prayers and support, we can introduce children to the source of living water, Jesus Christ, and give them access to the abundant life Jesus promises us throughout scripture.
Your contribution is so much larger than those three items reflect. But we want to take a moment to say THANK YOU for what you do on behalf of a child overlooked by many and overwhelmed by the lack he or she faces.
Thank you for providing the means (in more ways than one) to change the health, outlook, and spiritual life of a child.
To learn more about how water affects the daily life of children in our programs, read this story. You can also click here for a reflection on how God uses water to minister to us.
Another update from Dr. Beyda on Medical Mercy's first day of clinics in India:
Sometimes we’re focused on the big picture…and lose sight of the details.
The big picture: 300 patients today, day one of clinic. Due to the incredible pre-planning of the India support staff, we set in motion a medical clinic with both old and new members getting into the swing of things very quickly.
Dental hygiene, water filtration, first aid education on one tract, nutritional assessment in another. Medical exams in a third tract, and pharmacy dispensing meds in their tract. A total of 50 people making this happen. The US team, Indian support team, interpreters, teachers, and helpers all working together to see 300 children. That was the big picture.
Now focus. Stunting affects over 60 million children India. Stunting is when the child’s height does not match the age. Short, small, little growth, and nutritionally depleted. In this picture you see Jeremy on the right, a healthy 13-year-old US boy. The Indian boy next to him is also 13. He is one of 60 million children in India who are stunted. Can we help? Not in the sense of getting him to grow anymore, but we can simply assure him that despite his size, he is as valuable a member of the community as anybody else. We did that. He smiled, became animated and we focused. On him.
Polio is still prevalent in India despite the availability of vaccines. Poor compliance and a lack of awareness and education yields what we see here. A brace, old style, bulky, uncomfortable, worn for life. No physical therapy. She asks if there is a way to make her leg stronger. The hard answer is no. What we can do is make her life more comfortable by getting here a new brace, one that is light weight, comfortable and less obtrusive. We’re working on that.
Focus. We did alright for the first day. The big picture is clear. There are a lot of children here who need to be cared for. One Child Matters is doing that. It is the details of the picture, the areas of the picture that are difficult to see that Medical Mercy is focusing on. The individual child, their needs, and how they live as it relates to their health care.
We’ll stay focused the rest of the week and look closely at those who we come to serve. Our eyes will be strained as a result, but our hearts will be filled.
In all things give thanks,