Medical Mission Trips
The first medical mission trip was in January 2006. Since then there have been 2 medical mission trips a year to Gandou. We hope to be able to continue sending medical teams twice a year. Each team has two to three physicians/providers, a nurse, a pharmacist, and several auxiliary people who help with various tasks. The team also includes local translators.
While in Gandou, the team sets up a weeklong medical clinic where they generally see over 1000 patients. The patients are from the village and surrounding area, some walk as far as four hours to be seen. For many of these patients, this is the first time they have ever seen a physician.
Common conditions treated include various infections, wounds, burns, GERD, anemia, intestinal parasites, scabies, asthma, arthritis and other pain. Malnutrition and various vitamin deficiencies are also common. Less common conditions we see include malaria, lymphatic filariasis, tuberculosis and goiters.
The team brings all the medical supplies and medicine they need for the week with them. We rely on donations of both supplies and medicine and also monetary donations, which we use to purchase medicine, to supply our clinic.
Although we mostly treat acute conditions in our clinic, we have begun a program to treat hypertension. We have found that nearly 30% of the adults we see in our clinic have blood pressures greater than 140/90. Many of these are over 200/110. Patients in our blood pressure program follow-up monthly with two local health workers who refill or change their medication based on a protocol we have set up. During the week in Haiti, the team stays at and receives all of our meals at the parish's rectory.
Medical Mission Needs
* Doctors and nurse practitioners to see patients in the week long clinics
* Nurses, pharmacists and other medically trained volunteers to assist in the clinics
* Non-medical volunteers willing to help out as needed in clinic
* Medicines (especially antibiotics, NSAIDS, vitamins, meds for GERD and asthma)
* Wound cleaning supplies
* Monetary donations for purchasing medicines and supplies
Other Medical Projects
There are two local community health workers in Gandou. They have a small clinic where they see patients two days a week. The health workers have training in first aid and public health issues. St. Anthony's is helping to supply them with supplies and medicines so that they can provide care for the community during the time we are not there.
St. Anthony's church also provides funding for patients to receive care for illnesses that are beyond the abilities of our clinic to treat. We have provided funding for hernia surgeries for three small boys, a skin graft for a man with a severe injury, surgery and hospital care for a boy with osteomyelitis, and hospital care for a lady with delivery complications.
In order to improve nutrition and hopefully overall health, St. Anthony's is funding a lunch program that provides the children in the local school with a meal every day. For many of these children, this is the only substantial meal they receive each day. The school children also receive a multivitamin daily and have received a toothbrush and toothpaste twice a year.