If you are interested in being one of our medical volunteers, please let us know! We are expanding our efforts in every corner of the globe, and to accomplish this, we need your help! We are also looking to connect hospitals and organizations with our volunteers and team of physician mentors. Contact us directly if you think you would be a candidate for our remote teaching program.
Immunized for the myriad of diseases in Africa and educated on the necessary precautions, the Mozambique team arrives at the hospital and unloads 10 duffel bags worth of medical supplies and teddy bears. The eight doctors, five nurses, and one physical therapist set out to tackle one of the most prevalent patient injuries in Mozambique; burns.
What at first seemed an ordinary hospital, the battlefield soons unveils once they pass the front doors. Extensive sleeves of red and white coat the weakened limbs and trunks of the Mozambican patients throughout the wards of Central Maputo Hospital. On first contact, you hear screams permeating throughout the hallways.
Full-body victims are kept under chipped, rusty cages of metal and three trained plastic surgeons strain to cover the vast 309,496 square miles of the entire country, 23.8 million individuals. Lacking the adequate infrastructure, nurses and doctors are forcibly equipped with dated techniques of hygiene, wound care, and surgical procedures. The burn wards are overflowing with predominantly young children and the elderly, with each individual patient having at least 15% of their skin charred. With no air conditioning, the stagnant air provides ideal conditions for festering bacteria and the spread of disease, and there is a severe lack of basic hygiene. Almost 12% of the patients have HIV and according to the World Health Organization, 50% of the population has poor access to health services defined as living more than 20 kilometers from the nearest health facility. A majority of these burns are due to a basic lack of fire-safety and use. In drastic situations, you have 7 year olds supervising their 3 year olds, when the nearest hospital is often 2 or more hours away. One young boy has 50% of his entire body eaten away by fire and had to wait 3 hours before receiving any sort of medical attention.
The mission to Mozambique is a truly remarkable experience and achievement for the organization. In just the span of a week the team held around 6-8 intricate operations each day that, due to the severity of each injury, were truly life-changing for each child. While these procedures were conducted with older equipment, the professionals that our mission brought were more than qualified. However, the organization doesn’t just provide medical care, it also has trained medical professionals provide education on proper technique in the hospital. There are lectures given to the entire medical staff, nurses and doctors alike, on a daily basis. The mission team additionally cooperates with the Mozambican government and Ministry of Health within the region. In a meeting between the Minister of Health and Dr. Kulber that discussed the future investments of possible medical health projects, the feasibility of solutions casts a large shadow over the process, yet innovation and resource conscientious ideas attempt to flourish. One such solution has eager Mozambican medical students spend time under the tutelage of American doctors for 2 years and eventually return back to their homeland. Our mission also introduced the use of Google glass technology for our mission team surgeon, Dr. Kulber, to teach from the United States while the Mozambican surgeon operates in live time. Outreach models such as these allow our mission teams to continue to impact and improve the lives of these children in desperate need of help.
- Zeke Dee, 15