Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Zambia Medical Mission 2011

This is a photo of the Zambia Medical Mission team for 2011. Ellie Hamby describes their efforts:

We have just completed our 17th annual medical mission trip to Zambia. This year we had a team of around 240 (this includes the 120 Zambian medical, spiritual and support staff volunteers). Our group worked very hard as the lines of patients coming for treatment were often quite long. We were able to treat all that came and that is always our goal. This year we saw over 16,000 patients in 6 days of clinics. On our 5th day of clinics we saw 3700 in one day and you can imagine everyone was very tired. Our team stayed healthy and we are thankful for that. The first few days we experienced very cold weather, but the last few days it was quite warm.

We sent over 150 cataract patients to Namwianga where Dr. Moonze and Dr. Teague performed the surgeries. They made many people extremely happy to have their sight restored. As the A-Team (Advance team) was traveling to Kasukwe for our 3 clinic they saw a man at a junction wearing cataract glasses. When the man saw the Namwianga vehicles he started shouting “Namwianga, Namwianga, I can see now that I had eye surgery at Namwianga”. It was a blessing for all to experience his dancing for joy on having his eyesight restored.

We made 3 emergency runs where we had patients that would not have survived if we had not been there. One was an old man that was critically ill with stomach issues and was being brought in an ox-cart. A truck was driving by and saw the man was very sick so they moved him to the back of the truck and he was brought to our clinic at Njabalombe. Dr. Tate attended to him and said he had to be transported immediately as his condition was grave. We hooked up IV’s in the back of the Land Cruiser and lifted the old man into the back. He was transported to the nearest hospital which was over 2 ½ hrs away. All indications were he was going to make it.

On our 4th clinic day we were at Kasukwe and a young man was carried in with a horrible foot injury caused by a maize threshing machine. He had traveled 6 miles in the back of an ox cart and had lost a considerable amount of blood on the way. He was bleeding profusely as he was being carried into our wound care clinic. Dr. McKenzie quickly attended to him to get the bleeding under control and IV’s were started. The young man had gone into shock as his condition was also grave. Within 10 minutes of his arriving at the clinic we had him in the back of a vehicle with IV’s connected on the way to Macha Hospital. They rushed him there in record time (about 1 ½ hrs.) and by the time they got to Macha he was becoming alert. Our medical personnel are confident he would have bled to death if we had not had our clinic at Kasukwe.

On the 5th day of clinics at Kasukwe we had a 15 year old girl come in with lesions on her face. It was determined that she did have leprosy and we gave her mother funds to take her daughter to Chikinkata (the leper hospital in Zambia). It is felt if she can get started on treatment they will be able to save the loss of her limbs and the advancement of the leprosy.

We had over 50 people brought in that needed wheelchairs. Some of them crawled, some were carried, and some came on bicycles or oxcarts. These were given wheelchairs and therefore the gift of mobility.

The expression of joy of the faces of the thousands of people is indescribable. The following statement was often expressed, “Why did these people cross the waters to help someone they did not know?” The answer was simple “They did it to show the love of Jesus”.

Lives were saved both physically and spiritually, eyesight was restored, dignity was given to each patient and all in the name of Jesus. There were around 80 people baptized and we praise God for that.

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