A Message From the President and Founder, Dr. Gil Irwin
2022 kicks off our 25th year as Medical Missionaries! We reflect on the projects that you, our supporters and donors, have helped us to accomplish here in the U.S. and around the world over the past 25 years. But we also look towards the next 25 years. Already this year, we are supporting the Youth for Tomorrow Afghan Resettlement Program in Northern Va. and collecting supplies for the victims of the recent tornadoes in Kentucky. We remain committed to our long term projects which include supporting the Rocklick Food Pantry and the villages east of Elkins, W.Va., St. Joseph Clinic in Haiti, sending sea containers overseas with medical equipment, bringing donations to Native American Reservations, and providing assistance to those in need from our local community.
We appreciate the many heartfelt messages that our donors include when they donate to Medical Missionaries. It reminds us of the many reasons why people support Medical Missionaries and the faith they have in our work. And so we begin the new year feeling grateful, blessed and ready to start our 25th year of action!
St. Joseph Clinic, Haiti Update
Despite all the disruptions including the earthquake, the fire that destroyed the solar panels and batteries that provided power to the Clinic, Covid and political instability the St. Joseph Clinic staff has been able to maintain the high standards of the Clinic and its programs. Progress on the replacement of the solar panels are on hold until the pandemic and security instability in the country is ameliorated.
St. Joseph Clinic was connected to the national power grid about two years ago. Unfortunately, electrical power is only available a few hours per week, if at all. There is an onsite generator which is used only when required since fuel is expensive. Our construction team has evaluated the situation and developed a plan which we will implement as soon as it is reasonable.
St. Joseph Clinic continues its Covid vaccine program. Dr. Lawrence, chief physician at St. Joseph Clinic, mentioned that he is seeing many patients with coughs, shortness of breath and fever. This is happening across the country and results have been shared with the U.S. CDC. The Haitian Health Ministry is reporting that these symptoms are not due to Covid.
Maintenance at the Clinic is always a challenge due to difficulty in getting the necessary equipment. The clinic’s manager strives to keep the plant working. He is working on a partnership with the Haitian Ministry of Public Health and Population (MSPP) to help defray maintenance costs.
The Breadfruit Project
Years ago the Medical Missionaries Global Health Fellows in Haiti began a project to grow breadfruit trees. Our picture blog of breadfruit from seed to flour is a preamble to a recent paper, written by recent Medical Missionaries Global Health Fellows called “Addressing Malnutrition and Food Insecurity with Breadfruit in a Rural, Developing Country: A Case Study and Lessons Learned in Thomassique, Haiti.“ This program allows for Haitian farmers to become self-sufficient, while at the same time producing a product that helps combat malnutrition.
Rocklick Pantry Holiday Toy Drive
Pat and Jerry Skeens from the Rocklick Food Pantry want all our donors to know that the 2021 Annual Holiday Drive was a great success! They sent us photos to share with you from the exciting day. One of our volunteers recognized something she had donated and was so happy to see it get a new home. The joy of giving!
Thank you to all who sent in items for the Tornado Drive in person or through Amazon Smile. We will keep you informed as they are distributed to those in need. We received so many donations that they will fill a 24 foot trailer. The items will be delivered on February 3.
Supplies and Equipment On the Move
Echo: Brought in a van full of clothing and medical supplies
Rocklick Food Pantry: Truck and trailer driven by our volunteer JD went to meet our pantry partners on January 24th to deliver winter coats and food. Thank you to Food Rescue, Reverend Bush, Dan Hile and all our local donors!
Local Donations: We have seen an increase in requests for items such as wheelchairs, shower and commode chairs, walkers, hospital beds, etc. for people in the local community. Often a family member or friend will contact the office to advocate for their loved ones in seeking to improve their home life and comfort. We thank our partners in the community for recommending Medical Missionaries, and we are happy to be able to support our neighbors in need.
Neighbors of Historic Manassas Magazine
We are very thankful to the editorial staff at this magazine for inviting us to submit 2 more articles to their lovely magazine. We will be posting the November 2021 and December 2021 issues soon to our website so be on the lookout!