March was a month of observances and honors. On our Facebook page we highlighted World Water Day, World Oral Health Day, the International Day of Happiness and World Doctor Day! Thank you to Dr. George Bazaco and Dr. Mike Morch who contributed to those stories. We honored two powerful women from Medical Missionaries for Women’s History Month: Pat Skeens and Patti Tutalo.
This month’s Newsletter brings updates on Haiti, our work in the local community, and how Klorfasil is used to produce clean water in Haiti. Be on the lookout for the launch of our Caring Heart Online Auction! on April 28th.
Supporting the Local Community
Thank You From Metz Middle School
Medical Missionaries receives medical supplies from across the region. We then coordinate with the local community to give supplies to the needy. We recently received this email from Metz Middle School, Manassas, Va.
Please accept this email as a heartfelt THANK YOU! This school year you have provided two wheelchairs and a walker for our Metz families. The entire process has been so very easy and we have quickly been able to get the needed items into the hands of our students. Your support is indispensable and we are so very lucky to have you in our community! Thank you!
Sincerely, Metz Middle School
Medical Missionaries receives donations and support from many supporters. Check our website for the latest list of items that we need!
One of our donors stopped in recently to donate medical supplies along with a financial donation. She makes the hour and a half drive from Kearneysville, W. Va. to visit our office and catch up on our comings and goings!
Here is our Volunteer Michele dropping by our office with toy donations. She watches for sales all year round and collects toys for the Grundy Holiday Drive!
St. Joseph Clinic Update
St. Joseph Clinic staff reports that they have seen about 210 cases of cholera since the outbreak earlier this year. The number of cases has decreased with only 1-3 cases a day, mostly children. The treatment is split into a three sections.
- First, they give antibiotics and electrolytes to get the patients healthy.
- Then, they spend time teaching the family what can be done to avoid cholera.
- Lastly, St. Joesph Clinic provides the family with Klorfasil so that the family has access to clean water
How Klorfasil Works in Haiti
Klorfasil is a point-of-use water treatment product distributed in Haiti by Klorfasil Safe Water Program, Duluth, Georgia, USA. It is composed of sodium dichloroisocyanurate (NaDCC) granules which are dispensed in a dose measured to treat five gallons of drinking water. The product is marketed for treating household water to prevent diarrheal disease and currently, the cholera outbreak in Haiti.
Klorfasil works as a water treatment program in Haiti. It has been shown to improve the microbiological quality of drinking water at the household level and it can be easily measured for a dose that is effective and safe for human consumption.
In the photos below the Clinic Staff is collecting buckets to be used by households for this water treatment process. Medical Missionaries fellows published a paper on the usage of Klorfasil in Haiti.
The staff at St. Joseph Clinic has mentioned that Klorfasil works well, but the Haitian community does not like the taste of the treated water. Still, the families are taking the buckets which contain enough product to make 1 to 2 months of treated water. The clinic sells the Klorfasil treatments at a loss. Medical Missionaries and supporters keep the program solvent.
Caring Hearts Online Auction Fundraiser
We are excited to announce that our Annual Caring Hearts Online Auction will launch on April 28th and will end on Sunday May 14th! You can preview the auction items on the site.
Medical Missionaries Attends Webinars
Medical Missionaries works with multiple NGOs in support of Haiti. Partners In Health has helped us bring medicines in-country while Parish Twinning Program has been helpful in sending containers. We interact with these organizations regularly.
Hôpital Universitaire de Mirebalais (Partners In Health Hospital)
Dr. Irwin participated in a Partners in Health webinar with the Hôpital Universitaire de Mirebalais, Haiti on March 14th. Their team shared the history of the hospital dating back to 2010 when supporters like Dr. Paul Farmer worked to create a new hospital in the aftermath of the earthquake. The team provided updates on the current situation in the Port Au Prince areas around Haiti and how it is affecting their work. As gangs continue to rove the communities, patients are challenged in trying to get to hospital. The staff is learning to adapt to these changing situations, especially when moving products around.
They also reported on the importance of clean water in Haiti, especially with the current outbreak of cholera in the country. The positive news is that they, and others like our staff at St. Joseph Clinic, are moving forward and staying strong and focused, learning to live and excel amongst their many challenges.
Parish Twinning Program (PTP)
We participated in a webinar with PTP, which has relocated to the Indiana area with the retirement of Theresa Paterson of Nashville TN. The new director, David Siler, recently returned from a short tip to the Cap Haitien area of Haiti and found the area to be relatively safe. Hopefully, with the addition of more support from governments (US, Canada and Western Europe), the political strife will diminish so that all groups with an interest in Haiti can resume efficient functioning.
Supplies and Equipment In and Out
Pajamas Donation – A very large shipment of pajamas for kids and adults was delivered to our Manassas office. They will soon be on their way to Cameroon, Honduras and to a Native Reservation this summer.
Household Items – We received a very generous donation of household items from a friend of Medical Missionaries who was emptying a family member’s home. The many items included tools, kitchen utensils and other items.
Virginia Run Community Sale – Medical Missionaries picked up children’s shoes, clothing, toys, infant items and financial donations from the Virginia Run Community Spring Sale in Centreville, Va. We are very grateful for their continued contributions and support for our work.