It’s been a very busy month since we got back from our Christmas visit in the states. As soon as we arrived, we began our preparations for a group of 21 doctors and nurses who came for a week of service among the people. They set up different clinics in different villages each day from Monday through Thursday. People came from villages nearby and far away to receive medical care. Sadly the doctors told Sr. Jo and me that each year they come—this was their fourth year—the problems seem to become more and more serious. The most heartbreaking part is that by the time the people with these serious conditions come for help, it’s sometimes too late. They had an 11year old girl with a serious heart condition which was so advanced that there was nothing they could do. The child died the next day. The nurses at our clinic are going to work with the health monitors—people in the villages who have been given training in first aid—to encourage people not to wait too long before seeking medical assistance. However, it’s easier said than done because the people don’t have any money to pay for services. We try to give financial help to those who come to us with serious problems but we, too, are limited in what we can do. It’s a very humbling experience.
|Flanking Sr. Jo (center), members of the visiting medical team, Dr. Paat (left) and the dentist (right) display the large coconuts given to them by the villagers.|
|People from the village wait to see members of the medical team.|
|(Above) First grade class; (Below) Second grade class.|