Monday, January 09, 2012

India: Orissa clinic day 1

Sometimes we’re focused on the big picture….and lose sight of the details. 300 patients today, day one of clinic was the big picture. DSC00632We set in motion a medical clinic with both old and new members getting into the swing of things very quickly due to the incredible pre-planning of the India support staff having everything up and ready for us. Dental hygiene, water filtration, first aid education on one tract. Nutritional assessment in another tract. Medical exams in a third tract, and pharmacy dispensing meds in their tract. a total of 50 people making this happen. US team, Indian support team, interpreters, teachers, and helpers all working together to see 300 children. That was the big picture. Now focus. DSC00628Stunting affects over 60 million children India. Stunting is when the child’s height does not match the age. Short, small, little growth, and nutritionally depleted. Jeremy, a healthy US boy is 13, The Indian boy next to him is 13 also. Focus. He is one of 60 million children in India who are stunted. Can we help? Not in the sense of getting him to grow anymore, but we can simply assure him that despite his size, he is as valuable a member of the community as anybody else. We did that. He smiled, became animated and we focused. On him.

Polio is still prevalent in India despite the availability of vaccines. Poor compliance and a lack of awareness and education yields what we see here. DSC00639A brace, old style, bulky, uncomfortable, worn for life. No physical therapy. She asks if there is a way to make her leg stronger. The hard answer is no. What we can do is make her life more comfortable by getting here a new brace, one that is light weight, comfortable and less obtrusive. We’re working on that. Focus.

We did alright for the first day. The big picture is clear. There are a lot of children here who need to be cared for. MoM is doing that. It is the details of the picture, the areas of the picture that are difficult to see unless you focus a little sharper, that Medical Mercy is looking at. The individual child, their needs and lives as it relates to their health care. We’ll stay focused the rest of the week and look closely at those who we come to serve. Our eyes will be strained as a result, but our hearts will be filled.

In all things give thanks,