Sunday, February 13, 2011

Health and Patient Week

One of the beauties of language is that one word can have 2 or more meanings. Like, say, the word "patient". Used as a noun it means you are a patient. This often involves waiting, somewhere or other, to receive care. Used as a verb, it means you are being patient. This means that you can somehow keep your mind occupied while you waiting indefinitely.

I'd say that the people below, waiting patiently for their turn in the dentist's chair, are being both!

This week, we along with the entire local community rejoiced at the arrival of Swiss dentist, Roland, and his wife, Anna Marie. They, along with 2 other visitors, came up on a Mercy Air flight.

Fly-over and aerial view of the mission's landing strip.
(The plane did not land here since the strip isn't ready yet. Photo by Paul Middleton)

I think before they'd even had a chance to unpack their suitcases, Roland and Anna Marie got down to business.

Dental care in this community is non-existent, so imagine what a blessing it was to have this top-notch service pitch up on the doorstep! And...they had the needed material to do fillings--white fillings at that!

They brought portable equipment for doing their work, we provided a small generator (red machine in foreground below), and thus started a very busy week for them of pulling, cleaning, drilling and filling teeth!
While the dentists kept busy at the task of dental health, we introduced Rob and Dr. Roger Pacholka (In His Name Ministries) to the different mission projects.

(Left to right: Paul, Mercy Air Pilot, and first time visitors, Rob and
Roger, interacting with kids at the mission's school)

Dr. Pacholka is a medical doctor who is involved in health work in Mozambique, but he is interested in contributing even further. So part of our week was dedicated to showing him the health needs and facilities in our area. We set up a meeting with the District Director of Health in Manica to discuss plans that hold good potential, then off we went to said meeting. It's a good hour's drive one way, but it's a scenic drive, so that helps.

On the way, we passed our up-and-coming training centre. It's great to see progress!

But when we got all the way to Manica, we were informed that there had been an emergency and the director would be out for the entire day. We tentatively rescheduled a meeting for the next day.

On the way home, we decided to stop and pay the Vanduzi Hospital a visit and to meet the new director there.

He took us on a quick tour of the place.

The lab

The little house where expectant moms from remote areas
can come wait for the birth of their baby.

Inside the expectant mother's house.
(Above photos by Paul Middleton)

The next day, we went to Manica again in hopes that we could meet with the district director. Drove past the training centre, again. Still looking good!

Off we went, again, on our long but scenic drive. The guys in the back seat killed time by playing cell phone games...

We arrived in Manica to learn that the director had been delayed in a meeting. So, we had a wait on our hands. We decided to tour of the town's deserted catholic church that stands proud on top of a hill.

I love old buildings, and I had my camera along, so this seemed like a splendid idea to me.

Once we'd circled the outside, it was time to check the inside. Judging from the wall posters and bulletin boards full of simple English sentences, it seems the place is being used as a schoolroom of sorts.

"Father" Paul Middleton :D

The remains of a stained glass window.

Unique view of a beautiful part of this country.

We braved the rickety old staircase that led up to the bell tower.

Steps leading down from the church to the village.

While we were interested in the church,
neighborhood kids were interested in us.

I guess we do sort of stand out.

(Photo credit: Paul Middleton)

A visit to the above church, an hour or so in a restaurant and several cokes, coffees and sandwiches later, we were finally able to see the director. He was still in meetings but was able to excuse himself for enough time to pop out and talk with us, and we were very grateful for that. And so, our trip was a success :)

(Photo credit: Paul Middleton)

And that, my friends, pretty much wraps our health and patient focused week!

And a heartfelt thank you from all the patients who are now pain and cavity free :)

1 comment:

Rick Cogbill said...

The training centre is looking great, Lynn. Bob & I can't wait to get there and put up the roof...see you in a couple weeks!