This will be my final blog from here in Munsieville; I’d like to thank everyone who has supported me and anyone who has been reading along with with the blogs thus far. Again, I’d like to also thank Hope Through Healing Hands and the Frist Global Health Leaders program, for helping to make this trip possible. It’s been a busy six weeks in Munsieville, but I feel that I’ve accomplished a great deal at Hope Park, and I think that the work I’ve done will be of use to the volunteers and workers at Hope Park for years to come.
ABCs intact. Airway. Breathing. Circulation. Blood pressure adequate to supply critical organs. Oxygen saturation—wait, that’s lower than it should be. Patient’s awake, ok. Crepitus around both side of his chest---a palpable crunch over the ribs. Respiratory rate picks up, breathing becomes more shallow. Patient is now requiring a little more encouragement to respond.
He had knowing, radiant eyes despite the obvious agony gnawing at his entire being. His body was relegated to cachexia; one year of difficulty swallowing and unimaginable weight loss has robbed his muscles of any tone they might have had. His eyes smiled at me as I stepped up as the third surgeon to examine him, talking over him in a partly foreign language. He started to have trouble swallowing a year ago he told me, offering no explanation on why he had waited so long to come to a hospital. It was only when he started having stridor, audible upper airway obstruction with a whistle accompanying every exhale that was impossible to miss, that his relatives brought him to seek medical care. He had bulky lymph nodes on both sides of his neck, protruding from his fragile skeleton like golf balls. There was a palpable mass protruding from his neck that had been slowly robbing him of his twenty year old life.
Amidst the emergence of increasing interest in social justice issues swirling all around us, you may have reflected on how many people have, in droves, begun to speak out, whether it is against racial inequality, harassment in the workplace, how guarded or helpful we should be toward refugees, equal pay, equal rights & respect, or against many other forms of injustice that have been bursting forth in our country and in our communities.
Things are continuing to go very well here at Hope Park. I am getting more and more adjusted to the daily workflow at the center, and I’ve been working on a number of projects to help the community of Munsieville. For example, I’ve been continuing to work on creating data capture and collection systems for Hope Park. This is important as it allows those working for The Thoughtful Path to identify how things at the center have changed over time, such as the number of students enrolled in No Child Left Behind and the outcome of those children, or what kind of community education workshops have taken place. Additionally, as Hope Park continues to reach out to potential new stakeholders, being able to show quantifiable data about what is being done at Hope Park will be essential. To that end, I’ve created a number of documents and forms such as cover sheets for enrolled children, a guestbook to keep track of adult visitors to the center, and a planned weekly schedule for each staff member. This kind of documentation is something which The Thoughtful Path has struggled with in Munsieville, and it is my hope that these systems will have a lasting impact on this community.
On February 24th l landed in Johannesburg and was brought to Munsieville. The trip to where I was staying in Krugersdorp was about an hour, and I spoke at length with my driver Simon about the political and socioeconomic climate in South Africa. Jacob Zuma, the previous president of the country, had just stepped down amongst longstanding frustrations with his abuse of power, and there is a aire of cautious optimism about the future of the government and their incoming president, Cyril Ramaphosa, who has promised to make a stand against the widespread government corruption which has been plaguing the country.
By Jenny Eaton Dyer, PhD

Hope Through Healing Hands was proud to be a lead sponsor at the annual Jubilee Conference held in Pittsburgh, PA where almost four thousand college students gather each year to consider the intersection of their vocation with their faith. These eager students were ready to take a deep dive in both weighty issues, such as race, socio-economics, mass incarceration, and global health as well as explore ideas to explore their callings in life.

M3 Conference Recap

Feb 23 2018

By Amy Fogleman, RN

The Mobilizing Medical Missions Conference, also known as “M3” had its third annual conference February 23-24, 2018 at Lakewood Church in Houston, TX.

During this two-day conference, exhibitors and attendees were encouraged to connect with one another in a meaningful way to further the work and passions of those working, or looking to get involved in the medical missions field. The conference attracts faith-based medical professionals, those on the verge of becoming medical professionals, and medical and global health mission support fields to use their time, talents, and faith to reach a hurting and broken world.
By Jenny Eaton Dyer, PhD

Last week, VUSM’s World Health hosted global health hero, Dr. Paul Farmer, from Harvard Medical School. Over the course of the week, VUSM hosts speakers on various global health topics each day. On Wednesday, I was asked to speak on the issues of women’s health in developing nations. For this discussion, I developed a talk to address critical issues and interventions for maternal and child health, including family planning and nutrition, during the first 1000 days of a child’s life.

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