Phyllis Bird Clinic in Nueva Oriental by Annie Masterson

Yay for clinic days! Monday we went to the village of Nuevo Oriental and set up clinic in the church there. We had Gayle, Phyllis (our nurse), Lindsey and David (our pharmacy folks), Rachel translating for Gayle, and me doing some translating as well. After we were able to get into the church (finally), we set up quickly and sent the church caretaker out with 30 numbers to give to families. We started receiving patients, and it did not take long to fill up the benches in the small church. We saw mother after mother with several children circling around them, most comparably young to have so many children. Almost everyone had a cold, and many had stomach problems and parasites, evidence of which we had found earlier in a nearby outhouse. Can you say grossly fascinating? Probably the most common problems were bug bites. Some of the little children were covered in them, and here I was whining about the three that I had gotten the night before. All of the families were very patient, especially when we had some mix ups with the number system. These families need so many basic forms of healthcare, and most illnesses are a direct result of the environment in which they are living. It was so fulfilling to provide these very deserving families access to healthcare, even if we were only seeing patients for four hours. Like Gayle said at the end, even if we were only able to help one person today, it all would have been worth it. While their medications they received were going to provide physical comfort, we also knew that many would be able to sleep better, eat better, and live better having received the encouragement and the knowledge so readily available to them that day. Please pray for the families that we treated, and for the continued success of the traveling medical clinics that reach out to these isolated communities. -Annie