Sunday, December 20, 2015

Meet our team! What is MCB?

Meet our team!

This is the Mercy Ships Medical Capacity Building department (MCB).  MCB is the term we use for any Mercy Ships program that is investing teaching, training, mentoring, classes, etc. into the local healthcare system.  We have the unique opportunity to using our floating hospital as a training platform.  Most of you who keep up with our blog already know that Nick and I are involved with the Ponseti Clubfoot Clinic, where Nick is heading up a program to teach clubfoot correction at the local public hospital, but did you know Mercy Ships MCB also runs the following programs...this is a busy department!


OBF (Obstetric Fistula) Mentoring Project:  Our amazing friend Amy is leading this one- Mercy Ships is mentoring a group of local nurses in the specific care of women with childbirth injuries.   
To learn more from Amy about the project click here
And READ THIS AWESOME POST from Amy called "kings and queens" on the impact it is already making.

Sterile Processing Mentoring Program: This one's led by our friend Christina, she teaches about sterile processing (how to safely clean and sterilise the instruments used in the operating room). Awhile ago, I wrote this post about my involvement in her program in Congo and the profound effect it had on me (so much that I went off and became registered as a sterile technician so I had some knowledge in that area too).  This is so, so needed. 
Click here to see the webpage for Christina's organisation.

Biomedical Training Course: This is another often overlooked but desperately needed area for development.  Biomed technicians are responsible to maintain and repair hospital equipment. All to often, simple repair needs mean that essential hospital equipment stands around unused and collecting dust. 

Mercy Ships WHO Checklist Team: I love this project! Quote from this Mercy Ships blog post: "The World Health Organizaiton (WHO) Safe Surgery Saves Lives Surgical Safety Checklist (aka. the Checklist) is a simple tool that helps the surgical team to improve safety in surgery and has been proven to decrease operating room mortality by nearly 50%, as well as significantly decrease surgical complications and infections.
It doesn’t require fancy equipment or expensive drugs; meaning it can have as large of an impact in Dallas or Minneapolis as it does in Beijing or Nairobi or Toamasina."

Courses: Mercy Ships partners with other organisations who have established excellent curriculum for low-resource environments.  The courses are run 4-6 times each during our 10 month visit, examples are: Essential Surgical Skills, Primary Trauma Care, Essential Pain Management, and courses focusing on safe anaesthesia for children and pregnant women. 

One last link to another article, this one from Dr. Mark Shrime, one of the maxillofacial surgeons who often visits the ship. Quote from his article: "Currently, infectious disease interventions are the main focus of global health policies, because many countries lack the personnel and infrastructure to carry out surgical interventions successfully. Despite the fact that nearly one-third of human disease is amenable to surgery, it remains overlooked in much of the world....To put this in perspective, H.I.V., tuberculosis and malaria — which have captured the global conversation — currently make up less than one-tenth of the global disease burden, combined."

Taking steps towards change within a healthcare system is a huge undertaking and requires immense amounts of partnership and patience. Within the Mercy Ships MCB department, we have the opportunity to carry out Mercy Ships's mission of bringing "hope and healing to the world's forgotten poor" within the context of serving local healthcare professionals.  We see God doing marvellous things through these programs- there is something so good and right and beautiful about coming alongside local departments and saying "we believe in you and want to invest in you and the work you do". This is an opportunity for hope and healing, too.

Here's a few glimpses into the training that happens each day we spend out at the Ponseti Clinic.  We love the team we get to work with and really care about their work as professionals and each of them as individuals.  It is a privilege to come alongside them for these months and work together so that families of children born with clubfoot in this region can find good treatment!

And here's a few bonus pictures of some cute kiddos!  Every day when the patients come in to get a new plaster put on, the mamas soak off the old ones in a bath tub outside the clinic.  The mamas have to be so committed to this treatment, it means coming to lots of appointments and carrying around their child with heavy plaster casts on their legs for weeks.  When one mama's baby finished treatment and the final casts came off, the mama exclaimed "oh he's so light to pick up now!"

We really enjoy getting to know these ladies and rejoicing with them on the progress in their children's feet!

We have a ponseti baby doll which is really popular with the kids, here's Toto playing with him on the day his last casts came off and he got fitted for braces.

Here's Toto trying out his newly straight foot!

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