Medical Mission to South Georgia Serves Farm Workers

Imagine working in dusty fields, day after day, doing the sort of backbreaking work that wears a body down. You have trouble speaking English, and your living situation leaves something to be desired. Now imagine that not only are you dealing with a nagging sore on your hand that won’t heal, but your child has a cold that won’t go away. With no insurance or healthcare provider to speak of, your options seem limited.

Enter the Family Farm Worker Health Program, a two-week intensive immersion learning experience that provides healthcare to migrant and seasonal farm workers and their families in South Georgia each year. You now have hope.

Emory University School of Nursing student treats patients

Students from schools across the state of Georgia participate, including Emory University’s Nell Hodgson School of Nursing. The initiative, now in its 18th year, treated approximately 600 individuals during their June 12 – 24 mission trip this year.

MedShare is proud to support this program by providing medical supplies to Emory’s team through our Medical Mission Team Store. For a small donation, individuals can collect much-needed medical supplies for their mission trips; available supplies include sutures, gowns, gloves, gauze, and much more. In MedShare’s 13-year history, we’ve supported over 2,100 such teams.

Carrie White, an Emory University nursing student who participated in this year’s Familiy Farm Worker Health Program, kindly sent us her account of the trip:

“Two weeks down South have come and gone. It is hard to imagine that in two weeks time, we saw around 250 kids and 350 adults. Approximately 600 individuals received medical attention that otherwise wouldn’t have through the Family Migrant Farm Worker Program in Moultrie, GA. The Migrant Farm Worker Program, coordinated through Emory’s School of Nursing, would not be possible without the generous donations from our partners like MedShare.

Basic supplies such as lancets, clean needles, gauze and alcohol pads are something we take for granted in the hospital setting. In the community setting, on the other hand, resources are often scarce. With MedShare’s donations of medical supplies through their Medical Mission Team Store program, we were able to provide our patients in the migrant fields with basic health screenings such as testing their blood sugar and iron levels. We were able to assess their blood pressure, height and weight, and provide health promotion activities. Primary care for pertinent health issues among the migrant workers were treated more easily thanks to MedShare.

To see health disparities that are associated with living in a third-world country just hours from Atlanta, GA is something I feel one can never really prepare for. In fact, I believe nothing can truly prepare you for the world you step in the moment you drive down those dirt roads, or hold the hand of a small child who came with their migrant worker family. The experiences and education we gained during our two weeks in Moultrie, GA is an invaluable adjunct to any classroom setting that discusses community health.

The undergraduate nursing students who went to Moultrie, GA this summer were truly humbled by the experience. We were also amazed at the amount of medical supplies wasted by hospitals in the Atlanta area. We were so happy to put these supplies to good use in South Georgia, and we thank you MedShare for their continued support in our education and experiential training. It is through these interactions and opportunities, that we learn the true value of nursing and serving the needs of others in the humblest of settings.”

If you would like to learn more about MedShare’s Medical Mission Team Store, click here.

This is an excerpt from September’s e-newsletter. To read more – including a letter from CEO Meridith Rentz and our 700th container shipment celebration – click here.

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MedShare Ships Two Containers to Hospital General Douala in Cameroon

Cameroon

On Thursday, April 21, two 40-foot containers of medical humanitarian aid for Cameroon were loaded and shipped from MedShare’s Southeastern Regional Distribution Center in Decatur, Georgia.  Both containers will be delivered to Hopital General Douala, one of the central Ministry of Public Health institutions in the city of Douala, where doctors and nurses struggle daily with a lack of resources to care for their patients, most of whom come from poor backgrounds.

Hopital General Douala

MedShare’s Senior Biomedical Engineer, Eben Amstrong, is originally from Cameroon, and has worked and volunteered to repair medical equipment at the Hopital General Douala numerous times.  On Eben’s most recent return home to Cameroon this winter he spent more time at the hospital and, upon seeing the dire need for supplies and equipment, returned to the United States to organize the shipment of these two containers.  “Douala is the economic capital and the largest city in Cameroon,” says Eben. “This hospital is the one of the biggest referral hospitals and most patients there have been referred from different regions.  Unfortunately it doesn’t have enough equipment for the 21 million people in Cameroon.”

Among the items included on the containers are:

  • hospital beds
  • emesis basins
  • suction catheters
  • gauze pads
  • surgical masks
  • drape packs
  • patient monitors
  • an ultrasound machine
  • an electrosurgical unit
  • nebulizers
  • a dental x-ray machine
  • and much more.!

Thank you to the Coca-Cola Bottlers of Northwest Africa for generously sponsoring this project!