Mwandi Mission Trip: Photo Diary
Medical Mission Trip
CMMB was founded by a doctor volunteer in 1912. Dr. Paluel Joseph Flagg, a young anesthesiology resident on the staff of St. Vincent’s Hospital in New York City suffered tragic personal losses that led him to dedicate his life to the service of others.
Over 100 years later, CMMB continues to send volunteers abroad to serve the most marginalized and vulnerable in the some of the hardest to reach places in the world.
Mwandi Mission Medical Trip
The Mwandi Mission Medical Trip marks yet another of these life-changing journeys – this time for three highly qualified and dedicated doctors. Dr. Helene Calvet, Dr. Danielle Beidleman, and Dr. Rao Kadambari will serve alongside local health professionals, community health workers, and members of the communities surrounding the Mwandi Mission Hospital.
With the help of local health leaders, the team will also conduct an assessment, highlighting challenges and offering recommendations for addressing these challenges. They will also discuss ways of improving the medical mission trip model.
Follow their journey through this photo diary:
Meet the Team
Dr. Helene Calvet
Dr. Danielle Beidleman
Dr. Rao Kadambari
Preparation and Traveling to Mwandi Mission Hospital
The Journey to Mwandi Begins!
Tour of Mwandi Mission Hospital
Be sure to read Erica’s volunteer story. In it, she explains how an early tragic event in her life led her into global health and ultimately to Mwandi, Zambia.
Story of One Mother
A sick mother of two arrived to Mwandi Mission Hospital needing urgent medical care. After some initial tests the staff realized that what the mother needed was beyond the current scope of the hospital. They decided to transfer her to Livingston for a transfusion and medical procedure to improve her chances of a positive outcome. To read the full story click here.
There are many challenges for the Mwandi Mission Hospital and other health facilities in the area. Lack of medical supplies and medicines is just one of them. As part of their mission, the medical team are working closely with health leaders and medical staff to identify areas of concern and make recommendations to make improvements with the aim of improving health outcomes.
Our team of community health workers continues to grow. They are behind everything we do at CMMB – delivering care to the most vulnerable people living in the most remote and hard to reach places in Mwandi! As you an see our team is growing.
Welcoming Baby Chuwa
Dr. Danielle helped to deliver a healthy baby girl, Chuwa at the Mwandi Mission Hospital on her first day in the maternity ward.
The mother is from a small village over one and a half hours drive from the hospital. She came to Mwandi a few week’s before her due date to stay with relatives. Not all mothers are lucky enough to have this option. The distance to a health facility with obstetric capacity is often impossible for mothers to cover. This accounts for many home births, often without the support of a trained birth attendant.
In 2016, there were nearly 31 million unattended births worldwide.
Building Capacity with Local Health Leaders
Mental Health: Meeting a 30-Year Psychiatric Nurse in Mwandi
The book that Dr. Victor is showing Dr. Rao is his psychiatry book and his only point of reference and documentation. He has had it since 1980. Dr. Victor has been in his role for over 30 years and is nearing retirement. He is worried about who will continue his work once he retires. He shared stories of waling 12 kms to visit one patient who sadly never came back for follow up. He knows this patient is alone and neglected but there just isn’t the capacity to reach those who so desperately need care.
The Medical Mission Trip Continues
As part of the mission trip, the doctors have spent a lot of time in the community. This included a visit to a local community school. Schools are important places in combating health. With limited access to clean, safe water and proper sanitation and hygiene, the possibility of disease and infection spreading is rife.
Maternal and Child Health
Our team attended a maternal and child health clinic. Here they capture the faces of some participants. These are mothers attending prenatal visits. They attend to everything – receiving critical information for a healthy delivery, including key information about HIV testing to reduce mother to child transmission. They are also asked to spread the word in the community so that all women are empowered with the information to make healthy decisions for themselves and their babies.
Couples Testing at the Maternal and Child Health Clinic
Community visit with the psychiatric nurse
One of the key objectives of this medical mission trip is to build capacity of local staff. There have been many examples throughout this photo diary and here are a couple more.
A team photo after an exceptional symposium given by University of Zambia
Tippy Tap Demonstration
The tippy tap is a hands-free way to wash your hands used in rural areas where there is no running water. It is operated by a foot lever therefore reducing the chance for bacteria transmission.
The community health worker showed the team how the tippy tap works and talked about how it is part of an educational campaign to control infection rates and reduce the spread of diarrheal diseases.
Today, our mission team has returned home safe and sound. We hope this photo diary shared a little insight into what the day-to-day was like for our mission team. The work of CMMB volunteers is so important and we are thankful to have had the opportunity to share a glimpse of their work with you.
Interested in Volunteering? Learn about opportunities to volunteer abroad.