Monday, December 18, 2017

OCMA Blog

Arpan Global Charities Mission Moshi, Tanzania

August 10-17, 2014

At the foothills of Mount Kilimanjaro in Tanzania, Arpan Global Charities 16th volunteer medical mission was held in the town of Moshi. This mission was unique for a few reasons: a) there was a relatively smaller team totaling 10 volunteers, including one anesthesiologist, one dentist, two thoracic surgeons, one pediatric orthopedic surgeon, one ophthalmologist, two pediatricians, one nurse and one non-medical volunteer. Of the10 total team members, 5 were from St Joseph Hospital in Orange. b) The team members came from 3 different hospitals, including St Joseph Hospital, Kibosho Eye and ENT Hospital and Machame Lutheran Hospital. The team stayed at Torchbearer Lodge run by Mama Lynn Elliott, who at the same campus also runs a non-profit organization, the Light in Africa, where 166 orphans are cared for. All the children at this orphanage receive shelter, meals, education and treatment for various underlying medical conditions including cerebral palsy, HIV and other acute as well chronic conditions.

During one week at Moshi our team members saw about 650 patients at different locations, including 3 hospitals in Moshi. Masai patients were seen and treated in remote areas in the bush. A total of 55 surgical procedures were performed including 17 eye surgeries, 16 general surgical and pediatric orthopedic procedures and 22 dental procedures. We delivered gifts from the sisters of St. Joseph Hospital in Orange to sister Leiymo of St Joseph Hospital in Soweto Moshi. In addition, our team members also delivered new clothes donated by St. John’s Friendship Quilters in Orange to the orphans at the Light in Africa. Our team dentist donated hundreds of toothbrushes and toothpaste to the local underserved population.


Overall, Mission Moshi in Tanzania was another successful mission for Arpan Global Charities, fulfilling its mission to bring health and hope to the medically underserved population around the world, while providing humanitarian assistance and medical education to those who need it the most.

For more information on Arpan Global Charities, visit http://www.arpanglobal.org/


Local charity reports on recent volunteer medical mission to Vietnam

The second volunteer medical mission of the year undertaken by Arpan Global and its large cadre of supporters was October 5-12, 2013, to the Thai Hoa Hospital in Cao Lanh Vietnam (the Dong Thap province). This hospital lies to the south of Ho Chi Minh City by about a 3-hour bus drive in a very rural area.  It is a tropical area, lush with green vegetation and abundant rice fields.  The people are warm, friendly, eager to practice any English they know, curious about the rest of the world, and willing to help in any way possible for whatever reason.  Their hospitality was heartfelt and their kind and gentle words and actions clearly came from the heart.

The Thai Hoa Hospital is a relatively new, private hospital built specifically to serve a large catchment area in the Don Thap province and is located in fairly close proximity to the older public hospital.  The first floor contains the outpatient clinic areas, radiology, pharmacy, emergency treatment and waiting areas.  Upstairs is the labor and delivery units, postpartum, the nursery (which includes three isolettes and a ventilator for premature babies), and the pediatrics ward.  The third floor holds the operating rooms (including one dedicated for cesarean sections), recovery room, and the general wards.  The facility is clean, modern, and there is a real sense of pride of ownership among those who work there.

This was one of the largest mission teams that Arpan Global has assembled, with 52 dedicated individuals making their way to the other side of the planet in order to participate.  The range of medical and healthcare services represented was quite wide:  

  • Anesthesiology
  • Pediatrics, including neonatology
  • Internal Medicine, including cardiology
  • Radiology, including ultrasonography
  • Surgery, including plastics, GI, urology, orthopedics, ENT
  • Obstetrics and Gynecology
  • Dentistry
  • Nursing
  • Occupational therapy
  • Pharmacology
  • Social worker

Even nonmedical experts were present, willing and able to do whatever they could to help with patient flow and even patient care when possible.  

While the hospital isimpressive for its modernity, it attracts a patient population that can be limited in size.  The outpatient sites serviced by the team were another story.  Patients in local towns and villages lined up for the chance to get a lottery ticket to be seen by the visiting medical team and they were there early in the morning, ready and willing to wait all day if necessary.  Triage desks were set up at each site with local volunteers from Cao Lanh serving as translators.  Vital signs were taken and after the concerns of the patient were ascertained, they were directed to an available medical team for evaluation, diagnosis and treatment.  (If specific specialty needs were identified, they were sent to the experts on site).   A space for occupational and physical therapy was created at each site, as was an impromptu pharmacy and dispensary.  The dental area was extremely popular and often the last to finish each day.  After several of these day-long outpatient visits, it became clear that hypertension (often severe and completely uncontrolled), osteoarthritis, chronic low back pain, and lack of oral hygiene were among the preeminent and common complaints in the general population. 

Trips to orphanages along with visits to government sponsored homes for disabled children and the elderly homeless were also part of the itinerary.  Arpan Global was able to donate a water filter, washer and dryer, and a computer to some of these facilities.  A day-long trip to a shelter for women and girls who had been victims of human trafficking highlighted the impact that desperate levels of poverty and lack of vocational skill sets play in enabling trafficking to occur. 

By the end of the week, the team had seen over 800 patients, performed 125 dental procedures, several complex medical procedures, and many diagnostic procedures, allowing for appropriate treatment and intervention to begin for those patients.  More importantly, the team members felt like they had made a difference in the lives of people and the only issue of concern was the feeling that they wanted to do more.   Vietnam has been called Asia’s ‘comeback kid’ economically and while many are feeling the success, there still remains a great need for modernization and improvement in the health care system.  Arpan Global is proud to have had the opportunity to make its own contribution towards meeting that need in its own way.

For more information please contact Sudeep Kukreja, MD at (714) 585-1920

Vietnam mission team, Arpan Global Charities

Home   |   About Us   |   Membership   |   For Physicians   |   News   |   For Patients   |   Advocacy   |   Events
Copyright (c) 2017 Orange County Medical Association