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La Aguita's Improving Health

Friday, January 28th, 2022

Trinity team rose early as usual. At 6:20, Dr. Keipper shared a devotion about the overwhelming needs of the world at large and the necessity to have the fortitude and faithfulness to continuously address them one small piece at a time. He also quoted Matthew 6:25-34 which quotes Jesus from the Sermon on the Mount encouraging us to "do not worry about tomorrow for tomorrow will take care of itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own."

After a delicious breakfast of baleadas, we were on our way to the community of La Aguita near Peña Blanca, a very short bus ride away from Alfredo's House. Some of the staff are from La Aguita, they and are closely attached to this community. The population is about 600 people in 100 families. Homes generally have indoor latrines but no running water. Friends of Barnabas has been the only non-profit supporting the community for some time, and they have benefitted from the medicine box and a strong community leader, Nurse Costa. She who greeted us with a welcoming sign. The community members enthusiastically helped us unpack and one even lent us their home for the measuring and weighing station. Since this was our fifth day and fifth community setup, the team was up and running very quickly.

The medical team saw a wide variety of problems including many respiratory illnesses, chronic asthma, rashes and many serious problems that required referrals to the Extended Care Program. One poignant case involved an 11-year-old boy paralyzed for two years with no diagnosis or treatment. His father carried him into the clinic, and it was quite apparent that help was needed. Friends of Barnabas is expediting this boy's admittance into the Extended Care Program. By the end of the day, we had seen almost 150 people. Everyone was treated preventively with vitamins, deworming, eyecare, dental care and given a wellness bag for first aid home health care. And the medical team checked each and every one for various health issues.

One important note is that the Backpack Electronic Medical Records system was successfully used all week to document the encounters in quite a bit of detail. The records will be valuable in the community follow-ups. There was general agreement that there was a big difference in the health of La Aguita since being served by Friends of Barnabas.

As the day was ending, the community thanked us in many ways, gifting a beautiful bowl to a team member, helping us pack up, giving us feedback on the successes of the education programs and the medicine box, and most endearingly waving us good-bye up and down the street as the bus pulled away.

After another delicious meal, as always, we had a debriefing to discuss potential program improvements. After several hours of discussion, Eileen Keipper closed the evening with a devotion that highlighted the key portions of all the earlier devotions to wrap up the week. The joking and laughing during dinner and discussion was a true reflection of the closeness that has developed between the team members. We are all thankful for our time together improving the health care of the hard-working people of Honduras through this effective and well-structured Mountain Medical Team program. Not enough can be said for the leaders and staff members who have made this all possible and who will be continuing this work.

~Smita Quinn and Vince Keipper

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