by Martyn Hood, Samoa Medical Missions Coordinator
Each year since 2003, a group of dedicated and enthusiastic individuals go to Samoa to be involved in medical clinics. These have been organised by Youth for Christ Asia Pacific and Youth for Christ in Samoa. This year (8th to 17th July 2011) the team consists of doctors, orthoptists, nurses, a pharmacist and youth volunteers. In the past, team members have come from Australia, New Zealand and America.
The medical clinics focus on diagnosis and treatment of common health problems in Samoa. These include diabetes, high blood pressure, skin disorders, rheumatic heart disease, TB, infections, dietary, and common wellness issues. We dispense medications from a portable pharmacy, purchased from donated funds. Eye checks and screening is performed, and glasses are dispensed from a stock of purchased and donated glasses. We work under the direction of Youth for Christ in Samoa.
Taking clinics to the villages (rather than requiring them to travel to the hospital) allows health services to be provided in their own environment to those without ready access to these at other times. All the villagers who come along benefit from the service. People from surrounding villages come along as well. We see approximately 200 patients per day.
The Youth for Christ team in Samoa coordinates individual counselling and evangelism, in support of their ongoing school, youth and village evangelism.
We each arrange our flights and arrange other resources we may need. We take with us items that we feel can be used on the trip (glasses, shoes, thongs, clothing, toys, books). Churches and other supporters donate towards the cost of the pharmaceuticals.
If you have an interest in joining this year’s team, 8-17 July 2011, please contact Martyn using the form below.