The volunteers left the island nation with many fond memories.
“The excitement level was high everyday as we headed out to the medical sites,“ says volunteer Maureen Kisicki . “The people were very lovely and appreciative. They would line the streets to get a chance to wave to the medical staff each morning. One of most memorable moments is driving to the Wamper medical site and being greeted by 1500 people waiting in line."
Kisicki added that even though the staff could not accommodate 1,500 patients in a single day, the people remained grateful for the medical help and left the site calmly, returning the next day seeking care.
"It was a very exciting experience, something I have never done before,” adds volunteer Nurse Hannah Taylor. “I think it was all about building relationships."
Dr. Alan Jamison says that while volunteers experienced some “very tough days” working in the heat, knowing lines of patients still needed to be seen, seeing the smiles on the faces of people he was able to help made the work especially rewarding.
"After I treated one young boy, he waited in line again to give me a gift and a letter with an address on it. I plan to keep in touch with him," says Dr. Jamison.
In addition to treating patients, the volunteers participated in many educational exchanges where they were both teachers and students.
Volunteers Bridget Binko and Kathryn Walther offered impromptu classes on back and neck pain to the people waiting in line to see physicians. "If the pain is uncomplicated by any other medical issues, teaching simple exercises to strengthen back and neck muscles and prescribing simple pain relief can help eliminate a lot of aches and pains," Binko says.
As the team wraps-up humanitarian and health care work in the third of five countries to be visited by Pacific Partnership, 21, 523 people have been cared for to date.
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