It's only been 3 months into the year, and we've already been hard at work - we've sent out 3 teams (one is currently out in Majuro at the time of this post), and have at least 4 more to send before the year sees its halfway point.
The first teams hosted intervention programs for people who were diabetic, pre-diabetic, or suffered from other non-communicable diseases. We were lucky enough to have Brenda Davis, RD, a world renowned speaker who has written over 9 books on nutrition and diabetes, and helped to set up the Wellness Center on Majuro more than 6 years ago. Franklin House, MD, joined the team as well, who was instrumental in beginning lifestyle change programs in the Marshall Islands at the request of Amata Kabua, the RMI's first president, almost 20 years ago. In addition to these heavy hitters, joining us were Julie Bryson, MD, Joseph Gonzalez, RD, Jacque Spence, Jaylene Chung, and Sterling Spence.
With the help of Ray and Becky House, and the wonderful staff at the Wellness Center, over 18 participants on Majuro were able to experience the life-changing effects of our cutting edge program. All experienced drops in their blood sugar levels (some dropping 100-200 points), lost weight, reduced their pain, and improved their eyesight.
The program on Ebeye was a bit more challenging, as there is no Wellness Center, supplies, or staff there to supplement the program, but with planning and the phenomenal help of the Kwajalein Diabetes Coalition, the program saw success for over 22 patients. These participants experienced similar improvements as the Majuro group, and thanks to Sterling Spence, they were able to learn the basics of gardening and agriculture in collaboration with EarthBox and Sproutman. On an island with limited land, soil, food availability, and water, it is our hope that these gardening solutions will help to provide the people of Ebeye with another way to improve their health.
Immediately following the intervention programs was a gynecology clinic on Majuro. Along with the help of the hospital staff and the Ministry of Health, the team saw almost 500 patients, did over 300 ultrasounds, and performed over 40 surgeries.
With the urology clinic on Majuro halfway over, we're already gearing up to prepare for upcoming trips (Orthopedics and Dental on Majuro, May 22-Jun 6; Ophthalmology and Dental on Ebeye, Jun 19-Jul 4; More coming soon). To be involved in any of our programs, visit our volunteer page for more information or to fill out an application.
As always, we thank you for your thoughts, prayers, donations, and being a part of what we do.