MAP INTERNATIONAL'S HEALTH & HOPE BLOG

Volunteers Paying it Forward

This week we celebrate National Volunteer Week by honoring those who help MAP achieve its mission around the world.

Whether it's the local group of regulars who pack MAP medicines and health supplies each month, or the thousands of medical missionaries who volunteer to help those in need around the world, volunteers come in all forms and are a vital part of our organization.

The Global Smile Foundation (GSF) is a shining example of medical missionary volunteers serving “the least of these.”

Topics: volunteers national volunteer week

How One Family Learned to Fight Chagas Disease and Won

High in the mountains of Bolivia, in a very simple one-room adobe home, Mayra lives with her grandmother, Valentina. The Retamani community where they live is remote, and the adobe homes are a breeding ground for Chagas disease.

Chagas is a potentially life-threatening illness caused by the protozoan parasite and is transferred to humans via the triatomine bug, also known as a ‘kissing bug.’

Mayra’s parents abandoned her with her grandmother five years ago. In an area where most families make less than $1 a day, Valentina has struggled to raise her granddaughter.

Topics: Bolivia chagas disease World Chagas Day

Fighting a Silent Killer in Bolivia: World Chagas Day 2018

World Chagas Day is tomorrow, April 14.

This world health day is designed to raise awareness of a rarely talked about and frequently silenced disease. Chagas is considered silenced because its transmission is linked to poverty and its magnitude, even in the 21st century, is largely unknown.

Shockingly, there are 25 million people at risk. More than eight million people infected with Chagas worldwide. And, more than 10,000 people die every year from the manifestations of this neglected tropical disease. Caused by the protozoan parasite, it is transferred to humans via the triatomine bug, also known as the “kissing bug.”

But there is hope for this quiet killer.

Topics: Bolivia chagas disease World Chagas Day

Sowing Into Good Soil

At times the days were long and the nights felt endless.

Marcia was living out of her car - homeless, lonely, and needing medical assistance. Her inability to get her diabetes medication brought fear and anxiety. She suffered from depression.

But Marcia knew there was one place she could go, a location she could count on to get help. The Good Samaritan Health Center was a beacon of hope in Marcia’s darkest times. The community health center located on the west side of Atlanta offered free medications, physician’s visits, and a hot meal.

“When folks come here, they are treated like real people. We’re not just put on the back burner. We’re treated like Christ would’ve treated us.”  Marcia Emerson

Topics: partnerships Good Samaritan Health Center

World Health Day 2018:          Improving Access To Medicines

MAP International is recognizing World Health Day this April 7 to raise awareness among our supporters of the gaps in access to life-changing medicines. Initiated by the World Health Organization (WHO), this day of global health awareness is celebrated each year bringing attention to the needs of people worldwide who lack access to health services. 

As the Director-General of the WHO stated, 

“Health is a human right...No one should have to choose between death and financial hardship. No one should have to choose between buying medicine and buying food.”

At MAP International, we agree. 

Topics: World Health Day WHO

Happy Easter from MAP International

Dear Friend,

Topics: MAP International Easter

Seeing Miracles in Guatemala

Miracles happen every day, change your perception of what a miracle is, and you'll see them all around you.  Jon Bon Jovi    

The miracle standing in front of nurse Joanne Langone was hard to see. It had been a long day of treating patients in El Rodeo, Guatemala in the southwest region of the country. Traveling with her church on a medical mission trip, Joanne was amazed by the number of people who visited the clinic over seven days - nearly 1800.

But it was the single mother who walked in with her two children who caught Joanne’s eye. Her three-year-old son, Enrico, was weak from days of frequent vomiting. Dehydrated and tired, Enrico had to be carried by his mother.

He had a parasitic disease. Her young daughter likely had one too.

Topics: MAP International medical supplies oral rehydration guatemala

On the Front Lines of a Silent Killer: Diarrhea In Children Worldwide

It’s a disease you do not hear a lot about in the US and hope you never do. Few children in this country die from diarrheal disease, yet is an illness with staggering statistics worldwide.

Consider this, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reports that diarrhea kills 2,195 children every day.  This is more than AIDS, malaria, and measles combined.  In fact, one in nine child deaths worldwide are attributable to diarrheal diseases, making it the second leading cause of death among children under the age of five.

Topics: diarrhea statistics oral rehydration

Music and Medicine Provide Hope and Healing

Everyone has the capacity to be generous.  But not everyone is generous with their time, talent and treasure.

When Daniel de los Reyes, percussionist for the Zac Brown Band and founder of the nonprofit, DayGLOW Music, wanted to help the people of his native Puerto Rico following Hurricane Maria, he wanted to change lives - for the better.

After visiting the island ten days after Maria’s destruction, he was moved by the thousands of people living without power, clean water, and dependable health services. Daniel used DayGLOW’s Facebook page to voice his frustration:  

"We need to do something about this. Make this a priority. Countless people are dying a slow death because of this cataclysmic storm. One thing is to survive the storm; the other is to survive living after the storm. It is a humanitarian event. Now. Must so many people die before we recognize this?"

Daniel knew he had to do more for the people of Puerto Rico.

Working through his nonprofit, DayGLOW Music, he established DayGLOW Relief to raise money for donated medicines and supplies. He worked with MAP International to secure Johnson & Johnson Medical Mission Packs that contain vital prescription and over-the-counter medicines. MAP also provided water filters to ensure people had access to clean water.

But medicine was not enough for those who have suffered for so long. Five months after the storm, Daniel traveled to Puerto Rico with doctors, members of the band Chicago and other volunteers. They traveled to rural areas throughout the country providing basic supplies, medicines and of course, music.

As described by members of DayGLOW Music:

“We are actively combining the use of music for healing and hope with our humanitarian aid to make a difference in the lives of so many Americans in Puerto Rico.”

 

Daily we are humbled by medical mission stories of hope and healing offered by individuals working around the globe to help those less fortunate. In times of disaster, these stories are magnified as we learn of people requiring medical aid after losing everything following a crisis.

Daniel and DayGLOW Relief provided medicine and music to offer hope and healing to those who have suffered so greatly. Their generosity knows no bounds.

Donate Now

Thank you, Daniel. Your music and work are an inspiration. 

Topics: Hurricane maria Puerto Rico

Six Months After Hurricane Maria, Some Hope But Much Healing Remains

Have you ever lost power after a storm? Maybe it was out for a few hours…or even a few days. You may have lost air conditioning, the food in your freezer, use of the internet. It’s frustrating…but it’s mostly an inconvenience.

Topics: disaster health kits Hurricane maria Puerto Rico