Dale Hanson Bourke

Recent Posts by Dale Hanson Bourke:

A Gift of Health For A Gifted Student - Dulce Maria's Dream

Dulce Maria is an excellent student. She never misses school and at just 10 years old, she is mature beyond her years.

That’s why it surprised her teacher when she had a hard time paying attention in class and began to rest her head on her desk. Soon it became apparent that Dulce Maria was very ill.

“I touched her forehead and she was hot to the touch. She said her head and throat hurt,” said her teacher, Edna Galicia. “But despite her illness, she did not want to miss school.”

Dulce Maria lives in a rural area of the Guatemalan municipality of San Cristóbal Acasaguastlán.

During the week, her mother works in a nearby town processing sugar cane, so she lives with her grandmother. But her grandmother has no cell phone and the nearest clinic is a three-hour walk away. Her grandmother watched her growing more and more ill, but there was nothing she could do.

Finally, her teacher alerted Dr. Mayra Franco at the town clinic about Dulce Maria’s condition. Dr. Mayra, as she prefers to be called, spends most mornings in the clinic and then makes “house calls” during the afternoons to the citizens living in outlying rural areas. So Dr. Mayra made the long journey to check on Dulce Maria.

“When I examined her, it was clear she was very, very sick,” says Dr. Mayra. “She had a severe case of strep throat that had gone untreated for quite a while.”

Without treatment, strep can turn into rheumatic fever, causing long-term damage to a child’s heart and lungs. It is the leading cause of heart damage for children in developing countries.

Fortunately, Dr. Mayra had recently received pediatric antibiotics from MAP International, in partnership with Food for the Poor. The antibiotics were exactly what she needed to help treat Dulce Maria’s condition.

“She started to feel better in just a few days,” says her grandmother. “I am so very grateful to God and those who made it possible for Dulce Maria to receive this free medicine,” she says.

“Many of us here are very poor,” she continued. “But we love our children and want the best lives for them. I am so glad that Dulce Marie feels better and can study again. She loves school.”

Recently Mayor Jeaneth Ordonoz visited Dulce Maria’s school. When the children were asked, “Who wants to be mayor one day?”Dulce Maria’s hand shot up and her eyes sparkled.

Thanks to the antibiotics you helped MAP supply, Dulce Maria may one day make her dream come true. 

Topics: Pediatric Antibiotics Medicine for the World

"God Has Not Forgotten Us"

Edna Paz, her husband and five children, live in a poor rural area of Guatemala. Unemployment is high and her husband works whenever he can find an odd job. Edna feels fortunate to have regular employment as a domestic worker. She earns about $13/week—the only regular income her family can expect.

But recently Edna had to miss work and risk losing her job because her daughter, Karen, was seriously ill. Just six-years-old, Karen loves school and continued going to classes even when she had a fever. But every day she became more ill. Her head hurt and her ear ached so much that she cried out in her sleep.

One day she woke up with blood coming from her ear.

Topics: life-changing medicines guatemala

Lessons of Faith in the Midst of Disaster

(Photo: Survivors of the Fuego Volcano eruption fill the church in Escintia, Guatemala)

As parishioners filed out of the morning church service in Escuintla, Guatemala, on a warm June day, some were complaining. Why did they have to keep sitting on plastic chairs?

Topics: disaster health kits volcano guatemala

Life-Saving Medicine for One Baby in Nigeria

The baby had been abandoned. Left to die on the beach in Nigeria under a layer of sand. But the first miracle occurred when a good Samaritan heard a sound and discovered the baby.

Topics: life-changing medicines oral rehydration nigeria

When Medicine Isn't Available

This piece originally appeared in Physician Family magazine, Summer 2018

We hardly give it a second thought. A cut finger and we grab a bandage from the first aid kit. A slight fever and we run to the medicine cabinet for Ibuprofen. Something more serious and our physician calls in a prescription which we pick up at the nearby pharmacy.

But for millions of people living in poor countries, there are no first aid kits or medicine cabinets. Pharmacies, often a day’s journey or more away, stock medicine far too expensive for the average person—or worse, pills made of useless or toxic materials.

So cuts go untreated and uncovered—often resulting in major infections. Fevers continue to rise and diseases go untreated. And chronic conditions that could be easily managed become an early death sentence.

Topics: life-changing medicines Haiti

A Miracle and An Answered Prayer in Haiti

More than anything in the world, Mellisia wanted a child. So she was thrilled when God answered her prayers, and she became pregnant. But soon Mellisia’s joy turned to anguish; she became terribly sick. Her limbs swelled, she couldn’t breathe and she couldn’t keep any food down.

Unfortunately, Mellisia lives in Haiti, far from a hospital. She couldn’t afford the medicine that would have treated her condition, so she continued to suffer.

“I was helpless,” she says.

Topics: Haiti life-changing medicines

Q & A: How does MAP choose which medicines to provide to those in need?

Have you ever wondered how MAP chooses which medicines to provide those in need?

Great question! 

Although there are thousands of medicines available, the World Health Organization estimates that just 40 essential medicines can treat 90 percent of the illnesses in the world.

Topics: Medicines

Showing Love with Medicine

People began to line up just as the sun was rising. By 8 am, the line circled the entire block with the small church in the center.

We had come from the US to the Dominican Republic to help a small church with a building project and their Vacation Bible School. But when the pastor found out we could bring medicine and medical supplies, he was thrilled. “We’ll host a pop up clinic!” he told us in English.

The concept sounded oddly trendy in the dusty community just outside Santo Domingo, but we were happy to follow the pastor’s lead. He arranged for three local doctors and a med student to volunteer and the night before the clinic, we all sorted the medicine and vitamins we had brought from MAP and made a list of what was available.

Topics: Medicines medical missions Dominican Republic

Leaving A Legacy of Hope

IMG_2476-674884-edited.jpg

Dr. Naomi Archer provides pediatric care to children at the HCJB Hospital in Ecuador in 1954

Drs. Naomi and Charles “Leslie” Archer were medical missionaries who did extraordinary work in Ecuador, then Panama, and later back in the United States.

During their mission years they both served people in need while raising four children.

Their involvement in missions never wavered...

The Dangers of Counterfeit Medicine

Imagine your child is sick but the closest clinic is days away. That is the unfortunate situation for many people in developing countries. So when illness strikes they often turn to nearby traditional healers or unregulated “pharmacies” where medicines are dispensed.

Without the scrutiny of an organization like the FDA, or the infrastructure of regulated pharmacies, many countries have little control over medication sold on the street, over the internet, or even in so-called pharmacies. As a result, the “medicine” is often useless powder or worse, a compound that is watered down or inappropriate to the illness.

Topics: MAP International MAP counterfeit medicine

Sign up for our mailing list to stay up to date with more posts like this.