Dale Hanson Bourke

Recent Posts by Dale Hanson Bourke:

Antibiotics For A Special Child

To Albertina and her husband, every child is a gift from God. So even though her seven children were almost grown, she was thrilled to discover she was pregnant again.

And when her son was born with cerebral palsy and other disabilities, she continued to celebrate his birth, even though her family lives in a poor barrio outside Guatemala City.

“He’s my baby and I love him so much,” she says, as she kisses Froilan’s cheek. A teenager now, her son is never considered a burden, even though Albertina must carry him or push him in a makeshift wheelchair.

Topics: Dominican Republic Medicine for the World antibiotics Pediatric Antibiotics

Stopping seizures, saving lives

Today, in recognition of World Autism Awareness Day, MAP International joins in support of children around the world who have autism and their families who provide special care for them.

For families living in poverty, caring for a disabled child can be difficult if not impossible. Without the necessary therapies, equipment or medicines, families are easily overwhelmed. And many developing countries provide little or no government support.

Sadly, unable to care for their disabled children, some families simply abandon them. In the Dominican Republic, some families leave their children at Casa de Luz (“House of Light”), a private facility that cares for children with a variety of disabilities.

Topics: Medicine for the World

Bringing Hope to Our Neighbors

During her worst times, the days were long and the nights seemed endless for Marcia Emerson.

Marcia was living out of her car in Atlanta, Ga., homeless, lonely and in need of medical assistance. She was unable to afford her diabetes medication, which made her anxious and contributed to her depression.

Fortunately, Marcia (pictured right) found a place she could go to get help. The Good Samaritan Health Center was a refuge in Marcia’s darkest times. The community health center, located on the west side of Atlanta, offers 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,” she says. “We’re treated like Christ would’ve treated us.”

People like Marcia are why MAP launched its Domestic Medicine Program (DMP). This partnership with the Good Samaritan Health Center and other charitable clinics in the state of Georgia provides medicines at no cost to uninsured and underinsured citizens who have fallen through the cracks of the healthcare system.

Topics: newsletter domestic medicine program atlanta

How Magdelena Came to Shine

“It started with a small sore on my face,” remembers Magdalena. “But soon my entire face was swollen and deformed.”

Magdalena lives in rural Haiti, far away from a clinic. So she suffered as inflammation on her face spread and her pain became almost unbearable. “It was very painful,” she says, “but I was also ashamed because I looked so ugly. No one wanted to look at me.

“I had terrible headaches and I couldn’t sleep because of the pain. Because of that I couldn’t work or care for my family. I thought I would die and I worried what would happen to my children.”

Topics: Haiti life-changing medicines newsletter

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.

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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.

Topics: Medicine for the World Pediatric Antibiotics

"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: Haiti life-changing medicines

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

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