We are pleased to announce that APPNA physicians and volunteers recently completed a successful medical mission to Coban, Guatemala. We sincerely want to thank the team comprised of Dr. Zeenat Safdar (pulmonologist), Dr. Mir Ali (pediatrician), Jane Winning, RN (Rotarian and organizer of this mission) and 3 teenagers/ young adult volunteers: Amal (Medical student), Sidra and Waqar (high schoolers).
The mission was set up at the request of a school for indigent children and young adults who do not have access to the Guatemalese medical care and services as they are Nicaraguans settled in Guatemala. Out of the total 450 kids, this school was attended by 150 kids that live near the city dump and ate from the dump. The ground arrangement were made with the help of local Rotarians.
Dr. Zeenat Safdar wrote:
"Some of the school kids and adults that we saw had never seen a physician before and were very nervous- sweating with dilated pupils. We did general physical exams, saw/treated > 250 patients ages 1 yr. to 80 years. One couple age 79 and 80 with limited ambulatory capabilities had to be driven for more than 2 hours to get to this clinic. This was both an exciting and rewarding experience for the team. The young volunteers found this experience not only rewarding but came back with an awareness of suffering and poverty that exists in this world and zeal to make a difference."
One of the young volunteers, Sidra who wants to pursue a career in medicine wrote:
"My recent experience in Guatemala was indescribable-- it was so much more than I could have even imagined going into my first mission trip overseas. I can't describe the sense of fulfillment I felt when I saw a child walk out of the doctor's office smiling, waving Adios to me. The kids were always happier after they left the doctor's office."
APPNA Medical Corps next mission to Guatemala is planned for January 2017. We are also planning medical missions to other parts of the world and Pakistan. We will keep you informed as the missions are finalized.
APPNA Medical Corps team