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Thursday, January 1, 2015

Message From Francis / January 1, 2015




01 January 2015
Tegucigalpa, Honduras 
Greetings to all Mission Honduras LeMars medical/dental team members.  Felix Anos Nuevo.
I arrived in Tegucigalpa, Honduras on Thursday 18 December 2014 to begin the in-county logistical coordination for the upcoming medical/dental team trip.  I want to share a few things with you at this time and will have more messages in the future.
Dick and I communicate almost every day either by email or cell phone.  We are both in contact with Marta Sosa here in Honduras from Fundacion Cerro de Plata.  She is and has been meeting and talking with the representatives at school in Nueva Capital.
Here are some facts that I know today:
For a perspective on Nueva Capital here are a few facts:  We think there are about 25,000 homes there and using a typical figure that each household has 5 or 6 kids, you can do the math on this area.  Now having said this, many of these people do not live close to the school and the area we will work in.  We have set our goal of helping the families and kids that attend the school.  Of course we will probably see others from other parts because they know we are coming.  Each day we will serve a different zone or sector.  This has already been decided.  The school administration will coordinate this.
Hopefully, we will have 1-2 more dentists to help.  These are Hondurans and bilingual.  I know one of them because she has helped with our 2011 mission with JTFB in Montana de la Flor.  She is also an attorney and she has expressed a desire to help as much a possible.  This is still a little fluid but it looks very promising.
The local translators will come from the University system along with Marta Sosa and her 2 daughters (they have also helped with Gehlen teams).  We will need to provide daily transportation to and from Nueva Capital.  I am still working on this issue but it will be worked out.
The local Bomberos (Fire department EMS unit) will also assist us.  We will probably leave some supplies and equipment with them once we leave.   You’d be surprised what they don’t have.
Other folks have offered to help.  I will find out more on this later.
We have hired a cook.  She is the same lady that did the cooking for the Gehlen Mission Honduras trip last March.  She is a real good cook.  The menu will be typical Honduran,  maybe will a sprinkling of American, but mostly Honduran.  We will eat all of our meals in the compound area.
The school has a large gate and a guard so this will really help with ground control because there will be pandemonium outside daily.  I would not be surprised to see some Honduras military units in the area like they are all over the city.
We have tentatively laid out the work areas for triage, pharmacy, medical doctors and dentists.  Dick and Tim, we will use those 2 dental beds we have used in the past.  If we have 3 dentists working at once we will have to improvise, which should not be a problem.  We will need to be flexible in this whole team process.
I am still working with Marta Sosa on whether we will have a Honduran medical student doing triage as part of the registration.  More on that another day.
We will use a medical/dental assessment form.  On the back of this form will be the drug list that we have available.  The doctors will use a highlighter to indicate what medicines they are prescribing along with the quantity.  We will visit about this once we arrive.
At triage the patient’s vital signs will be taken and added to the medical assessment form.  It is here that we will weigh and measure the height of every child between 6 months and up to age 5.  We will compare these results with the WHO standards using Z scores.  I have these with me and we will go over these data before the clinic starts.  It is at triage that we will also use a Middle Upper Arm Circumference (MUAC) to measure for malnutrition and stunting on all children age 6 months to age 5.  Tasha and Diane have used these before.  We might also measure and weigh kids older than 5, but I only have standards up to a point. We will use a digital scale in kilograms (so practice the art of conversion).  We will have to decide if we want to give the de-worming medicine here or elsewhere.  This is always a process.
We will need to figure out where we would have the treatment area for nebs, sutures etc.  We will work on that at the scene.
We have arranged for bus transportation to meet the team at the airport, take us to Nueva Capital, pick us up and take us to the hotel on the last Saturday and then take the team to the airport on Sunday.  We may need to rent another smaller van for other people we will bring to clinic daily, like the translators etc.
ACOES will bring a large truck to the airport to transport the bags.  They will also help us get many of the supplies to the area in advance of the teams arrival.  We pay them for diesel and maybe a small stipend for the driver.   We will also have Mission Honduras LeMars Toyota 28-D Hilux double cab pickup with us at all times. Many of you have ridden in this pickup and know how tough it is.  I will also serve as our patient transport vehicle if necessary if the Bomberos are out of the area.
For those that may want to go to mass on Saturday afternoon we are checking on this but it should not be a problem.
Well, I think I will stop here.  I hope one day soon I can get a list of supplies that various team members have been asking for.  Also, we will buy certain medicines here in Honduras and they should be available next week.  I will also talk with Dr. Miguel Coello about the choice of de-worming medicine.  This is costly but is really a very important part of treating so many of these kids.
Felix Anos Nuevo.  See you soon.  Mr. Francis

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