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Update from Mali

Below is a blog update from Brett and Sheri McLean living and working in Mali. There are some great things happening in Mali, which you all have played a critical part of. You can see the oxygen concentrators you donated helping to save children’s lives in one of the posts below! Nevertheless, there is still much to do and much to continue praying for… please keep Brett, Sheri and their children in your prayers as they seek to shine the love of Jesus in the Bako Region through the use of their skills as medical professionals.


THE RAINS OF MALI- LIFE GIVING AND LIFE TAKING
The rain and humidity are now gone, and we are entering into the “cool” season. A good rainy season is essential to survival here as Malians are dependent on the grain that grows to provide enough food for the entire year. Personally, our family loves the rain. Our boys love to run out and play much like American kids do in the snow.  When they come back in, we enjoy mugs of hot chocolate because it’s so “cold.” ☺ 
 
While there is much to enjoy with the rain, it can cause great destruction. Many roads are impassable for months, and for those in the “bush”, travel all but stops. For the sick who do not have a health center nearby, oxen are needed to pull them on wooden carts, as even donkeys do not have enough strength to pull carts through the thick mud and clay. Pictured below is the courtyard in front of the staff homes at the Tatrima center:
The ground becomes saturated, and there aren’t proper drainage systems for the removal of the water, so the water sits and sits, becoming dirtier and dirtier. It is incredibly unsanitary and one of the many challenges that we face and are working to rectify.
The rains often come with intense wind as evidenced here at our center in Koro. Wind blew the roof off the maternity building, causing the ceiling to fall, while a mother, her newborn, and the grandmother were in the room. Thankfully, only the grandmother was hit and had minor injuries to her leg. The building has now been repaired and is back in use.
 
These examples remind us that we aren’t working in places with government infrastructure and insurance coverage. Simple rains which come each year can cause such devastation. These are not the once in a thousand years rains such as what South Carolina endured this year. These events in Mali are annual problems and ones that we are working to solve so that health care will be available to all even during the rainy season.

You can see pictures of a village near one of our clinics that also experienced significant flooding on our blog.


VACCINATING
Last December we asked you for financial help to purchase refrigerators which would, in addition to many other benefits, allow the centers to regularly vaccinate the children and pregnant women in the villages they serve. The centers now all have working fridges. THANK YOU! Due to the necessary government controls, it is taking a lot of time to get approval for each center to administer the vaccines, but once they are approved, they will always be provided with vaccines from the government. Our Tatrima center has already started their vaccination clinic and is pictured below: 

I know the kids probably aren’t as excited as we are, but it is thrilling to see them getting their necessary shots and oral polio vaccine! ☺

Rejoice with us for the many lives that will be saved from these vaccine preventable illnesses such as tetanus and from the lifelong complications that these diseases can cause such as paralysis from polio. Thank you!

OXYGEN
We finally have enough solar and battery power in our centers to run oxygen! All the centers can provide breathing treatments as well as run oxygen for at least a couple of hours before they would need to transfer the patients to our biggest health center which can support 24 hour oxygen for multiple patients. We have trained each center how to use their new oxygen concentrators as well as separate monitors which are necessary to access a patient’s need for oxygen and the amount to give.

 

Pictured are just a few of the children in Adamabougou that are benefiting from these new oxygen concentrators.
Above: Comatose child with malaria on oxygen + monitor
Right: Boy with asthma able to breathe clearly

To read more, please go to http://eepurl.com/bIRAjT