Be the change you want to see in the world. ~ Ghandi

Thursday, December 6, 2012

Mission Trip to Swaziland - By Carleen Rogers

Carleen Rogers is a scholarship recipient who recently returned from her mission.  This is her story.

My recent trip to Swaziland was my sixth international medical mission trip and my second opportunity to visit that particular country. Swaziland has a special place in my heart.  Diseases such as TB, malaria, respiratory illnesses, parasite, fungal and skin infections ravage this country just like most third world countries however, 18% of the sweet people of Swaziland are living with HIV and there are an estimated 69,000 HIV related orphans in Swaziland.  This trip allowed our team to have a small impact on this population by offering medical assessments, medications, reading glasses, and medical referrals. We also just get the chance to smile, touch a hand and offer an ear to listen. 
Our twenty-five member Medical Mercy team traveled together to Swaziland to set up medical clinics at five Children’s Cup care points throughout the small country.   There were eight members of our team that are assessing clinicians, three members that provide pharmacy services, two dieticians and multiple support members.  The team meshed well with one another even though we were from all over the United States and many were meeting for the first time.  Our team was able to provide medical care to eleven hundred and eleven children and community members. 
One of the highlights of my trip was a step away for the clinics for the day to attend a palliative care conference held at the Hope House in Manzini.  Hospice and palliative care is my passion and life work here in the United States so being a part of palliative care in Swaziland was a culmination of my passion for missions and for palliative care.  I was able to offer assessment and treatment options for some of the current patients at Hope House and participate in conversations about improving the end of life care in Swaziland.  My prayer is to return to Swaziland to assist in their efforts in the near future.  
I want to sincerely thank One Nurse at A Time for the gift that enabled me to participate in this trip.  The trip was a blessing in my life and I pray that God used me as a blessing in the lives of the sweet people of Swaziland.