The medical team on the islands is all about sharing basic health and hygiene with the Kunas. There is a radical difference between our health standards and theirs, causing many health issues for the people. Things like washing your hands before meals, or not breathing in smoke isn’t common knowledge like it is in the United States; these are the kind of things Matt Arbo, a first year intern at GO, helped educate the people on. This week’s blog we will get to talk to him first-hand and learn all about what a day on the medical project looks like.
Brown- Tell us one of your favorite stories from a day on the medical team.
Matt Arbo- Well, I’d have to say my favorite story was the first day that we set up the clinic. The line was like three miles long; well… probably not three miles, but it was BIG. It was so cool to see the turnout for the clinic and to see so many people get help. I remember being able to help this little baby girl by giving her a nebulizer treatment. I felt kind of bad because she was crying the whole time, (laughs) but I knew I was helping her. I wish we could have done so much more, but I know what we got to do made a huge impact.
Brown- That sounds awesome, Matt! So, are there any requirements if someone was interested in being a part of the medical team?
Matt Arbo- There are no requirements to be on the medical team. The more knowledge you have in that field the better, but we’ll take anyone who’s willing. There will be nurses and doctors there doing the check-ups and prescribing drugs, but we can use people to work at the pharmacy, to check blood pressures, get general health information and stuff like that.
Brown- Before you went on the trip, did you have any interest in the medical field?
Matt Arbo- No, I didn’t necessarily have an interest in the medical field, but after going, I saw what an impact it made in people’s lives and all the doors it can open for ministry. I definitely left with more of an appreciation for it. Dr. Niko was the head of the medical team, dude, he was super funny and a lot of fun to work with. He was always helpful with all the questions I had, so I learned a lot working with him. He was just an all-around fun guy to work with.
The Kunas don’t have access to basic over-the-counter meds like aspirin or pre-natal vitamins for pregnant women, so when they hear about being able to obtain this stuff for free, we create quite a gathering. Like I’ve said before, their language has no word for love. Saying, “God loves you,” won’t mean much, but showing it will be what makes a lasting impact. The medical team is part of giving something to the people that keeps giving once we're gone. Just a few more weeks!