Episode 5: Who hurts in the gap?

Last episode, you got to get a glimpse inside how much work goes into coordinating a trip and this episode will uncover why it could be possible for one trip a year to suffice.

Prefer to watch the Vlog Episode instead of reading?

So, let’s do a bit of recapping before we jump in:

In Episode 2 we discussed how there are patients that can be given the full amount of medicine during our Medical Mission trip and our service to them is not dependent on when we return next. Then I pointed out how our patients with chronic diseases, like diabetes and high blood pressure, need medication every single day and enters the “tiny bag” dilemma.

Last Episode 3 crosses out the option of providing large quantities until our next team returns because the likelihood of those medicines being sold to put dinner on the table is high.

Then I asked myself- well what percentage of our patients have diabetes and/or hypertension?

Imagine me in my comfy clothes, sitting on the couch, sorting through the 1400 and something patient registration cards from our first medical mission to the Philippines. Then enters James, my husband, who so graciously helped me count large stacks of different categories of patients. Thank goodness for Netflix and snack breaks because that was A PROCESS!

In the end it was worth it because we were able to conclude that on average, 13% had high blood pressure, and only 2% were diabetic and 3% were both. Going through all the cards made me ALSO realize that even thought we had it in place for every patient over 18 to have their glucose checked not everyone did, so those low percentages are not representative.

Even if we did and that percentage came out to be 30%, that still shows that not 100% of the patients we serve on our medical mission trips required us to come back super frequently.

Therefore! It showed me that we can move away from the need to coordinate more frequent medical mission trips to developing a program that would provide continuity of care for the subset that needed it.

Even just sending one team yearly generates funds to purchase medications that supplies the Medical Outreach Trip AND the Department of Health’s pharmacy as well, so there is still benefit to mobilizing Medication Outreach Team; just not as frequently as we once thought.

Stay tuned because next episode we will discuss why the “tiny bag dilemma” is a concern for Be the Change, yet is still a common and beneficial model for so many other amazing organizations and that is okay too. Until next time!

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