Sunday, 13 December 2009

Summary of the Benin Outreach

It is surprisingly easy to get caught up in day to day life. Even here on a ship in West Africa. I can easily forget why we came and just see the hour-to-hour work that needs to be done. However, at the end of a field service it is an opportunity to be reminded of the work that is done by the crew of the ship, including the parents of the students I teach each day. Crew members with children in the Academy include the Captain, Chief Engineer, Chief Officer, Chief Medical Officer, Chief Dental Officer, Chief Steward, Finance Director, VVF Coordinator, Operating Room Supervisor, HR Manager, ... and many other functions within the ship - each of which is important. One of the clearest lessons I have been shown this year is how each part of a body is needed for the body to function.

Mercy Ships, as an organisation, is focusing the resources of the organisation towards utilising the donations and time given to them as effectively as possible. Now that is more than just numbers and cannot be captured in a spreadsheet, but since I like numbers and they are an easy way to see one aspect of what we have done in Benin here is a summary:

33,851 eye evaluations and other treatments;
13,174 oral health education;
10,175 dental patients seen;
7,083 pairs of sunglasses distributed;
5,689 pairs of reading glasses distributed;
3,521 cataracts removed;
1,161 general surgeries;
996 reconstructive and plastic surgeries;
794 dental hygiene patients;
570 other eye surgeries (pterygia and stabismus);
231 orthopedic operations;
154 obstetric fistulas repaired;
185 cleft lip and palate repairs;
119 church & community leaders trained in mental health;
50 prison officers and workers trained in mental health;
28 patients received palliative home care;
25 oral health teachers trained;
23 local agricultural trainees;
19 mental health workers trained;
19 families trained in wound care;
18 community eye field workers trained;
10 agricultural staff trained;
6 Burkitt's Lymphoma patients received palliative support;
2 local surgeons trained;
2 local eye surgeons trained;
4 local surgeons trained in fistula repair;
2 dental assistants trained;
1 hostel constructed for agricultural college;
2 church leaders conferences attended by 602 attendants;
and 12,000 people watched the Jesus Film

In total we have directly helped almost 80,000 people in Benin. A record breaking field service for Mercy Ships.


No comments: