MMS NOSY VARIKA
18th to 22nd SEPTEMBER 2023
Nosy Varika is a town of 20,000 people on the east coast, mainly fisherman and farmers producing rice, coffee, lychee and pepper. Our team consisted of 13 clinicians, 1 pastor and a driver. We also had 7 from the Nosivarika hospital to help us, head doctor of the Nosivarika CHRD. We were able to set up 2 operating theatres in parallel.
Part of the team travelled by land, because the MAF plane can only transport 8 people. The vehicle took two days including three ferry rides. Unfortunately the final one had sunk, so another had to be brought 10 hours down the river from Antaniady.
Two weeks before our arrival, we already contacted the hospital staff, the Medical Inspector of Nosy Varika and the Mayor. They organized the communication for our arrival and the announcement on the radio, our accommodation and the staff for our catering during our stay.
When the team by air arrived the deputy of Nosy Varika with his parliamentary advisors welcomed us at the airstrip. As there were so many of us, our car could not transport us all from the track to the village, so the deputy gave us his pick-up and we hired another car too. Many patients are already waiting for us at the hospital. After lunch, we paid a courtesy visit to the District Chief, the Town Hall, and the Chief Doctor of the CHRD. We were well received. After the visit, we installed the equipment, did the sterilizations, and everyone prepared their activity room.
On September 19 around 8 a.m., the MMS itself began with a religious service led by the Pastor we brought along. After the mass, a short speech for the presentation of the MMS team to the patients followed by an explanation of the progress of the mission, the Deputy of Nosy Varika launched a speech for the official opening of the Madagascar Medical Safari mission in Nosivarika.
Once the protocol was completed, everyone got back to work. The team were really motivated and set a challenge do our maximum. Many of the waiting people had been there for two days already. On the first day the team performed 2 cesarean sections, a little boy and a little girl were born. Many of the children coming had hernias, and 20 were operated on during that day.
On Tuesday representatives from our partners for the Mobile Clinic project, Deichmann, accompanied by our Country Director and the MAF pilot came to the Nosy Varika hospital. They met the entire MMS team and saw exactly how we work during the mission. They were moved to see so many people. After the meeting with the team, we took them for a short tour of the city, then a small picnic at the beach for lunch. This visit was a great privilege for the entire MMS team, it was an opportunity for us to show our partners that MMS means a lot to people in remote areas.
On the second day of our mission, it rained a lot during the morning but that did not stop many people from coming. They cooked in the courtyard and slept under the trees.
Many people did not have the chance to be operated on and treated because we ran ourt of some medicines and surgical consumables, so we had to stop activities around 1 p.m. There were many more people than expected needing treatment. Even so we saw and treated record numbers for an MMS
Most surgical cases are hydroceles and hernias, lipomas, cesarean sections (4 altogether), keloid, ectopic pregnancy and thryroid. For ultrasound, these are cysts, fibroids, infertility, splenomegaly, acites. For medical consultation: STDs, gastroenteritis, flu and cough, osteoarthritis, infertility. Most women are hypertensive (on average their blood pressure is 15 to 22). In Ophthalmology, cases of cataracts are numerous.
This young girl had large keloids on both her ears. She had surgery on Wednesday and was released on Thursday. She made this video to thank HoverAid, because thanks to the MMS she no longer has to hide her ears and is not ashamed of them like before. She is very happy
The pastor who accompanied us is very motivated for village evangelization. He gave an evangelization presentation to all the patients.
After long journeys the team finally returned to Tana on the evening of Saturday 23rd. Next year, our MAF partners say they will schedule two planes for this MMS to enable a bigger team.
Medical consultation 428; Ultrasound 305; Dental extraction 233; Surgery: major 43, minor 7; Ophthalmology 108. Total: 1124