Optical & Dental Mission to Greenville Liberia 2023
Duluth Gospel Tabernacle
We arrived in Monrovia. Because MAF was changing their registration to FAA from a Nigerian registration, they were busy working on changing over all the different rules.
So, our flight to our destination was postponed 2 days. That meant our clinic was going to be short by 1 day. Flexibility is the middle name for mission trips!
The MAF flight in the little plane was a beautiful flight. It took 2 flights to get us all there. Once in Greenville we set up our dental & optical clinics.
The Jon, the missionary from Guinea who always joins, us was already there setting up his dental equip. What optical uses of his, is his generator & fans.
He is a God send, and a great blessing to our mission.
Tuesday - set up the clinic (there was a electrical box fire in the guesthouse Tues night - this place has had 3 fire insidents recently that we know of)
Wed - lst day of clinic ( we shut the clinic down at 4 pm in order to move to a different guesthouse, which was a great blessing all around)
Thurs - clinic
Fri - clinic
Saturday - Optical packed up everything to make room for their Sunday Service. Dental had 1/2 day of clinic, then packed up.
Sunday - a beautiful Liberian church service - after church we un-packed and set everything back up.
Monday - clinic
Tuesday - clinic
Wed - 1/2 day of clinics - packed up
Thur - 2 MAF flights back to Monrovia
Fri - the morning was free time, then a 3 hour drive to the airport for a 9 pm flight out
Saturday - arrived in Duluth 11pm (we gained 6 hours this time)
The autorefractor had 501 patients come thru. 384 received prescription glasses, 1425 sunglasses were given out, 800 readers, & 3 adjustab glasses were given out.
We had 8 non matches. If we take out the 300 some readers that's in our inventory, hopefully the non match numbers will improve.
There is a hospital in town, and several hospital workers came to the clinic. Some were: the head doctor, an optical empoyee, and a administration pharmacist.
The pharmacist couldn't read the board when giving presentations. We had no match for him and told him to come back tomorrow (which was to be the last day of the clinic).
He came back on Wed, and he got a match. He had such a big smile on his face! We gave him sun readers as well.
The optical worker, Veronica got glasses, & helped us in the optical clinic as much as she could. It was nice because she knew what eye conditions patients had.
On the last day a young girl was dilated, and given glasses. It was tricky since it was the last day. We usually tell the mother that if the glasses don't work well after the drops wear off, to come back the next day and we'll try again. Well, there was no next day. I'm in contact with Veronica, the hospital optical worker. She told me that she spoke with the mother 2 days after and that the glasses do work for her daughter.
There were several patients who got glasses thru the lens rack manual method.
Mercy is a young woman with poor eyes. The autorefractor didn't work for her, and the lens rack did not work for her either.
I felt very badly that we wer not able to give her regular glasses. But let's try something else.
We tried the adjustables. As I was twisting the adjustment screw, a big smile came to her face. Went to the other eye, and the same thing.
She was so happy to see better. She wasn't dissapointed about not getting regular glasses, she was so elated that see could see well.
A boy with congenital eye problems, again needed to be read by the lens rack. He and his mother are muslims. They both were pretty somber thru the whole process.
When he got glasses, their somberness turned to joy. The mother was thanking everyone she could.
There was a young man on the last day with little tiny iris & pupils. The autorefractor couldn't read his eyes. The lens rack did, and he became a very smily guy!
We gave Jon, the missionary several pair of sun readers to bring back to his hospital and to his clinic. We also gave Veronica from the hosptial a big box of glasses for the hospital. She called a cab (motorbike), and she hopped on with the box and off they went to the hospital.
Dental had 4 chairs. Saw 300 patients, 516 extractions, 83 sealants, 5 fillings, 131 treatments of silver diamine, 33 fluoride treatments, 33 patients received antibiotics, 8 cleanings, 8 treated for dry sockets. At my last count, there are 3 dentists, all in the capitol city of Monrovia.
Now that Elwa is running, they may have a dentist now, as well. They are trying to have a dental school to teach how to do extractions & fillings.
The cost of an extraction, if you are lucky enought to get one is $30. Not many have jobs in Liberia, and the pay is usually just $1 per day. $30 would be a months salery!
When I recall some of our patients, I can't help but tear up. To think that we are able to bring life changing sight to people who otherwise would have no help.
And we do this in the lovely name of Jesus.. Our clinic sign that hangs outside says that we come in the name of Jesus.
Thank you Holland for having this wonderful ministry that brings sight to people all around the world.
Duluth Gospel Tabernacle