Medical missionary in Burundi with Serge seeking "Grace at the Fray" as a med/peds physician, clinical educator, and teammate
Public health measures such as vaccines and clean water are certainly critical and foundational to transforming health in a limited resource setting. However there are times as a long term medical missionary when the huge health disparities between specialty medical care in the developing and the developed world motivate one to initiate specialized treatment programs where none exist. We will discuss the factors to consider in beginning and sustaining these programs in extremely limited resource settings with examples from neonatology, hematology, and oncology at Kibuye Hope Hospital, a 170 bed teaching hospital in rural Burundi.
1) To briefly discuss specialty healthcare disparities and the difficulties of seeing patients suffer and die from illnesses that are treatable or curable elsewhere in the world
2) To highlight the necessity of a team approach with national and missionary colleague collaboration in seeking creative and sustainable solutions to these disparities
3) To provide examples of local creative solutions for caring for low birth weight and very low birth weight infants
4) To discuss sickle cell anemia management through a holistic community program
5) To highlight the challenges of maintaining a specialty program through the example of providing the first chemotherapy in Burundi (for children with retinoblastoma)
6) To determine the setting specific logistical questions that need to be answered (supply chains, human resource capacity, etc.) in order to begin and sustain successful specialty care
7) To reflect on the educational benefits of these specialized programs for medical and nursing trainees and the potential long term ramifications for their future patients
8) To celebrate God's provision and care for "the least of these"