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Medical Teams International | Official Blog

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A Gift of Knowledge

by Sarah Austria | May 24, 2016

As a compassionate community leader in a small village in Myanmar, Rebecca was often asked by fellow villagers for help with illnesses and injuries. She did her best to care for her community, but there was one major challenge - Rebecca had no medical training.

Understandably, her advice was often inaccurate. Many people in Rebecca’s community didn’t realize they should see a doctor when sick-- and leaders like Rebecca didn’t know warning signs for serious conditions. Myanmar is the poorest country in Asia, and medical care in rural areas of the country is often difficult to access. Community leaders like Rebecca fill an important role in caring for their communities. But without specific health education for these leaders, communities are vulnerable.

Rebecca_Myanmar_Health_Educator

Thanks to you, the village of Japat now has a priceless gift: knowledge. Medical Teams International conducted health-education training in Rebecca’s village. Through the training sessions Rebecca gained the knowledge she needed to give more accurate health advice and to keep her community healthy.

Her newfound knowledge was quickly put to the test. A villager in Rebecca’s community cut his leg on his way to work. The wound was deep and serious - he was quickly losing blood. His blood pressure dropped and he became tired. He hobbled to Rebecca for advice. Thanks to her new knowledge, Rebecca knew that pressure was critical to slow the bleeding-- and that he needed to see a doctor or risk death. Before her training, she may not have realized that the man’s life was in danger.

They had to cross nearly a dozen streams to reach the nearest hospital - all while the man continued to bleed.

By the time they arrived, he was barely conscious.

Thankfully, doctors were able to successfully suture the man’s leg to stop the bleeding. They told Rebecca that had she not brought him to the hospital, he probably would have died.

Prior to her training, Rebecca’s good intentions likely wouldn’t have been good enough. She may not have realized the importance of getting the man to the hospital, simply due to her inadequate training. In this case, a lack of knowledge could have led to the man’s death.

Rebecca was happy that her patient would heal. She is proud of herself - her training saved a life. Thanks to you, Rebecca now has the power to keep her community healthy and strong.