HEALTH TALENTS INTERNATIONAL
Nicaragua Mobile Medical/Dental Trip
January 22-27, 2004

By Gary Tabor, HTI Board Member

Participants: Drs. Alan Boyd, Allan Carlin, Charles Jarrett, Tom Ratts, and David Weed; Dentist Andrew Guthrie; Vicki Ratts, RN; Pharmacists Jimmy Anderson and Guthrie Hite; Med Tech Louise Clites; Chaplain Tim Denton; Others…Valari and Jessie Wedel, Grace McIntyre, Jacqueline Shaw, Pat Dwyer, Joseph Brunson, Carl Lancaster, and Gary Tabor.

There were 19 participants, five different States, were on the team. Many of them had been on multiple previous trips to Nicaragua. Over the three days of clinic, the medical and dental team members treated 1,118 patients for various symptoms and ailments. Team members carried with them a large amount of medicines and supplies (over-the-counter drugs and dental supplies). Trip veteran Jimmy Anderson commented that this was the largest amount of medicines he had ever seen here while he has worked in the pharmacy. What isn’t used during the week the team is there is donated to the church clinic for their use throughout the year..

The beginning of the trip was uneventful and went without a hitch or problem. No delays at the airports, and getting through customs were very easy. We held clinic for two days at Rene Polanco. It is always amazing to us to see again how friendly the members there are. We always marvel at what they accomplish during the course of the year since we’ve seen them. They were now expanding the roof of the main building. We saw 273 patients on Friday, our first day, and 337 on Saturday, our second day. We noted that the numbers seemed down a bit from years past, but the church clinic is now functioning smoothly, providing many more opportunities for the people to receive medical and dental care. We had 2 Nicaraguan dentists helping with dental services. I noticed that the church clinic now has a dental unit machine and some new instruments. They have been working on Saturdays at the church seeing patients. On Sunday we had a great church service. Our team chaplain, Tim Denton from Burnet, Texas, gave a great lesson and Noel Romano’s son translated. We went site-seeing in the afternoon. That evening the HTI board members on the team interviewed the three Bates scholarship students. They are good students, good Christians, and have been helping at the church/clinic and on Saturdays, too.

On Monday we went to the Santa Ana church that is located near the city garbage dump. We treated 508 people there.

Overall it was a good clinic. I found out that Health Talents is the only medical team that visits that church. The other church group is for VBS.