Dear family, friends, and supporters,
I pray that you are all doing well.
On March 9-17, 2019, a multidisciplinary medical team of 41 volunteers from Chima Medical Missions Int’l (CMMI) and North America Taiwanese Medical Association International Medical Team (NATMA), organized by Dr. Charles Hsu, achieved an extremely successful medical mission in Honduras. This was done in collaboration with the local volunteer physicians, surgeons, dentists, interns, residents, nurses, medical students, interpreters, etc.
We were strongly supported by the Honduran government and the Taiwanese Embassy. The medical team, that included family medicine, internal medicine, pediatrics, physical medicine pain specialist, pharmacists, nurses, and students, attended to 5,118 patients, under the leadership of Dr. Tony Lee, at four different communities in Tegucigalpa, Nacaome, Pespire, and Campamento.
The Pharmacy team, under the leadership of pharmacist Shu Ling Hou, helped providers to dispense medicines to patients efficiently and smoothly. The Acupuncture team, under the leadership of Dr. Ruby Huang, took care of hundreds of patients too. The Dental team, under the leadership of DDS Joshua Chiu, attended to 585 patients. The Surgical team, under the leadership of yours truly, Dr. Clifford Eke, performed 34 remarkable operations. We operated at the oldest (> 130 years), biggest and busiest public hospital in Honduras, San Felipe Hospital. Types of cases included cholecystectomies, hernia repairs with mesh, colectomies and rectal cancer resection, C-section, hemorrhoidectomies, abdominal abscess, “lumps and bumps,” modified radical mastectomy, and lumpectomy with Sentinel lymph node biopsy, etc.
The axillary Sentinel lymph node biopsy case was a special case because it not only saved the breast cancer patient a big operation, but it gave us a chance to show our local surgical oncologist colleagues the surgical technique of using a blue dye, Lymphazurin (Isosulfan), to find lymph nodes. This dye is expensive but we donated to them thirty vials that we brought from the US, which they can use for sixty patients.
They were very appreciative of this. Some complex procedures took more than 3 hours of OR time and many lives have been touched and saved.
Gynecologist Dr. Steve Yu donated 100 intrauterine contraceptive devices and taught the medical staff how to place them to benefit women who desired birth control.
The Academic team included 5 of us physicians who were either professors associate professors, or assistant clinical professors in the US. We gave lectures on various subjects at the medical school of National Autonomous University of Honduras. The dean of the medical school, many department chiefs, and more than 200 students in the audience were very grateful for the quality of topics that were presented and the educational value.
So as you can see, knowledge and skills transfers are key elements of these medical missions, in addition to patient care and international networking and partnerships.
The Honduras President, Juan Orlando Hernandez Alvarado, invited our team to a formal dinner at the presidential palace.
At the dinner, Honduras First Lady, Anna Garcia de Hernandez, honored each of us with a certificate of appreciation issued by the President of Honduras.
Every team member worked extremely hard towards the success of the medical mission, but we are very grateful to Taiwan’s Ambassador Ingrid Hsiung, and her staff, for their tenacity, excellent planning and coordination with the Honduras governmental officers, to support our team.
As a result of the success of the NATMA/CMMI 2019 Honduras Medical mission, more than 8 thousand Honduras people have benefited and a stronger diplomatic friendship between Taiwan and Honduras is achieved.
Attached are some pictures of the mission. I am now planning for another big similar mission to Nigeria in April 2019, with the Association of Nigerian Physicians in the Americas (ANPA), and will update you with a report afterwards.
Thanks for reading and for your continued prayers and support. May God bless you! Cliff
Clifford C. Eke, MD, FACS, FICS
Founder/CEO Chima Med. Missions Int’l
Attending Surgeon, Kaiser Permanente Hospital.
Assistant Clinical Professor of Surgery, Loma Linda University School of Medicine.
President, American Cancer Society, CA Division 2011-12