CURRENT PROJECTS & PROGRAMS
Mobile Dental Clinic
In January 2016, MAHI International received a mobile dental clinic funded by Australian AID. The purpose of this clinic is to work in the schools to provide oral health education and restorative dental care to the students. Currently in Pohnpei, over 80% of all students have cavities and infection which cause them to live daily with severe pain. Because of this, often times they are absent from school or have a difficult time focusing on their studies. Our goal is to help alleviate this oral pain by providing dental services for them at their schools and to teach them proper oral healthcare to prevent future decay.
MAHI International has partnered with Pohnpei State Dental Services to assist them in treating and educating the island's 8,000+ students. We are looking for volunteer dentists and hygienists to assist us in providing 1-2 week service trips to Pohnpei to work in the mobile dental clinic.
The island nations have a high rate of eye disease such as cataracts and pterygium due to the close proximity to the equator. Many islanders are exposed to the sun for long periods of time with no eye protection. Eventually, many individuals suffer from limited eyesight or even blindness. In addition, because of the high rate of diabetes throughout the FSM, many suffer from retinopathy, a degeneration of the retina, which will eventually cause blindness.
Since 2013, MAHI International has partnered with the University of Utah's Moran Eye Center and their ophthalmologists and support team. With the support of the national and state governments, our main goal is to provide much-needed eye care and to cure blindness in all of the Federated States of Micronesia. We are training Dr. Padwick Gallen, local ophthalmologist, and his support staff to help fulfill the eye care needs. Finally, we strive to provide all necessary ophthalmic equipment for surgical and clinical uses.
Rheumatic Heart Disease Screening
The people of the Pacific Island nations experience the highest incidence of Acute Rheumatic Fever (ARF), and the second highest prevalence of Rheumatic Heart Disease (RHD) in the world. In Pohnpei alone between 2012 and 2014, there were 93 hospital admissions related to rheumatic heart disease at the Pohnpei State Hospital. Seven young patients passed away prematurely from complications relating to RHD.
Local physician Dr. Payne Perman is committed to serve his people by addressing the fatal effects of this disease in school-aged children through early detection and monitoring. Dr. Perman is the only healthcare professional in the FSM who is trained to do echo-cardiograms, which is the best means of accurately diagnosing RHD. MAHI International's part in this great endeavor is to help conduct screenings, and provide equipment, personnel, and training for these screenings.
In March 2016 under the direction of Dr. Perman, the first rheumatic heart disease screening was conducted at 6 public elementary schools with the assistance of MAHI International volunteer Roger Moore, a sonographer specializing in echo-cardiograms.
MAHI International's goal is provide screening to over 24,000 elementary-aged children in the Federated States of Micronesia.
November 2016 - Phase 2 of the Rheumatic Heart Disease Screening
Diabetes Education Program
The International Diabetes Federation has ranked the Federated States of Micronesia as the country with the highest rates of Type II Diabetes in the world — a staggering 37.2% of the population. Because of this epidemic, the FSM President has declared a state of emergency for the nation, regarding this a non-communicable disease (NCD) epidemic.
MAHI International is pleased to have diabetes educator and specialist Betty Jo Wresch as part of our team to help combat the grueling effects of poor nutrition and an inactive lifestyle. Betty Jo has been making trips to Pohnpei over the last 10 years with the passion to educate individuals suffering from diabetes. Our program's focus is to train and equip diabetes educators and the public health staff in best healthcare practices for treating and preventing Type II Diabetes. In addition, our goal is to provide individual and small-group preventative treatment plans for diabetic patients. These plans focus on nutrition and living a healthy, active lifestyle.
Health Screening & Education
Because of the lack of basic health education, many Micronesians fail to understand the importance of regularly monitoring their own health. Many don’t see the significance of preventative healthcare, they are afraid to see a doctor, or they can’t afford the cost of a check-up.
Our MAHI team and volunteers will be conducting regular and free health screenings for the people in Pohnpei and its outer islands. At the same time, we will be collecting data about each person’s health to better understand the needs to find the best solutions, and to provide effective health programs for the community.
Currently, MAHI International has completed and data-recorded over 5,000 health screenings in Micronesia! (updated November 2016)
American Heart Association Basic Life Support (BLS) Training
Since 2009, MAHI International has worked with the San Joaquin Community Hospital in Bakersfield, California to instruct, train, and certify health professionals, emergency personnel, students, and the community at large on American Heart Association Basic Life Support. MAHI International believes in empowering the local people to be more effective in responding to the emergencies around them.
We’d like to thank San Joaquin Community Hospital, Krystal, Donna and the rest of the Education Department in their aspirations for MAHI International to train the people of Micronesia!
Please view our Gallery to see our completed and on-going projects.