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Two churches provide medical hope and help at MOHI

Medical teams from two U.S. churches visited Missions of Hope International in Kenya recently, and between the two of them, screened nearly 350 students for dental, health and vision problems.

Teams from Rocky Mountain Christian Church, Frederick, Colo., and Third City Church in Grand Island, Neb., held clinics for students and their families in two communities.

Dental clinics

Raelyn, Nicholson, MOHI, medical, dental, vision, Rocky Mountain, Third City
Raelyn Nicholson, CMF team member with MOHI, helps out with the dental clinic.

“The prevalence of dental caries (cavities) was alarmingly high at 83 percent,” said CMF team member Raelyn Nicholson, the Health Quality Assurance Coordinator who recently celebrated her one-year anniversary of serving with MOHI. “Plain and simple, oral hygiene is a big problem throughout Kenya, but especially in the urban slums communities.

“For the next year, we are prioritizing a variety of interventions that will improve dental hygiene within MOHI schools and homes,” she added. “Just imagine how much better students would perform in school if they weren’t plagued by constant toothaches.”

Health screenings

The team from Rocky Mountain piloted a brand-new screening as a way to empower the community and improve health-seeking behavior.

“We worked with RMCC to screen adults for high blood pressure, diabetes and obesity — health conditions that are poorly understood by the community,” said Raelyn. “We discovered that 69 percent are overweight or obese, 50 percent have high blood pressure and eight percent have high blood sugar.”

After going through each station, patients received one-on-one health counseling from a provider and were referred to the local dispensary to fill prescriptions.

“We were so thankful that this new approach was well-received by the community,” said Raelyn. “It was a first step to improve health literacy and the community’s understanding of chronic diseases, while decreasing dependency on free medications. This is a project that we can replicate for future short-term medical teams.”

Vision screenings

Raelyn, Nicholson, MOHI, medical, dental, vision, Rocky Mountain, Third City
Left: MOHI students are thrilled to receive new glasses after a vision screening led by Rocky Mountain Christian Church. Right: After donning new glasses from RMCC, this young boy was excited to take the visual acuity test again. In Kenya’s education system, where test scores dictate one’s future, these 22 students with new glasses have fresh opportunities.

“Based on our initial assessments, we estimate that almost 1,000 MOHI students have a visual impairment, so we are getting started in that area,” said Raelyn. “Rocky Mountain blessed MOHI by sending an optometrist on their team, along with more than 2,000 pairs of glasses. Through the team’s hard work, 22 additional MOHI students received prescriptions for glasses.”

At the community screening, 11 adults also received the gift of clear vision from Steve, and the team also fit 45 more adults with reading glasses.

“After one patient received a pair,” said Raelyn, “she gleefully hugged me and said, ‘Wow, I can read! Thank you! Thank you!’ ”

Thank you, Rocky Mountain and Third City Christian Church, for sharing God’s love with the children and families of MOHI!

dental, medical, MOHI, Nicholson, Raelyn, Rocky Mountain, Third City, vision