Observe the community from close quarters and identify its medical needs. Study the possibility of establishing a medical mission in the community. The assessment should take into consideration the following factors:
- Overall health status of the people in the community
- Epidemiology of current regional health issues
- Quarantine diseases
- Summary of emerging infectious diseases
- Summary of communicable diseases
- Recent outbreaks of epidemics
- Community approaches to diagnoses
- Occupational health issues
- Lab capabilities
- Physical infrastructure
- Clinical and personal capabilities
- Availability of resources
- Provision of primary health care and nutrition
- Environmental health including sanitation, water supply and pollution
- Preventive measures, training potential, emergency services and triage capabilities
- Grass-root level health workers, women’s groups and self-help groups can be of great service in the health sector.
Empowering communities: To take health and wellness issues into their own hands, people become self-reliant through classes and hands-on training. We need to provide learning opportunities to the local populace to sustain their well-being. A holistic transformation of the community can be achieved by attending to the multi-dimensional needs of the clients in different communities.
Regular medical camps in backward areas and finding sponsors for mother-and-child health programmes will boost our health efforts. People should be trained in home-based health care. Free medical check-ups will ensure better health for the people. Rehabilitation projects must have generous donors to support them. It is a good idea to publish a booklet on hygiene, nutrition and healthy lifestyle.
Medical Desk: WPM calls for volunteer physicians, nurses, and students to utilize their time and resources to serve the community. While this service helps those in need, it also offers the volunteers a unique opportunity to gain hands-on healthcare experience. They exhibit God’s love all over the world by their healing touch.
Doctors will examine patients for free; provide technical expertise to local medical professionals through partnership programs in diagnostic assistance and mutual exchange of ideas. The areas that call for particular attention are clean water, basic hygiene and nutritional tips, stopping the spread of diseases and saving lives, encouraging people to lead active lives, quit smoking, safety measures at work place, sex education, stress management, diabetes care, heart health, disability support and geriatric care.
Healing ministry: “O Lord, my God, I cried out to you, and you healed me” (Ps 30:2).
The healing ministry is as important as medical support. Healing is quickened when we visit the sick, stay at their side, acknowledge their pain and suffering, join them in prayer, ensure family support, provide social services support such as meals, child care, and transportation. Prayer requests via the international prayer line can be attended to as needed.
Angels of Mercy: Nurses fulfill their mission by providing physical, emotional and spiritual support to patients. Committed nurses are always willing to educate people on healthcare, hygiene, dental care, skin care, and the services of mobile clinics.
Mobile clinics: Mobile health clinic is a van with a team of healthcare and allied professionals along with necessary equipment and materials needed to meet the target. The team may include social workers, dentists and psychologists, doctors, nurses, dieticians, counselors, physiotherapists, speech and language therapists, etc. The clinic offers the following services:
- Chronic care management plan for bed-ridden patients
- Care of the elderly
- Antenatal and postpartum care
- Cancer screening
- Tobacco and smoking cessation counseling
- Supplying supplementary vitamins to pregnant women
- Vaccinating children
- Home visits with counseling and prayer
- Supplying milk for poor children
Financial support: Monthly or periodically planned donations to medical clinics for surgeries at no cost to the world’s poorest regions is a way to promote peace. These donations can be used to provide medical supplies, clean water, free vaccines and medicines, help to pay for childcare, food, nutrition, counseling, and access to health services for women and infants.
Pro-life ministry: Unwanted and illegal pregnancies lead to abortion. In this situation, the mother-to-be experiences psychological trauma. The decision to abort is often taken under duress due to lack of support from partner, family and community. The woman is unaware of the cruelty being inflicted on the unborn baby, and risking the mother with infections and several other health problems. A feeling of guilt may haunt her all her life for killing her helpless baby.
Our approach would never be judgmental but to make the woman and her partner and family understand the serious impact of abortion on the mother and baby and to help her continue the pregnancy. WPM’s pregnancy counseling and support follows a woman’s pregnancy from conception through delivery of the baby. On-going counseling and family support will be needed and most of the time they may need shelter too.
An informed decision on adoption should be made in consultation with the partners and the counselor if that is the only choice possible. Adoption agencies should be contacted and necessary arrangements made.
Medical Mission brings compassion, forgiveness, and healing to those who are hurt in the aftermath of abortion, and enable them to lead productive and peaceful lives. Through counseling and retreats, they offer a healing opportunity for any woman, man, couple, and family who have been affected by the emotional loss, guilt or shame of an abortion.
Adolescent pregnancy: The approach to adolescent pregnancy differs from country to country. Most of these pregnancies are unexpected and unwanted. Mothers’ approach to adolescent pregnancy depends upon their socio-economic status, cultural and religious background and governmental support. Young mothers constantly need the support of elders.
In situations where family support is lacking or in illegal pregnancy, this will be traumatic for the young woman. Most of the time, they will be hesitant to disclose the actual situation. Our approach should be gentle and friendly, and provide emotional support and resource information for educational, medical, legal, financial and social assistance. Counseling support should be offered regularly as needed, and help with adoption if that is the choice. Services may also include help with maternity clothes, baby clothes, furniture, parenting classes, and much more.
HIV/Aids awareness program: WHO estimates that around 35 million people around the world are living with HIV. HIV is a virus that attacks the immune system, and weakens one’s ability to fight infection and diseases. It is most commonly caught by having unprotected sex. There is no cure for HIV, but there are antiretroviral treatments to enable most people with the virus to live a long and healthy life. Unavailability of this medicine and the expense of this medication lead to millions of painful deaths each year, and families end up in severe poverty and agony.
In sexuality education, teach intimacy skills without physical sex, team building of mutual co-workers groups, and techniques of healthy relaxation and relationship skills.
Prevention: Sex education: Educate the community regarding the measures to prevent the dreaded disease. Eliminate new HIV infections in children and keep their mothers alive.
Treatment: Increase access to antiretroviral medications; promote public understanding and the need to be kind to affected people, and not to be judgmental but being human; provide flu vaccine and first aid kits to HIV patients as they are highly susceptible to infection; rehabilitate them back into their homes, jobs and societies.