April 3, 2019

U.S. Adventist Hospital Employees Provide Health Care to Thousands in Kenya

Lindsay Cashio, AdventHealth, and Adventist Review

AdventHealth Daytona Beach hospital employees recently joined with members of the Daytona Beach Seventh-day Adventist Church in Daytona Beach, Florida, United States, for a mission trip to Meru, Kenya.

From February 28 to March 15, 2019, a 10-person AdventHealth Daytona Beach volunteer medical team cared for thousands of patients at six medical clinics held in villages around the region.

“The need for medical care in the community was overwhelming. In my 27 years of nursing, these were some of the worst cases I had ever seen,” said Linda Misko, a registered nurse and director of education for AdventHealth Daytona Beach. "Our team cared for patients with terrible wounds, with maggots and worms. Many had extremely high fevers of over 104 degrees, and we also met so many underdeveloped children.”

Misko shared that the team encountered some rare conditions, including gigantism and congenital backward legs. “Our team did our best to offer treatments and comforts to the community, making a difference in countless lives through medical services and intervention,” she said.

Beyond Health Care

The mission work extended beyond health care. An 18-person volunteer construction team worked on a new kitchen and cafeteria building at the Kiutine Adventist Secondary School, a boarding school with more than 200 high school students.

Donations from AdventHealth Daytona Beach employees and family members, as well as community partners from several local stores and hospital vendors, allowed the hospital team to provide patients with sunglasses, eyeglasses, toothbrushes, and toothpaste, as well as clothes and toys.

“Our time in Kenya was an incredible, amazing, and humbling experience that truly made a difference in countless lives,” Misko said.

The top contributing factor to most of the health problems that villagers face is a lack of clean water, the team reported.

“At the community wells, you have thousands of people going there every day, trying to get water,” Misko said. “People ranging from an 80-year-old elderly woman to 6-year-old children have to walk many miles each day to visit a well and then carry water home in heavy containers, causing terrible back pain.”

Misko explained that after seeing this for themselves, the team members felt they needed to go back to Kenya.

“We are already planning to build a well,” she said.

The original version of this story was posted on the AdventHealth blog.