We are happy to report back on the unexpected success of our Medical Mission in Gioseni, Bacau County!
We received a warm welcome by the local family doctor, Dr. Mariana Vlad, who kindly allowed us the use of her dispensary to conduct our examinations. Upstairs, Dr Costi Creanga offered general and surgical consults to interminable lines of patients, from 10AM to 9PM on the first day and 11PM on the second day. Downstairs, the rest of us were set up in two separate rooms. One room was the workspace for Drs. Bogdan Dorobat and Adina Chirita, both nuclear medicine specialists. They spent a full day doing ultrasounds for abdominal complains and pregnancies. In the other room, student Drs. Daniel Murariu and Amaris Koga conducted general and simple cardiology consults and ran EKG’s for those who presented the need. Our EKG’s will be further examined by Dr. Radu Ciudin from the CC Iliescu Cardiology Institute at Fundeni Hospital, Bucharest.
Overall, we saw over 200 patients during the two days, performed ultrasounds and EKG’s for more than 60 of them. Our main pathologies were cardiovascular ones, mainly very high blood pressure ranges. In fact, not a few of our patients came in with a systolic TA of over 200, even 250, which forced us to treat them immediately as a hypertensive crisis. We also observed the high rates of childhood Hepatits A infections, with hepatosplenomegaly as troubling life-long sequelae. Kidney microlithiasis and lithiasis, as well as ptosis are also a problem. In the pediatrics category, we found the expected ENT issues like polyps, but also heart murmurs and poorly treated streptococcal infections. We wrote recommendations for specialty consults for all our patients whom we judged to have need of such.
We did not close up shop until we saw our last patient, but many more had not been well informed of our presence in the village and pleaded with us to return. We promised another campaign in mid-June, set to cover an even more remote neighboring village, as well as Gioseni itself.
People were kind, responsive, friendly, and immensely grateful. We were all deeply touched by their warmth. Our housing was provided by the sisters of St Charles Borromeo, at their local monastery. Nestled at the edge of the village, close to a forest and edged by cherry and peach orchards, we loved the quiet and beauty of the place after our long hours. The sisters run a fairly large kindergarten, and it was our pleasure to visit the children before we left, and distribute fruits, sweets, and toys donated by the Daniel Murariu Association and by Dr Radu Ciudin. We were impressed not only by how impeccably cared for they are, but by their cheerful welcome; we shared many songs and laughs.
We thank everyone who participated and everyone who helped us to make this a memorable campaign.
Driven by the wish to help the sick from poor rural areas with limited access to health care, we want to initiate a series of medical missions to the most poverty stricken areas of Moldova.
Our first medical mission will take place in Gioseni, a village with a population of over 4,100 and one physician. This family doctor runs a two-room clinic in the village center, but has to come in from out of town every day, so in case of medical emergencies, the people are left to fend for themselves.
The medical team we intend to create will consist of a cardiologist (complete with an EKG machine), a radiologist (for ultrasounds), a pediatrician, a general surgeon, an ophthalmologist, a rheumatologist and a public health specialist, as well as 2-3 medical students in their last year of studies. Our physicians are from Bucharest area hospitals and the students from Carol Davila Medical School of Bucharest.
The aims of the medical mission include offering specialty consults to everyone in need, especially the elderly and those suffering from chronic conditions, and detecting devastating diseases such as prostate and breast cancer in incipient phases.
The housing and food will be provided by the Gioseni Monastery, run by the St.Carlo Borromeo Sisters. We kindly thank the Sisters for their support.
Our current needs for this project include financial support for transport (Bucharest-Gioseni), a donation to the local monastery that will house the medical staff, and any contacts from pharmaceutical companies who would be willing to donate medication.
Fundatia Nicu Alifantis and DAL Health Management and Consulting SRL have granted us 750 RON (about 300 dollars) each toward expenses.