Medical Mission August 2015
On August 2015 the staff of Medical Aesthetics of the Hudson Valley were honored to participate in a medical mission to Tibet. Dr. Dean Bloch and Gale Wolfe accompanied Kingston NY doctors, Dr. Holly Llobet and Dr. Paul Llobet as well as an international team of dentists, acupuncturists and nurse practitioners to central China in the Tibet region for a week-long mission of delivering medical care.
We collected all supplies from generous patients, clients, friends, suppliers and medical institutions. Without your support and extremely generous donations, we could not have provided the much needed care. We took 20 military style duffels and returned with empty bags. Every last bit of donated supplies was used.
Our team included translators and nuns. We were graciously housed in a nunnery. The nuns provided us with delicious food and beautiful laughter. The translators helped us dig deep into some fairly complex medical cases to help diagnose, treat and care for the patients. Working so closely together, we became fast friends with the nuns and translators. We needed them and they were so willing to help our mission.
Each morning before sunrise, motorcycles carrying entire families arrived, followed by car after car, motorcycle after motorcycle (numerous people arrived seeking care).
The lines were long. People patiently waited all day, and then day after day to be seen by the doctors.
During the week the providers saw approximately 1000 patients. Many of the patients are nomads who follow the yak high in the mountains at 12,000 feet. We treated many digestive issues such as G.E.R.D and H Pylori because the diet is mainly yak meat and yogurt. The sanitation system is crude. The patients suffered with many knee problems due to the steep terrain and constant squatting. There were hundreds of knee injections that offered much needed relief.
Many Tibetans in this area live in tents. They keep a fire inside the tent for warmth and to cook over. They use yak dung as fuel. Subsequently, there are many lung issues and lots of asthma. We gave out hundreds of inhalers and educated them about lung health. There was much heart pain, headache, fatigue, kidney pain, dizziness and weakness. Aspirin, Tylenol and Advil were given out in abundance.
Pain reliever was essential.
There is no dental care in the remote region. We donated hundreds of toothbrushes, toothpaste and instructed them on how to use. We also performed fluoride treatments. Understandably, the dental clinic was very busy. The dentist pulled roughly 175 teeth, about 37 a day. We used a rice maker as a sterilizer that had to be run by a generator each day. In this environment, it is very much make do with what you can rig together.
We provided an optical station where we were able to fit people with glasses. We had many different prescriptions and it was quite an event finding just the right ones to improve a patient’s vision. The sun is very intense at that elevation and there is a huge need for sunglasses as well. The locals and nuns looked amazing in their stylish glasses! We also gave out tons of sunblock thanks to generous donations from our suppliers.
The mission was a complete success. We were able to treat people and give them care that they otherwise would not get. We spent lots of time educating. These people have limited electricity and water and lead a nomadic life. So education about hygiene, diet, stress (yes, they have stress!) was important.
Please consider this a heartfelt thank you to all who supported, donated wished us well or are just interested. Your care, concern and donations went directly to those who are in need.
Thank you so much for helping us help others!
Dean Bloch MD
Gale Wolfe LE