Just below the ship are the initial screening tents- brought from Alaska, tough and insulated, with airconditioning. A team of nurses, physicians and Opthalmologists work to assess the needs of the waiting hopefuls and attend to the outpatients. The screening nurse has a tough job, assessing hundreds of people a day- one every 90 seconds- to assess what help Mercyships can help provide. Sadly only 12% can receive treatment due to limitation of surgery, timing and the patients condition.
For many this is a tragic place, where they learn of terminal problems, inoperable conditions and surgical limitations, so there is a support team in place to comfort the rejected. For the lucky few, its the start of a new life- new sight, new face,ability to walk unimpeded and the end of Fistual torment .
This year Mercyships have learned to correct club feet in young children without the need for invasive surgery- gradually manipulating the feet joints into normal formation. For very young children under 30 months this is relatively simple, and for older children a short tendon cut and manipulation over 6 months with braces and adjustments does the trick. With regular therapy from the occupational therapy team this technique is working well -Local physicians are also being taught how to change club feet abmormalities without surgery , and retain the skills locally after Mercyships leave in August. Local physicians are also trained for eye cataract removal ( 15 minutes a time) with simple tools to sustain the good work.