Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Dr. Jeffrey Joseph Heading to Africa for Third Mission Trip

   Dr. Jeffrey Joseph, of the Fauquier Hospital Emergency Department, is hearing the call of Africa once again, and once again he’ll be traveling there in July to lend his medical expertise to a new endeavor. This will be the good doctor’s third mission trip. As a seasoned veteran, he knows more or less what to expect – few amenities, blazing heat and many, many patients who need medical attention and education.

Dr. Joseph will be traveling to Kisumu in western Kenya to help establish a new medical clinic for villagers who do not have any access to healthcare. Sally Lunetta, an organizer for the clinic, says that the facility is not up and running yet. “We have the buildings and are busy collecting all the supplies we need to get it opened before June.”

Dr. Joseph will be spending his time in Kisumu working with patients, educating Kenyan doctors and nurses – and learning from them about the particular needs of their patients. The clinicians will also help the clinic venture out into the community to do some outdoor clinic days -- setting up an area in and around the clinic buildings where villagers can come and get free medical care.

The clinic will not be able to accomplish surgeries, but clinicians hope to offer immunizations, HIV testing, treatments for various common local diseases (like malaria, typhoid, etc.) and perhaps some well baby care.

Medical supplies and medicine are scarce, so Dr. Joseph has taken on the task of gathering as much as he can to help stock the shelves. He is actively fundraising for trip expenses and for medical supplies.

Dr. Joseph’s excitement about his upcoming journey is palpable; he knows from previous trips how rewarding the experience can be. After his first adventure in Africa, he wrote this: “It was a great, great trip. I relive some part of it every day...it has profoundly affected me and my life.” Then he quoted an African proverb: “If you want to go fast, go alone. If you want to go far, go together.”

Words to live by.

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