"Speak tenderly to them. Let there be kindness in your face, in your eyes, in your smile, in the warmth of your greeting. Always have a cheerful smile. Don't only give your care, but give your heart as well." (Mother Teresa)


May 2019 Medical Mission Report

Report by Dr. Thuba To, MOL’s Medical Mission Director
May 24th, 2019
children in the classroom
children in the classroom
children in the classroom

This is a brief summary describing the MOL May 19 Medical Mission’s two events occurring last week in HoChiMinh city in Vietnam. In the interest of brevity, this summary omits the description of the lengthy preparation work, the multitude of behind-the-scene meetings with VN government officials and grass root workers, the intense coordination effort required to organize two events involving hundreds of people in two continents.

The mission culminated in two key separate events: the Medical fair at LienTam clinic on 5/12 and the UMC medical conference on 5/16.

The Medical Fair - 5/12/19, Lien Tam clinic, HoChiMinh city

The day starts with busses, at pre-planned regular intervals unloading scores of patients coming from the poor area of village Tan Tap to the clinic. Based on the patients’ medical condition and illness they are ushered and guided to the right physicians’ offices for diagnosis and treatments or to the proper labs for various blood/xray/ultrasound/sonogram/ECG/EKG tests. There are 104 patients in total from small child to 82 years old. Some are visibly weak and sick and others have to be carried and limped along. They are christians with visible cross necklaces or buddhists with prayer bead in hands. After the doctor’s diagnosis the patients come to a waiting area for test results and to enjoy a free meal (fasting from the previous day before the blood tests). Before going home, each patient receives medicine, some cash for transportation and a small gift consisting of daily accessories (tooth paste, soap, herbal oil). In a few serious cases, the patients get the references and assistance for future surgery performed at the large UMC hospital and further specialized treatment, all free-of-charge thanks to the MOL Medical Mission.

Doctors, nurses, medical technician workers, together on that day, they have processed, tested, diagnosed and treated 104 patients with cardio vascular diseases, bones and joint diseases, gynecological diseases, gastrointestinal diseases, renal diseases, ophthalmological diseases, and they perform 45 Xray scans, 68 blood tests, 16 gynecologic exams, ECG tests, sonograms, 2 endoscopy procedures and dispense a yet-to-be-finalized large number of medicines. One cancer case is detected and quickly forwarded to the BenhVien OngBuu cancer hospital (the Vietnamese MD Anderson cancer hospital) and 3 serious cases requiring major surgery are referred and transferred to the large UMC hospital with continuous follow up by the MOL May19 doctors’ team after the Medical Fair day. Also there is one life-threatening emergency incident involving a small child choking on his candy. He is later treated by a nearby hospital.

Doctors, nurses, medical technicians, administrative/office workers and security guards, all have an exhausting but gratifying day. After the last patient and the fair’s ending, the team goes through a debrief meeting where 4 areas needing for improvement are identified for future missions (one outdated heavy medical equipment, better onsite patient triage and rural patient selection, accessibility of facility and room climate control, communication between doctors and the pharmacist in real time). At the end of the day, in the evening, all enjoy a group thank-you dinner.

The UMC medical conference - 5/16/19, UMC hospital, HoChiMinh city

Doctors and researchers from Texas Women university, Stanford university and Denver university presented their medical studies and research topics at the UMC medical conference on 5/16/19. The UMC invites Dr Thuba To to present a UMC relevant topic lecture as well as to chair and lead the hands-on sessions attended by doctors and nurses representing many small city hospitals in Vietnam. The auditorium was fully packed and overflowed to the hallway with standing room only (see pictures).

In conclusion, arguably a 104% success rate is accomplished toward our MOL May 19 Medical Mission goal of treating up to 100 poor patients from xa TanTap district in Vietnam. In the process we also establish a positive relationship with the UMC governance staff. Our mission is well received and the UMC as well as other representatives of hospitals in rural and small cities request further cooperation and missions of this nature in the future.

I would like to personally thank you chi Theresa for your support. The success of the MOL May 19 Medical fair mission is a reflection of your assistance and enthusiasm. We couldn’t have done it so well without you.

Again a heartfelt “Thank You”.

Pictures taken at the events


Dr. Thuba To

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children in the classroom
children in the classroom

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