Thursday, July 19, 2012

Mark McCurdy Travels to East Africa

by Bob McCurdy 
Russell resident Mark McCurdy has spent two weeks in Zambia,  an East Africa Country,  with 13 million people and about the same size as our state of Texas.
He was part of an eleven person group made up of six firemen/emergency medical personnel, one nurse, one physical therapist, one dietitian, one doctor, and one medical student.
Their mission was to show a small community how to use their current fire truck and a newer truck that had been in use in Alaska. The new truck did not arrive and is still in a port near Houston, Texas. The community has a 1946 model fire truck from Great Britain.
The group also taught the local citizens emergency medical procedures. Mark found his students to be very interested in learning and developing skills that would help them help themselves.
The next task was to develop a fire plan for the area hospital (Saint Francis). They found a very willing medical staff, which had a serious lack of equipment and supplies to serve so many people. The hospital has four to six deaths per day because of poor health conditions in the country. 37% of the African population is infected with the HIV virus. They want to improve their health conditions but a vast amount of education is needed for the treatment and prevention of diseases.
The group did get to visit a large animal reserve that required a four hour trip . The roads a lot of the time  were like the roads we would see, only a little better than Lucas County level B roads.
Look for information to follow on this trip.

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