For the past 10 years I have had the privilege of spending two weeks in July on a medical mission in the Southern Province of Zambia. We take a team of 8-10 physicians, 8-10 nurses, 5-6 dentists, eye care technicians and wound care technicians to four villages over six clinic days.
During this trip we see over 16,000 patients of all ages. Patients present with a wide variety of illnesses and conditions. We work with various aid agencies in the US to purchase about $2,500,000 worth of medicine for a cost of $75,000 to treat the patients we see. We work closely with the Zambian Ministry of Health to provide referrals for treatment and long-term management of chronic medical conditions. This year we treated 13,996 patients in the medical clinic, 3,426 patients in the eye clinic, and 2138 patients in dental clinic. During the past 10 years we have used these experiences to build and staff a clinic to continue this care over the year between our visits.
To support this effort we solicit private donations to our charitable fund, Zambia Mission fund. For this extensive effort I need to collect pictures of the villages, patients seen and the enormous needs for this underserved population.
With a clinic load of over 3000 patients per day, time for taking photos is brief. In addition we operate in the bush. This area is dry and very dusty. I have ruined several 35 mm and digital cameras in these conditions in the past. I need a robust camera that can quickly capture the photograph I need and let me move on to the next patient.
I was delighted to receive your Sigma DP2 for my last trip to Zambia. I found it to be a sturdy camera small enough to keep with me with features of larger digital SLRs. It handled the elements and a few knocks and falls in the process. It was easy to use to capture the pictures and with the 14 megapixels Foveon sensor the pictures project very well in Power Point. I was able to use the manual features to take some pictures of sunsets when I had a few minutes at the end of the day. All in all I found the DP2 to be a durable little traveler who served me and the patients well. I have a large collection of pictures to encourage donations for our next trip and for our clinic development. We have information about the Medical Mission trips and our Namwianga Health Centre at our website.
Our plans are under way for the next trip in July 2011 and we are gathering funds, medications and equipment for that trip. In addition I am continually soliciting support for our clinic as we progress toward a general hospital in the next 5 to 10 years. We are trying to fill the needs in a small area of a small country with a huge burden of poverty, malnutrition, malaria, and HIV/AIDS. Sigma’s donation will help us tell the story as clearly as we can.
Please visit our website for more information.