KRB Update #2162 January 23, 2011
Keith R. Brinkman
Final Days in South Africa
Greetings from South Africa for probably for the last time as our season here is finishing. I have been living in this nation since starting with the Advance Team in May and then with the ship’s arrival on September 1st. The time is approaching to return to West Africa with our new improved tool, the ship – new generators, new air conditioning units and other systems that will last the life of the ship (maybe 20-25 more years). Please join us in prayer that everything will past the tests and inspections. They are due to test #3 generator tomorrow.
Related to our projects here, the eye training, mental health training and dental, they all have come to an end. We hosted some of our partners last week at our Thank You Event along with partners from the government and the shipyard phase. A time to thank them for their partnership and assistance offered to us during this season in South Africa.
Eye Project: Our Eye Team provided training and mentoring in the Eastern Cape to surgeons, medical officers, registrars, surgical nurses and community eye care workers. They also provide hundreds of cataract surgeries using the same technique that is used on board the ship while in West Africa.
Mental Health: Our Mental Health Programs Administrator provided training in mental health issues for five groups of church leaders at venue sites in Pietermaritzburg, Pongola, Eshowe, Mbazana and Newcastle. This was the project I was most involved with from my assignment on the Advance Team to find potential partners to offering logistics assistance during the six weeks of training. Along with the writer and photographer, I visited two of the sites while the training was offered. Since the training, I have heard from the directors of the Christian Councils on the impact of the training.
Dental: Instead of setting up in one location for the entire 12-week field service, the Dental Team at the request of the Department of Health in Pietermaritzburg went to many of their hospitals and clinics. Many patients received treatments plus some patients received dental prophylaxis. With a great emphasis on training, the Dental Team visited local schools and provided students with basic oral health training and their teachers received instruction on teaching oral health.