Sunday, October 7, 2012

Saving Lives

One hundred and four doctors and nurses in the Dominican Republic participated in two outstanding trainings for neonatal care during the week of September 29-Oct 5th.  The Ministry of Health and the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints combined their efforts to provide the courses. Ten facilitators of the course were trained on Saturday, 28th Sep 2012 in Santo Domingo. Short term specialist, Dr. Lloyd Jensen from Pocatello, Idaho invited Dr. Johnnie Cook and nurse, Jeff Richardson, both from Utah, to assist him in the training.  Dr. Jensen’s wife, Chantel was also present to take care of registration, paper work and certificates. After the Saturday training, the facilitators were prepared to teach other doctors who would then go back to their hospitals where they could train even more doctors in their hospitals live saving knowledge and skills for the care of newborns.

The main course was held on Monday and Tuesday Oct 1-2 in Santo Domingo and then again on Thursday and Friday, Oct 4-5 in Santiago at the Santiago South Stake Center.  Fifty-five participated in the first training and Forty-Five in the second.  If you know Spanish you will enjoy reading the press release on the training in Santo Domingo at:

This was an intense week for Edith and Wallace as they transported the Doctors to the training location each day, took care of registering participants, feeding the participants lunch and providing dinner to the visiting Doctors each evening.  Edith drew on her experience as Cub Scout District Training Chairman, preparing the registration packets and then getting them out to those registered in a timely manner.  Wallace was the driver and did an excellent job running all the errands and transporting everyone between Santo Domingo and Santiago, which are about two and a half hours apart.

It was a real privilege to be part of this experience realizing that this training had the potential of saving thousands of newborn babies as the lifesaving principles were first taught and then in turn each participant would go out and train at least ten more nurses or doctors at their own hospitals.  There were 28 hospitals represented at the training.  They each took home a textbook, and equipment for their hospital.

Rubbing shoulders with the doctors was also a privilege.  We were with them about twelve hours a day for ten days.  We did take a sightseeing trip to the waterfalls in Jarabacoa on the trip to Santiago.  This time the “Saltos de Jimenoa” had abundant water in them from all the rain we have received this past week.  We exhausted ourselves by hiking both waterfalls, but enjoyed our break from the classroom.


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