Nov. 11, 2016 — November is National Diabetes Month and a time to
grow awareness of a disease affecting one in 11 adults worldwide. Two
Marshall Medical Center practitioners recently travelled over 9,500 miles
to fight this chronic illness.
Michael Jones, MD and Timna Hughes, MD joined a contingent of physicians
this fall in Kenya. The group was sponsored by Roseville-based Maranatha
Volunteers International, a non-profit charity affiliated with the Seventh-Day
Adventist Church. While others among the group helped build churches and
schools, the doctors provided much-needed diabetic testing supplies and
procedures to residents of remote settings.
“Medical care was simply not an option for most people,” Dr.
Hughes said. “Patients carried small tattered pieces of paper or
booklets which were their only medical chart. Some children and adults
were being treated for malaria and HIV, as well as high blood pressure
The team treated over 1,200 patients over the course of three weeks. They
traveled by bus daily from the city of Meru over unpaved roads to one
of seven outlying villages. Most were in the desert. Two armed guards
accompanied each bus on four-hour round trip. All destinations lacked
electricity and running water. Formal medical care there didn’t exist.
A supply truck brought tents to shield the makeshift clinic, which consisted
of plastic chairs and tables. After waiting between four and six hours
to be seen, residents had their blood pressure and blood glucose levels
checked. Supplies included test strips and glucometers supplied by Marshall’s
diabetes educators. Physicians dispensed two-week supplies of oral medications
to treat diabetes.
Both physicians had previously travelled overseas to provide medical care.
While Dr. Hughes’ such experience occurred in Micronesia, she said
this visit was especially revealing.
“I will always remember the enthusiasm of the patients we saw,”
she said. “I would hope to inspire my patients to be that excited
to take care of themselves.”
Marshall Medical Center is an independent, nonprofit community healthcare
provider located in the heart of the Sierra Foothills. Marshall Medical
Center includes Marshall Hospital, a fully accredited acute care facility
with 113 beds in Placerville; several outpatient facilities in Cameron
Park, El Dorado Hills and Georgetown; and many community health and education
programs. Marshall has more than 200 boardcertified physicians and 1,500
employees providing quality healthcare services to more than 180,000 residents
of El Dorado County.