Ethiopia 2019: “Unique in Its Ability to Make a Difference” (Caroline Haverkorn van Rijsewijk)

Joining M2H on a mission through Ethiopia was an event I am unlikely to forget. To witness and experience the heartwarming and amazing reception we received wherever we went was very touching. The M2H “caravan” of Mobile Surgical Units slowly entering a village while being applauded by Ethiopians dressed in beautiful traditional outfits (I wanted one of those!) and followed by children singing was moving and encouraging. They saw us as very special guests, and I felt special to be a part of this important mission.

During the operations, the young doctors were all incredibly eager to learn and practice under the watchful eyes of Dr G. It was wonderful to see how most of them were tireless and very diligent in performing the operations that needed to be done, hoping to get as many as they could “under their belt” before he left.

The image of hopeful patients standing in line patiently in the mornings, whose faces lit up with huge grins once they saw the staff or Dr G, is one I will never forget. Participating in an M2H mission can be a life-changing experience. It is pretty amazing to see how sometimes even small or simple operations can bring great relief to people who are often suffering in ways that are unthinkable in the Western world. 

M2H is quite unique in its ability to reach out and make a difference in this world, and I am grateful for having been a part of it. Working in Africa is not easy. There is always the tension between bringing something for free and asking for participation and a commitment to carry out the work once we leave. But I think M2H has struck the right balance. 

I wish M2H and its impassioned staff all the best as they continue their efforts to make the world a better place by distributing the knowledge and application of healthcare more equally as they visit the most remote places on the planet to continue their tireless work. 

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