MOSES LAKE MEDICAL TEAM TRIP TO KYRGYZSTAN, MAY, 2023
Between May 2, and May 9, 2023, six members of the Moses Lake Medical Team embarked on a fact-finding trip to
Kyrgyzstan to explore the possibility of a medical mission in that country.
The members of the team that made this journey included Lateef Olaniyan, Pharm D; Mickey Eddie, RN; Dr. Michael
Johnson; Dr. Cecelia Wang; Prof. Zachariah Tanko; and Heide King, R Ph.
The trip started from Sea-Tac airport in Seattle, where all members boarded the plane for a 12-hour flight to Istanbul,
Turkey. After a two-hour layover in Istanbul, the team then flew into Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan, landing at around 1:00 AM local time on Thursday, May 4, 2023. Among the people at the airport to receive us were Shawn Barnett, Ilgiz Abdumomunov, Almazbek Toktoev, and Zholdoshbek Kubatov.
Upon arrival, team members were split into two groups of 3 members, with each group riding in two different vehicles for a 6-hour-trip to Karakol City. The trip to Karakol was a long one, stopping on the road twice to stretch legs and to fill up the gas tanks.
We checked in and stayed at the hotel called 78 at Karakol. After about a few hours of rest at the hotel, we went to the mayor of karakol’s office for a meeting with the mayor. Unfortunately, the Mayor was not available as he was on an official visit to the capital city of Bishkek. We met with the Deputy Mayor, Mrs. Gulnaz and her staff.
During the meeting, we were able to explain the purpose of our trip and the procedure for performing effective medical missions.
The deputy Mayor arranged for us to meet with the Chief Medical Director of the State Hospital in karakol city the following day.
On Friday May 12, 2023, the medical team met with Dr. Kutman, the Chief Medical Director of Karakol State Hospital. Dr. Kutman gave us a tour of the hospital, which was under remodeling. After the meeting at the hospital, we drove around the city of Karakol to visit some interesting historical places, such as the Mosque and an Orthodox church. We also visited a local resort.
On Saturday, May 13, 2023, we left Karakol city for Bishkek. On the way, we stopped by another hospital in AK Suu region. Dr. Kanchoro, who is the Chief Medical Director of the hospital received and gave us a tour of the hospital.
After leaving Ak Suu, we proceeded to Bishkek. On the way we stopped by another hospital in Cholpon Ata city. The Chief Medical Officer at the hospital is Dr. Almira. According to Dr. Almira, there are about 70,000 people living in the region served by the hospital, but only a limited number of medical personnel are available to provide medical attention to these people. She expressed a strong desire to host a medical mission at the hospital to serve the people of the community.
After the meeting with Dr. Almira at Cholpon Ata City Hospital, we drove straight to Bishkek. Shawn and Katie Barnett, who are American citizens living in Bishkek hosted us for dinner. The couple’s apartment was only about a block from the hotel we lodged in. We visited with them for a while before going back to our hotel rooms.
On Sunday, May 7, 2023, we spent the morning attending Sunday service at a local church called Iman (meaning Faith), in Bishkek. Although the service was delivered in the local language, with the aid of technology, using an App called Telegraph, we were able to listen to the English translation of the program.
After the service we went to a local resort to have lunch. While there, we had fun playing ping pong. After that we proceeded to the local open market to shop for souvenirs. The market is a very big one with a lot of products on display. After shopping, we headed back to the hotel, stopping at different locations of interest, such as the local ice cream stand, the city park, and the Federal Government building.
Monday, May 8, 2023, was our last day of visit. We spent the morning visiting a local medical clinic (Tendik Clinic), operated by Dr. Rory Gwin, who happens to be a Michigan, U.S.A., native. Dr. Gwin and her family have been living in Bishkek for several years. The clinic attends to the indigens who have limited or no capacity to pay for the clinic services. Other staff at the clinic include a Certified Nursing Assistant (CAN) and a Registered Nurse (RN). Fundings of the clinic include donations from individuals and Non-Profit Organizations, especially those in the United States of America.
According to Dr. Gwin, the current clinic would be vacated, and a new location, which is about two blocks away, is currently under construction. We also visited the new site.
After leaving Tendik Clinic, we proceeded to one of the orphanage centers in Bishkek to visit with the kids who are residing there. The staff and the kids at this facility were very happy to see us. We delivered the gifts that we brought form the United States to the kids. The gifts included soccer balls, volleyballs, T-shirts, and a variety of toys.
We played music and the kids showed us their dancing skills. We also played soccer and volleyball games with the kids.
After leaving the orphanage center, we went to a nice restaurant in downtown Bishkek to have dinner. Dr. Rory Gwin of Tendik Clinic was also invited to dine with us. We went back to our hotel to get some rest after the dinner, since we had an early flight back to the United States via Istanbul, Turkey the following morning.
The fact-finding trip to Kyrgyzstan that six members of the MLMT embarked on in May of 2023 was a very successful one. During this exploratory trip, we were able to discover that the residents of this country, especially those living in the rural areas, can use our assistance. We were warmly received by the people of Kyrgyzstan. Our tour guides were very knowledgeable about the area, and they were extremely helpful to us.
Our next step is to decide on the most appropriate schedule that would work for everyone that would be involved in performing a medical mission in this country. Of all the potential sites visited, the team thinks that Ak Suu Hospital would be the most suitable location for a medical mission.