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Uploaded on Mar 10, 2014
Jeffrey J. Meter, MD, an Orthopedic Surgeon at Saint Francis Hospital and Medical Center in Hartford, traveled to Kenya last summer on a medical mission to teach general and orthopedic surgery and perform four to 12 surgeries daily along with 100 outpatient visits at Tenwek Hospital, a 260-bed facility, in the city of Bomet. Tenwek is a teaching hospital with an intern training program and residency programs in family medicine and general surgery.
In a recent interview on Fox CT, Dr. Meter said that the teaching function of the trip is especially important, noting that "When we go there on our own and just perform surgeries and don't train, then we leave complications and issues that the people there can't manage." Dr. Meter said he believes in the adage, "It's better to teach a man to fish." Kenya, with a population of 41 million, has just 50 orthopedic surgeons.
On this most recent trip, Dr. Meter took a very personal lifesaving step when he donated blood to save the life of a local resident. During a church service, the pastor announced that someone urgently needed a type O+ blood transfusion -- a blood type that matched Dr. Meter's. According to Dr. Meter, the man needed an endoscopy but his blood count was too low. After receiving the blood transfusion from Dr. Meter, he was able to have the endoscopy. The next day he sat up, very thankful, and said, "Yesterday I could only see darkness, today I see the light."
Dr. Meter, of Avon, is a member of Samaritan's Purse Disaster Assistance Response Team and has served as battalion surgeon with the 10th Special Forces Group. Over the next two years, Dr. Meter plans to return to Tenwek to assist in the development of the hospital's orthopedic residency program.