Twenty-seven Saskatchewan Health Authority (SHA) staff members based out of Moose Jaw, Regina and Saskatoon traveled to Patzun, Guatemala in February 2019 as part of the Moose Jaw International Medical Mission. There were three teams: one surgical, one medical and one stove building team. Those on the mission included nurses, anaesthesiologists, general surgeons, gynecologists, family residents and others.
The surgical team performed gynecology procedures including abdominal and vaginal hysterectomies, as well as general procedures such as hernia repairs and laparoscopic cholecystectomies, among other procedures. In total, the teams performed 43 surgical procedures, 22 stove and water filter installations, and saw over 450 patients in rural day clinics.
Maggie Robertson, a perioperative Registered Nurse from Moose Jaw, was one of the participants on the mission. She says “I believe that you should always help those who are less fortunate within your means. I was happy to donate my time and skills to help Guatemalans receive the surgical care that they would otherwise be denied due to a lack of money and specialized surgical team members.”
“Knowing that your team is directly improving a patient’s quality of life was incredibly rewarding. The warm fuzzies you feel when these patients thank you again and again for coming to their community to help them truly warms your heart. I highly recommend all members of the SHA do at least one trip like this in their careers.”