MOULTRIE -- Fifteen health care workers and interpreter-assistants from South Georgia will embark on a week-long medical mission trip to Honduras next month.

The group will set up their clinic Aug. 19-26 in a school for orphaned and abused girls up to age 18 that was founded eight years ago by Moultrie residents Pam and Brett DeMott near the rural town of LaEsperanza, high in the Honduran mountains.

The trip is being organized by physicians Walter Harrison and Robert Brown through the First United Methodist Church of Moultrie. Other clinical volunteers include Dr. Winston Williams, dentists John Fason and Sam Whatley, nurses Ruth Bridges and Marsha Moye, physical therapist Marcus Wells, and emergency medical technicians Doug Todd and Joey Thompson. Going along to interpret and provide assistance are Sonny Bridges and David Tyndall.

MAP International of Brunswick, Ga., is supplying medications, which are being shipped this week. Other medical supplies are being provided by Colquitt Regional Medical Center's purchasing department and pharmacy. Businesses, organizations and individuals from the community have donated T-shirts, caps, school supplies and other gifts for the children they see. Any medications that are left over will be given to local physicians and clinics for free use.

The group will provide medical care to the 27 girls at the school as well as residents from surrounding villages. Harrison said medical supplies are sparse in rural parts of Central America and that many people cannot afford the medical care that is available.

"The people we see are always very thankful," Harrison said. "Many do not have access or the financial means to purchase modern medicines for the many common ailments ranging from skin conditions to high blood pressure."

The Honduran trip is the fourth annual medical mission sponsored by Moultrie's First United Methodist Church. The first three, which began 1999, were to Costa Rica with the church's Hispanic minister, Emmanuel Mora. During last year's trip to Curim/, Costa Rica, about 600 people were examined and treated for medical conditions in six days. Many volunteers over the years have been Colquitt Regional Medical Center employees who used their vacation time to help those less fortunate.

"A nucleus from our hospital has gone on a lot of the trips," Harrison said. "We depend on the hospital and people from the hospital."



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