Dr. Vanderpool and his mission
Local physician David Vanderpool , M.D. tells of his recent trip to the country of Mozambique, Africa where his nonprofit is currently building a hospital and nursing school facility, and operating a mobile medical unit.
Vanderpool, stocked with $60,000 worth of supplies in a suitcase, traveled with his family to Pemba, Mozambique to check the progress of the hospital as well as medically treat the children of Pemba and surrounding villages.
Seeing the devastation first hand, Vanderpool says, “In this country of 20 million people, life expectance is 34 years, and 60% of children die before the age of 5. A child can be vaccinated for 8 of the top 10 killer diseases for approximately 5 dollars, yet those vaccines are unavailable. AIDS and malaria vie for the lives of the people. ” Since his efforts began in Pemba, he has treated approximately 1500 people, a large percentage of those cases being malaria. With the completion of the hospital, in November, he expects the numbers of patients to increase drastically.
Malaria, the number one killer, is transported through mosquitoes. Although there is no vaccine for malaria, it is both preventable and treatable. The Bush Administration is currently working in Mozambique under a program established in 2005 called the President’s Malaria Initiative to provide life saving medicines, insecticide sprays, and mosquito netting to millions of people across the continent of Africa.
Most recently, Laura Bush was in Mozambique’s capital city, Maputo, to announce the first grant to the Inter-Religious Campaign against Malaria in Mozambique. The program is expected to benefit over a million and half people in the next three years. The program will provide health education, training, and community mobilization through trained faith leaders.
Vanderpool’s non-profit, Mobile Medical Disaster Relief (MMDR), was established in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina and has since grown into other parts of the world where there is a need for medical attention. Currently, MMDR is attempting to procure vaccines, malaria drugs and AIDS medication in the hopes of changing the face of the health crisis in Mozambique.
For more information, or to help in this effort you can contact Karen Joy Thomas, Director of Operations for MMDR at 615-833-3002 or www.mmdr.org. Plans are currently being made to travel back to Pemba in the fall.
Vanderpool is owner of Lavé MD, Laser and Vein Esthetics of Brentwood, TN and is a board certified surgeon who specialized in the treatment of varicose and spider veins.