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Friday, February 20, 2009

First Screening Day in Benin

Yesterday, February 19th, the crew of the Africa Mercy held our large mass screening at the Hall des Arts. Almost two thousand potential patients came to be seen by the crew. There were 1,952 potential patients attended along with their family member(s), so we estimated about 4,000 people. Don Stephens, Mercy Ships Founder/President arrived on Wednesday evening and he told us last night that this was the most successful screening he has seen. It was well organized and the flow of people through the various stations went very smoothly and effeciently. The people of Benin were shown great love and care as they patiently waited for their time to be seen. Approximately, 600 were referred by Dr. Glenn to one of the 4 field eye team clinic locations around the greater Cotonou area, which started today and will continue 4 days a week until the end of November 2009. The opthalmac surgical (eye surgery) candidates are selected from the field eye team clinics. Another 60 people were told that their eye problem was not something we could assist with. As the people (1,292 people on this day) entered they came to the pre-screening tent set up in front of the stadium. Of those, 635 people were given cards to enter the stadium to go through the appropriate screening stations. The others, were prayed with and/or walked to the exit.

We do not know yet how many were actually scheduled for surgery and given an appointment card. Many came to the two prayer stations also. Those not able to go through the whole process today were given cards to come back today - Friday, the 20th. Hospital crew and non-Hospital crew returned to the stadium to continue the process today. We would ask for your continued prayers. (statistics from: Keith Brinkman, Programs Administrator)

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