GREENSBURG — Anyone who’s ever traveled internationally – especially to any third-world country – has probably been counseled to, “Don’t drink the water.”
Even a large portion of people who’ve never traveled outside the United States are probably familiar with that handy, potentially life-saving recommendation.
There’s one bit of advice, though, that most people in America, regardless of their travels, have probably never encountered. It’s a fragment of wisdom that probably would have saved Decatur County Memorial Hospital (DCMH) OB/GYN nurse Tammy Sidell, RN, a great deal of suffering during her recent philanthropic trip to Zimbabwe had she known it: “Don’t drink the guinea fowl broth” – at least, not without boiling it first.
The “broth” incident happened on the next-to-last day of Sidell’s January trip with FAME (Fellowship Associates of Medical Evangelism), a faith-based, philanthropic-relief organization that provides free medical care in third-world countries, focusing largely on Haiti and various African nations.
According to the group’s website (fameworld.org), “FAME exists to provide healing for the whole man through medicine and evangelism.”
Sidell is an enthusiastic member of FAME and has been part of eight mission trips in her three years with the group. During the January trip to Zimbabwe, she estimated, about nine people came along. That team consisted of doctors, other medical professionals and non-medical personnel as well, since FAME welcomes any and all – regardless of medical training – to volunteer for the organization’s non-profit missions.
FAME, Sidell said, is part of the World Health Organization (WHO), an arm of the United Nations that functions to promote and improve the health of the international community.
The WHO, explained Sidell, focuses intensely on third-world nations, where over-population and rampant poverty make it difficult-to-impossible for citizens to receive even the most basic medical care. The United States, she said, pays an annual fee to be part of the WHO, which is expected of each of the world’s developed, affluent nations.