‘Art disturbs, science reassures’. -Georges Braque
Dr. Mary Vanderkooi is graciously allowing me to illustrate the 7th edition of her book, Village Medical Manual: a layman’s guide to health care in developing countries (vol. 2). The past couple of months I have been working both diligently and lackadaisically on drawing diseases that range from being known worldwide, making my stomach turn and skin crawl, to a large number that the United States has not seen or heard of in years. Three cheers to the individuals that dedicated their lives to eradicating and controlling a large number of diseases so we would not have to see our loved ones suffer.
I was introduced to this book through the Medical Missions Intensive (MMI) class I took to help prepare myself for working over seas. The class was taught by my current ‘co-workers’, Dr. Mary and Sophie, at Equip International in North Carolina. The education gained from those two weeks fits in the category of one of the things money is worth being spent on in this world.
The book was written to allow non-medical people living and serving in the rural, underdeveloped areas of the world to provide medical care when it’s needed. I didn’t fully understand the depth of need for this sort of reference and education until I started working in Ethiopia and saw both the lack of medical care, and access to this care for so many people.
I think we would all agree that a non-medical person isn’t ideal, but when you’re the only person within 50 miles that is educated enough to make a medical decision it weighs heavily on you. Having a resource like this book is a beautiful hope for helping save lives.
I knew from taking the class and studying her book that Dr. Mary was a brilliant woman, and after working with her for a year that truth has been solidified in my mind. Her knowledge and understanding of tropical diseases is phenomenal and her desire to pass on the knowledge has not only allowed me to work under her, but has also produced this book, giving hope to so many individuals that are serving the destitute in remote areas.
I feel more than blessed to be able to take part in something that has the power to heal and save. It’s amazing to be able to use a gift God has given me to help people around the world regardless of where I am. It is my prayer that this book and the illustrations would give confidence to those delivering medical care and bring healing to the sick.
To conclude, I’d like to give another three cheers (plus a trophy) to the brave souls working in these areas and doing things they never dreamt they would have to do. May God bless you ten-fold for your dedication to the sacred lives of those in all tongues, tribes and nations.