Welcome to my blog. You can also see more on my website Worldwide Healing Hands.
The goal of my site is to increase awareness of our universal responsibility for one another and to share ideas so that together we can make a difference.
There are many people struggling in the world and when we come together with a common passion we can achieve anything. My Mission work is very dear to my heart and I would like to share this with you.
Let me introduce myself and then I’d love to get to know you. My name is Paula Dhanda and I am gynecologist and surgeon in a rural area of northern California. I have 2 precious children and a very supportive husband. Family is everything to me. My “spare time” is filled with outdoor activities such as hiking, swimming and mission work.
People don’t usually associate California with poverty. I live and work in one of the most beautiful areas in California but the beauty cannot hide the fact that it is one of the poorest counties in the United States. I believe that helping people begins locally.
I have spent more than twenty years serving the indigent population in this county. In 2009 I was told of the great need for women’s healthcare in Chad, Africa. Several health care workers volunteered to go and we formed a surgical team.
After a lot of planning and fundraising we set off on our mission. We were able to help many women and children who were in dire need of medical attention. I performed 3 to 5 major surgeries a day and also delivered some high-risk babies – newborns who may otherwise have died. I have delivered thousands of babies and still find the birth process miraculous.
Women in many countries suffer experiences we cannot imagine. They endure daily hardship and struggle to live with dignity.
Imagine not being able to feed your child or losing a sick family member because you have no access to medical care. Women can labor for days before being brought to a hospital to deliver a dead baby.
Children are brought to the hospital too malnourished to save from illnesses that are treatable. The infant mortality rate (number of deaths of children under the age of one year for every 1,000 births) in Africa (88) is ten times higher than the average rate (8) for developed countries.
In parts of Africa and Asia this rate is even higher such as Sierra Leone with an infant mortality rate of 157. Many countries lack the resources to track infant deaths so these estimates may actually be higher.
Most of our team members had never experienced volunteer work like this and some had never been out of the USA. This was a life changing event not just for the people we helped but for all of us. After completing this mission, I decided that I want to dedicate more time helping women in more countries. As we shared our “stories” with friends and family people started asking me how they could help. Some said “What can I do, I’m not a physician?’
Everyone can do something to help another member of this big human family. It begins with a little kindness at home or a random act of giving locally to someone in need. It just grows from there. Every journey starts with a single step towards your destination. You can make a difference. You can change a person’s life!
You can find out more about my mission trips to Chad in 2009 as well as my trips to Haiti in 2010 and 2011. My most recent mission in 2012 was to an isolated hospital in Nepal and I am planning to return there in 2013. You can read more about our mission to Nepal on the National Geographic Assignment Blog.
So that’s a little bit about me. I hope the passion of my message transcends my words. I am looking forward to hearing more about you. Tell me about your dream to better this world and let us work together to make it come true.
More to come soon!
Thanks for stopping by.
Dr. Paula Dhanda