Preventative Medical Care, by Kathy Couch, Back2Back Monterrey Staff

Childhood is often intertwined with doctor visits.  If all of those doctor visits can sometimes feel overwhelming to a family, just think how they impact a children’s home with dozens of children.  Sniffles turn to colds which can then lead to ear infections.   When left untreated, ear infections can lead to hearing loss, sometimes permanently.

A Back2Back volunteer provides medical care to a Mexican child

Recently, a short-term mission group, comprised of doctors and nurses, provided medical care to the children we serve in Monterrey, Mexico. The team brought an audiometer machine with them for hearing screenings.  We focused on a children’s home in which five of the children have delayed speech or other speech problems.

A Recent Back2Back Volunteer Medical Team

Families benefiting from the services of a Back2Back Volunteer Medical Team

One of the young boys we tested proved to be a surprise to all of us.  We explained how to do the test and demonstrated the procedure for him. He looked at us blankly.  We explained the procedure again, pushed the buttons and again he didn’t respond to our prompts.  At this point, we assumed the machine was broken so the doctor tested the equipment and confirmed that it was indeed working properly. We discovered that the boy couldn’t hear any of the tones through the machine, which explained why this young man had been having discipline problems.  He was easily distracted and had trouble following directions.  We didn’t know it was due to his hearing impairment! After the team left, we took him to a hearing specialist in Monterrey, who uncovered a long-term middle ear infection.  Now, we are treating the infection.  What a discovery!  If left untreated, he would have surely lost all hearing.

The children receive medical care when needed; however, sometimes they have their ears checked without receiving a full audiological exam.  Since children’s homes have limited budgets, preventative medical care is often delayed in order to provide food or other more immediate needs.  The short-time medical groups that serve the children help to meet that need by supplementing their medical care.  We are grateful for this team’s initiative in bringing the machine to test the hearing.  In a few months, when his infection clears up, we will have a very different boy on our hands!

If interested in serving with us on a medical mission trip, please contact Chelsie Puterbaugh at or 513-754-0300, ext 1701. 

A Back2Back volunteer provides dental care to a Mexican child at the Back2Back medical clinic