Barium “swallow” vs endoscopy

Barium “swallow” vs endoscopy

Dear Supporter,

A few months ago, I got a request from our contact person in Cuba, Dr. Abel Santana for “barium powder.” Some of you may remember in the old days if a doctor wanted to look at the inside of your stomach and intestinal tract, you would have to swallow a horrible tasting white paste and then have X-rays to show what it was outlining. That’s barium powder! The accuracy rate was only about 70%. Today doctors can actually look inside your stomach with a gastroscope with 100% accuracy. This procedure makes the diagnosis of bleeding ulcers, cancer and other stomach conditions possible.

We priced the barium powder and it came to $90 for the amount to do one procedure. We decided it would make more sense to buy a used gastroscope for $1800 which could do an unlimited number of procedures. A new gastroscope costs around $30,000.00. As a gastroscope is used some of the fiberoptic strands break leaving black specks in the field of view. Canadian doctors will not tolerate this so perfectly usable but not perfect fibre optic scopes are sold cheap compared to the original price.

The gastroscope was imported from the United States by Thunder Bay’s Import/Export company Border Giant who waived their fees. (Just happens to be owned by my grandson James.) Thank you! After we filled out all the importation documents it was carried by a kind tourist to Varadero airport, where Dr. Santana picked it up.

I just received this email from Dr Santana:

“Dear Jerome, we have the gastroscope already at the hospital. Tomorrow the gastroenterologist will use it. Thank you so much in the name of the people in need and in the name of the hospital. God bless you all, MEMO’s mission means so much for us and has been a marvelous blessing from God.

 Abel “

Just a reminder that your “Generous Love” is a real blessing in practical ways in hospitals and clinics in Cuba and Zimbabwe.


Due to some last minute very generous donations we had the $30,420.00 to pay the shipping costs for the March 25th container to Zimbabwe.

We are now busy receiving lots of medical and humanitarian supplies at the warehouse and preparing them for shipping hopefully by the end of June. One example is 70 boxes of critical ostomy supplies sent from southern Ontario by Friends of Ostomates World Wide Canada (prepaid!). Many Indigenous organizations, hospitals, medical clinics, pharmacies and individuals (after home care is finished) are donating a lot of very useful and helpful supplies. We hope to raise another $30,000.00 by the end of June so we can ship container #103.

Zimbabwe Gecko Society has asked for:

“Yes, please for pill bottles, all clinics need them.  We have now opened our Rasper clinic and need lots. Some patients return them but not all.  Thank you.  

Also need some weight lifting or gym equipment for youth. Large toys for kids like a cart or rocking horse.

Susan Janetti 
Founder, Zimbabwe Gecko Society

Once again, we thank God for your interest, prayers and giving which makes all of this possible.

Jerome Harvey

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