Seven volunteers from Saba University School of Medicine (SUSOM) travelled to Limon, Nicaragua, on the first medical mission trip for the school on April 16.
The trip was approved as an official school event through the support of Assistant Dean of Student Affairs Dr. Vaughn Huckfeldt and Associate Dean Dr. Michael Laskowski.
The trip is being organized by Global Health and Preventive Medicine Club executive coordinator Lucia Gonzalez and Global Health and Preventive Medicine Club President Alissa Ali. Travelling with them are students Mariel Saade, Candice Volney, Geoffrey Osborne, and Robson Oliveira. They partnered with Foundation Medical Relief for Children (www.fimrc.org), a self-sustained organization that brings desperately-needed healthcare to poor families in Nicaragua.
The volunteers are working directly with a paediatrician, obstetrician and gynaecologist in providing paediatric and maternal care. They are also working on a diabetic outreach education programme.
They worked throughout the semesters to help raise money to donate to Foundation for International Medical Relief of Children FIRMC clinic in Limon. The clinic depends on donations to pay for medical supplies, insurance cost and physicians’ salaries to help provide free healthcare to the local community. The donations are also the only way they are able to cover the clinic’s overhead cost, such as electricity, water and consultation rooms.
The members of the medical mission trip strongly believe it is important to work with the local community before working globally and this is how the Diabetic Drive Outreach Programme was developed.
Members of Global Health and Preventive Medicine are working together with Saba Health Care Foundation and Nurse Kamladai Dookhan in a diabetic education programme on Saba.
Under the preventive outreach programme, members of the medical mission trip visit patients’ homes to increase diabetic awareness, educate them on the different facets of diabetes, and promote a healthy lifestyle. A project that mirrors the volunteer work they are now immersed in with diabetics in Nicaragua, as their motto is to start with the local community before proceeding globally.
The group got the local community involved through a silent auction and was supported through donations from several businesses. The volunteers will be staying in Limon until Sunday. At the beginning of the semester, no fewer than 70 students showed interest in future medical mission trips, SUSOM stated.
The Daily Herald.