Thirty Memorial University students hope to set up a temporary health clinic in a Central American country next summer.
In July 2014, the students will fly to Honduras armed with drugs and other medical supplies to help provide treatment to those who otherwise would find it difficult to obtain health care.
According to Jordan Chapman, a second-year nursing student and co-president of MUN Global Brigades, the group was formed in 2012. The Global Brigades movement initially spread through American colleges and has made its way to Canadian universities in recent years.
“I’ve always really wanted to go somewhere else and see what it’s like there from a health perspective,” said Chapman. “Since I am in nursing, it would help me see what else is out there, and I hope that in the future I can do something with global health.”
The MUN group includes students from multiple health-related faculties at the university.
Users of the clinic would first enter triage and be asked general questions about their health, after which they would see a doctor for a checkup. They will receive medications on the spot. Chapman said there will hopefully be enough medication available to supply patients for at least a year.
A goal has been set to raise $20,000 for the purchase of drugs and medical supplies. Chapman said the group also hopes to obtain some of these goods by donation. Group members must also individually raise $2,000 to cover accommodations and travel costs.
The students hope to be accompanied by a local physician and dentist for the nine-day trip. Thus far, the group has not been successful in finding either. If it does not find a doctor or dentist, Chapman said, it would have the option of hiring a doctor and dentist in Honduras to work with them in the clinic.
According to Chapman, the group has not settled on where specifically in Honduras it will set up the community clinic.
Thus far, MUN Global Brigades has held bake sales on campus and collected some donations. It plans to hold a raffle and some fundraising events in the new year.