Wellesley College chapter of Global Medical Brigades – El Obraje, Honduras
January 6th-13th, 2014
Wellesley College’ chapter of Global Medical Brigades (GMB) is part of an extensive network of student volunteers that comprises Global Brigades, a non-profit organization whose goal is to aid in the growth of developing nations. During January of 2014, ten Wellesley students participated in a medical brigade to Honduras, a country whose underdeveloped economy and poor infrastructure have contributed to the proliferation of maladies whose acquisition is easily prevented by clean water and sanitary living conditions.
With the generosity of the Henry Schein Cares Foundation, we were able to provide thorough medical & dental care to 949 patients in El Obraje, Honduras. As volunteers, we spent five days interacting with patients as well as their families, obtaining patient history and current symptoms, taking vital signs, and leading preventative education sessions. We taught children how to brush their teeth and provided them with fluoride treatment, toothbrushes and toothpaste. Intestinal parasites and fungal infections were the most common ailments and we were well equipped to treat these patients.
These intimate experiences have allowed us to become familiar with the prevalent health issues facing a poverty-stricken community. Global Brigades has allowed us to be initiated into the world of global health by making a tangible impact in small communities. Being exposed to medicine outside of the United States and understanding how a different culture interacts with their healthcare delivery system has been a remarkable and inspirational experience for us as undergraduate students.
We look forward to our continued relationship with the Henry Schein Cares Foundation to fulfill Wellesley GMB chapter’s ability to participate in this important mission.