In April, medical students from Southern Illinois University Medical School traveled to San Juan de Rio de Coco, Nicaragua to bring healthcare to an underserved communities. The team comprised 25 members from the US; consisting of three physicians, a pharmacist, 17 medical students, three nurses, and one non-medical personnel. Many local volunteers and physicians also got involved. Originally, only one Nicaraguan physician was going to work with the clinics, but due to the large number of patients waiting to be seen there were between two and four Nicaraguan physicians present each day.
The team set up clinic and used a local elementary school as a pharmacy. Throughout the three days the team anticipated seeing about 900 patients, however, they ended up providing care to 1,200.
The team worked hard to treat as many patients as they could with the help of the donations from the Henry Schein Cares Foundation. Some conditions the team diagnosed and treated include intestinal parasites, arthritis, back pain, allergies, hypertension, diabetes and upper respiratory infections. Everyone received multivitamins and/or prenatal vitamins, where appropriate.
According to Tabatha Wells, Assistant Professor of Family and Community Medicine at SIU, the team learned a Spanish song about brushing their teeth and taught it to every child that went through the clinic. Each child was sent home with a new toothbrush and toothpaste. It was such a successful trip, treating over 1,200 patients in just three short days!
Ai Se Eu Te Pego by Michael Telo
“Cepilla, cepilla, cepillase los dientes
Al frente, al fondo, encias y la lengua
Tres veces, tres veces, tres veces cada dia
En circulos, en circulos, despues de que tu comas
Te gusta los vegetales
Hacen los dientes mas fuertes
Y tener una sonrisa mas linda
Y bien cuidada y saludable”