San Jose State University Students Operate Mobile Health Clinic in Honduras

Dental issues, parasites, hypertension, bacterial infections and colds: these innocuous-when-treated medical issues can be lethal in a community lacking in resources and medical service.

In 2010, two groups of San Jose State University students committed to travel to Honduras to treat community members with illnesses like these with dignity and respect.

Volunteers serving in Honduras

A lofty goal, sure; but by recognizing the power of many and utilizing resources like MedShare’s MedTeam Store, these students served over 300 patients over the course of two trips in 2011.

Lily Yu, President of the San Jose State University Chapter of Global Medical Brigades, shared with us her account of the trip:

On behalf of the San Jose State University Global Medical Brigades team, I would like to take this opportunity to thank the MedShare Team for all of your help and support once again.

San Jose State University students serving in Honduras

In the summer of 2010, a team of 20 students came together to achieve a common goal: provide access to health care to a part of the world where it was limited. With MedShare’s help, we were able to successfully operate mobile clinics to help treat some of the most preventable health issues in San Antonio de Oriente, Honduras.

Our first medical brigade was in January 2011, where we successfully mobilized a free clinic to Honduras, treating over 300 patients with severe wounds from working on sugarcane fields, intestinal parasites, hypertension, bacterial infections, dental issues, and coughs and colds that have turned lethal due to the community’s location and lack of resources. After this first brigade, we knew that our work could not end there. In order to keep healthcare accessible to this community, my team and I decided we needed to continue our efforts.

Children in Honduras

In February 2011, we assembled another team of 25 student volunteers to mobilize a clinic back to Honduras for a brigade on August 14-20, 2011. I reached out to MedShare, and was delighted to hear that we had your support once again. Because MedShare believed in our work, we were inspired to serve San Antonio de Oriente again, where many new patients lined up to receive the care they deserved. We see the positive impact we made in this community in January and in August, and know that our efforts have helped improve their quality of life.

MedShare has empowered our organization to help change and impact the world, one healthy patient at a time. We thank you from the bottom of our hearts and hope to continue our efforts with your support.

If you would like to learn more about MedShare’s Medical Mission Team Store, click here.

This story is an excerpt from our January e-news. To read more – including a story of fate’s role in a Haiti container delivery and an incredibly dedicated high school volunteer – click here.


Welcoming our TBFF Faiths Act Fellows to MedShare!

MedShare was chosen as a host site for the Tony Blair Faith Foundation’s (TBFF) Fellowship Program. Our Fellows, Sana Rahim and Clint Fluker, recently joined us, bringing with them a wealth of experience and talent.  Faiths Act is the Foundation’s multi-faith social action program which mobilizes people of faith to work together on issues of health and global poverty in order to help achieve the UN’s Millennium Development Goals.

We’d like to welcome them to you, our incredible supporters, with this short video:

Clint and Sana’s primary roles will be to facilitate volunteer opportunities among members of the faith community, work with Development and the MedTeam Program to help launch joint-faith container sponsorship projects and to spread the word about MedShare’s hand-carry program. They will also be working to fulfill the mission of the Tony Blair Faith Foundation by building bridges and developing mutual respect and understanding between different faith groups in the Atlanta community. If you’d like to meet them, sign up for a volunteer session here!

Welcome to MedShare, Clint and Sana!

MedShare Supplies Benefiting Nejo Hospital, Ethiopia

“I am in this world to make a difference one soul at a time. To me, there is nothing better that I would rather spend my time on than helping the poor get access to medical care,” says registered nurse Kidist Bitew.

Men’s ward, 8+ beds to a room regardless of medical diagnosis

Kidist is a native of Nejo, Ethiopia, who visited MedShare’s Western Region Medical Team Store last October to pick up just over 50 pounds of medical supplies for Nejo Hospital, located 320 miles west of Ethiopia’s capital city Addis Ababa.

Nejo Hospital is the only one in the area serving more than 350,000 people. It has only four physicians: one surgeon and three general practitioners. There are eight patient beds per room regardless of the illness. Nejo Hospital has only two private rooms and they are reserved for TB patients. The majority of Nejo’s population lives on less than a dollar a day. Poverty, severe unemployment, and infant mortality are widespread. Patients travel 6-8 hours by foot to receive treatment from the hospital and they are often treated free of charge.

Opening MedShare boxes at Nejo Hospital

Kidist plans to return to Nejo each year. She is using her medical mission trips to establish long-term relationships with Nejo Hospital and the surrounding cities/health centers. Through education, she is teaching the community about prevention and/or reduction in the spread of malaria, TB and HIV/AIDs. Together, they have established a goal to reduce the spread of infectious disease by at least 25% by the year 2015.

Kidist is currently raising money to send a 40-foot container to Nejo. “For our third mission trip we are planning to ship a container filled with donated medical equipment and basic medications by July 2011. These items will include gloves, dressings, safety needles, fetal monitors, beds, mattresses, X-ray viewing light, ultrasound machines, anesthesia machine and X-ray machine, mosquito nets and other soft medical supplies.”

To contribute to her project, click here, and to learn more about our MedShare Medical Team Store, click here.

This is an excerpt from June’s e-newsletter. To read more – including a story of our oldest volunteer and how we’re supporting the world’s soon-to-be newest nation – click here.

A Nigerian Doctor gives back to His Country

MedShare often has interesting visitors that inspire us with their ventures in making a difference in health care.  We recently got the pleasure to meet Dr. Adeniyi Olowu, an Internist from New York.

On his way to visit his native country of Nigeria where he had practiced medicine for 20 years, Dr. Olowu made a pit stop at MedShare to gather 100 lbs. of medical supplies from the MedTeam Store.  He had no idea where he was going to distribute the supplies, but knew there were areas of Nigeria that were in desperate need of them.  After hearing about MedShare from an extended family member in Boston, he decided to pay us a visit and find out how he can get medical supplies to Nigeria.

Dr. Olowu distributes medical supplies to a needy clinic in Nigeria

Dr. Olowu distributes medical supplies to a needy clinic in Nigeria

He was in Nigeria for a month, and during that time, he traveled all over the country delivering medical supplies to various rural clinics and hospitals.  He said many of the clinics did not even know him, as he came in to their facility like a medical Santa Claus armed with needed medical supplies such as, syringes, dressings and catheters.  He described the medical staff at one clinic being close to tears when they saw what all the medical supplies he had brought them.

After witnessing the level of need during his travels, Dr. Olowu returned to MedShare on his way back to the States to express his desire to ship a 40-foot container of needed medical supplies and equipment.  He plans to work with a recipient in Lagos, Nigeria to distribute the specified supplies and equipment to the various rural clinics that desperately need them.

We were inspired by Dr. Olowu’s dedication to helping improve health care in his country, and look forward to working with him to get this container to Nigeria!