As a pharmacy student, I believe there is no better way to help the underprivileged population than to educate them on the appropriate use of medicine and counsel them on basic over-the-counter drugs. Dr. Gim, a drug information specialist at Long Island University, has been taking her pharmacy students abroad for interdisciplinary medical missions since 2010. This August, I will be joining Dr. Gim and two of my colleagues on a two-week mission trip to Haiti.
The mission of our trip is to educate patients and local staff on basic but life-saving over-the-counter medications such as NSAIDS and GERD medications, as well as to educate them on how to take and be aware of interactions with HIV and TB medications. The lives of many Haitian patients will be saved by simply counseling them on how to appropriately administer and take medications.
Haiti is one of the poorest countries in the world—80% of the population lives on less than $2 a day1. National disasters, such as the 2010 earthquake in Port-au-Prince, have intensified the circumstances and increased the spread of easily preventable diseases. Simple things we take for granted, such as clean water and vaccinations, are privileges for most Haitians. Medical facilities in Haiti are very scarce—96% of Haitians lack basic health coverage and regular access to health care.
Dr. Gim, along with Long Island University, is collecting donations to bring medications and basic supplies over to Haiti. Philanthropy is such an important aspect of healthcare; I hope that you share that sentiment as well and are able to contribute to this mission.
Please visit www.gofundme.com/8cczek for more information on the trip to Haiti and how you can help.
By Narendrakumar Patel and Dr Danielle Cavazzini
1. Fox Business. http://www.foxbusiness.com/markets/2012/09/14/10-poorest-countries-in-world/. Accessed June 11, 2014.