Panama: Medical Mission in Panama with Global Brigade Student Volunteers
Humanity First Haiti Country Director Travels to Panama with Global Brigade Student Volunteers
Humanity First physician, Dr. Clayton Bell, accompanied the Loyola Global Brigade student volunteers for a second medical mission from January 2 to January 9. They traveled to a remote village in Panama, where they were able to serve over 500 locals during a 4-day clinic. An oral surgeon and ophthalmologist from California, physicians and a dentist from Panama, and 41 pre-med and pre-dental students from Loyola University of Chicago and Duke University joined Dr. Bell to treat patients.
Over 80 enthusiastic villagers welcomed the team on the first day, and word quickly spread throughout local communities about their arrival. Villagers from surrounding mountains traveled for several hours to receive free medical treatment, and by the final day, the patient load grew to nearly 150 patients.
The team provided most patients with basic primary care for minor ailments such as headaches, acid reflux, and musculoskeletal pain. A very high volume of patients came to receive deworming medicine, vitamins, and to have their teeth pulled. Several patients suffered from acute medical conditions requiring intensive care and were referred to Panama City.Students received hands on experience by shadowing physicians, acting as medical translators, running triage, taking vitals, dispensing medicines in the pharmacy and giving patient education on public health and sanitation topics.
The local community was overjoyed to have the medical team in town and there was agreat appreciation for the services we provided. The volunteer experience in a developing country provided an invaluable lesson to these undergraduate students who will one day be the future leaders and healthcare providers of our country.
Source/Credit: Humanity First. By Staff Reporter | February 8, 2012