A group of close to 40 students at the University of San Diego is preparing for a humanitarian mission to the West African nation of Ghana this summer.
Since the Ebola crisis spawned in West Africa in late 2013, the Medical Brigade chapter of USD and other factions like it across the continent were kept out of the country for a considerable amount of time.
Now, USD’s Medical Brigade chapter is one of eight chapters under the Global Brigade umbrella cleared to return to Ghana where they will provide free medical aid and supplies to thousands throughout the country.
The group traveled to Panama last June, and a few weeks ago returned stateside from a trip to Honduras. They met once again on Saturday in an on-campus apartment to begin planning their summer trip to Africa.
“It’s very important to me because I really like working in this fluid machine and being able to help give care to hundreds of people,” said Bryce Olbert, a USD student on the leadership team for the chapter. “We’re going to possibly be seeing 1,000 people per day in Ghana just because there’s so much back-up from not having any brigades go for several years.”
While in Africa, students will provide various healthcare services to people in need and will hand out free hygiene products like shampoo and toothbrushes. They’ll even lead education efforts focusing on hygiene and personal healthcare for adults and children.
Although the Ebola crisis has calmed considerably since the World Health Organization declared the disease a world health emergency in August of 2014, concern over contracting the disease while visiting Ghana is a legitimate concern.
Olbert, though, says that he isn’t really worried.
“No, because I haven’t heard of anything recently,” He said. “And the only thing we actually have to get done is get a yellow fever vaccine because they have a lot of problems with mosquitos.”
The chapter works throughout the semester to raise money for their trip and for medication and equipment for patients.
You can learn more about the USD Medical Brigade and donate to their cause here.