Seven Denver College of Nursing (DCN) students, accompanied by a DCN faculty member, teamed with Denver-based International Medical Relief (IMR) to provide healthcare to over 1,700 people from the impoverished Uttar Pradesh Province in India, said Dr. Marcia Bankirer, president of DCN (www.denvercollegeofnursing.edu).
“Students went to Anupshahar, one of India’s poorest regions, where poverty, crime and child marriages dominate people’s lives. DCN teams provided community health courses in handwashing, clean water and oral hygiene,” Bankirer said. “The teams served the teachers and students of Pardada Pardadi School and cared for villagers from Dhairy Kader, Malakpur and Pagona.” DCN students Peg Alig, Emily Field, Mike Gnacinski, Nicole Greco, Katie Kahl, Alex Mead and Erin Tousley were accompanied by DCN faculty member Amrita Comer, assistant instructor of nursing.
The DCN and IMR teams partnered with local clinics and Pardada Pardadi, a local all-girls school committed to serving impoverished families in the rural Anupshahar region of India. The medical professionals and students provided clinical care and community health education for 1,700 patients. Clinical donations valued at $250,000 included 2,300 prescriptions for the community members of Anupshahar, said Dr. Michelle Sauer-Gehring, vice president of education and development for IMR.
“DCN’s team alone donated 10, 50-pound bags of medical supplies. This partnership between IMR and Denver College of Nursing’s team was amazing and together we provided critically needed healthcare,” Sauer-Gehring said.
“Global healthcare provides nursing students the best learning environment,” said DCN student Kahl. “In triage, we focused on assessments but also determined when people required immediate medical care, such as infants with temperatures or adults with malaria. In community education, we had to teach people how to hold a toothbrush, how to wash their hands. For hundreds, if not thousands of these people, we were the first-ever medical professionals to physically touch them and care for them.”
Since 2000, Pardada Pardadi has been improving the lives of females in rural India. Its mission is to empower community women from the poorest sections of society. The school provides free education for girls and job opportunities for women, to create a new generation of self-reliant and educated females who will break the cycle of poverty (http://www.education4change.org).
International Medical Relief (IMR) provides medical, dental and surgical care to under-served and vulnerable people around the world through medical mission trips and recruits qualified medical teams of volunteer doctors, dentists and health care professionals to conduct overseas medical clinics in areas where health care is limited or difficult to obtain (http://www.internationalmedicalrelief.org).