Global Health


January 15, 2015

Food and Nutrition in Manipal, India

Hello from India. I am in my final semester of the direct entry NP program, adult/geriatric acute care track. I worked as a registered dietitian specializing in nutrition support before starting school at MGH IHP. I am also a lover of food. We have had the chance to try a variety of new and exciting foods, have seen some of what local people eat and what their nutrition problems are, visited a community nutrition program for children and observed nutrition support in the hospital. When we first arrived to India, we were not always sure what we were eating but we have learned a lot. The above...
Read More
January 13, 2015

Hinduism in India

Hinduism is the most common religion in India, with more than 85% of the population being Hindu. As students visiting Manipal University, we immediately noticed how Hinduism plays a large part in the every day life of the people in Manipal, Udupi. Hinduism has no single founder, scripture or common set of teachings. They do, however, worship a number of deities. Hindus believe in being reborn, which is governed by Karma, and we have noticed most villagers are very honest and respectful. One of our first days here we visited Sri Krishna temple, which is a very famous temple in this region of...
Read More
January 13, 2015

IHP NP Students' Immersion in India

Third year NP students from the Institute arrived in India to embark on an experience of a lifetime. They hit the ground running with a packed schedule of visits to village clinics, child care and malnutrition programs, and hospital wards. While the trip over was long and tiring it seems to be well worth the effort! In addition to their clinical activities, each student is focusing on one topic that will be used as a basis for their Scholarly Project - a requirement for graduation. Their topics are framed by the UN Millennium Development Goals and encompass the pressing issues of global...
Read More
January 9, 2015

Day Seven: Soco and Playa Bandera Azul

Our last day in the Dominican Republic began with a now familiar routine. Everyone met in the dining hall for breakfast at 7 am and then prepared for the day. The medical team checked the contents of their bins, adding more vitamins or relabeling ziploc bags. The surgical team went over their schedule for the day and wrote down what supplies they would need. Erika Fernandez takes a photo of a mother and her sons who came for a consult. I joined the nursing students on the yellow school bus for the ride to Soco, the site of our morning clinic. Unlike the bateyes we had visited Monday through...
Read More
January 8, 2015

Day Six: Batey Verde

Day six is my favorite day, so far, in this journey. I think I needed a few days to "warm up" and by day six, I finally found my groove. I felt confident in myself and in our team. Further, interacting with the people we were serving came more naturally. I spent most of the day taking blood pressures so that I could greet patients as they entered the clinic. My Spanish had improved to the point where I could say "hello", "how are you?", "thank you" and "wait there for the doctor". I know these are phrases most people already know, but I was pretty proud of my accomplishment. There were even a...
Read More
January 7, 2015

Day Five: Batey Campinas de Lechuga

Each weekday Mertie Potter and the nurse practitioner students are visiting a different batey to support a mobile health clinic. The staff at Casa Pastoral orchestrate the intricate schedule. A yellow school bus picks up each of the three mission groups around 8 am to transport us to a work site. We carry all our supplies including medicines, lunch, and toys to give away. The line forms to enter the clinic site. Today's destination was a batey called Campinas de Lechuga, about 45 minutes drive from La Romana. The bus also carried a team of Dominican doctors, translators, a dentist, and staff...
Read More
January 6, 2015

Day Four: En La Escuela

Several months ago, we had our first team meeting to discuss this trip. I remember learning about the bateys and I developed my own preconceptions of what they'd be like. I even found myself feeling a little bit nervous about what I might see during my travels. First and foremost, I was nervous about the possible lack of restrooms. I imagined myself out in the fields with a roll of toilet paper and an army of animals around me. I was also nervous about meeting the people we would serve. Language and cultural barriers can be difficult to work through. My first visit to a batey was actually a...
Read More
January 5, 2015

Day Three: Good Samaritan Hospital

The surgical team consists of doctors, nurses and techs. Here, they gather together to discuss patient care. Collaboration at its finest! Today our team was up, dressed and ready for breakfast at 7 am. After gulping down a surprisingly delicious breakfast porridge, the surgical team (myself included) headed for Good Samaritan Hospital to greet our first patient. The day's lineup would include four patients, two males and two females. Procedures would include a laparoscopic cholecystectomy, two inguinal hernia repairs, and a lipoma excision. A painting in the OR at Good Samaritan Hospital...
Read More
January 4, 2015

Day Two: The Beach and the Hospital

This is a holiday weekend in the Dominican Republic. Three Kings' Day is when children in Latin America traditionally receive gifts. Casa Pastoral is affiliated with a Baptist church around the corner. The staff members who cook the meals and organize the logistics for the mission teams come from the church membership. Sunday we met yet another group on a medical mission, this one from Saco, Maine. Tomorrow we expect a small group of nurses from Rhode Island to fill any remaining bunk beds in the dorm. With the undergraduate students from Connecticut also staying here, it feels like all of...
Read More
January 3, 2015

Day One: Santo Domingo to La Romana

The MGH Institute/Boston Medical Center team gathered at Logan airport in Boston on Friday night for a JetBlue flight to Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic. In an early example of successful collaboration, several students removed, repacked, and reweighed a suitcase so it came in just four-tenths of a pound under the 50-pound limit. When we reached the gate, we realized that we would share the flight with another team of volunteers from Massachusetts General Hospital. In this case, they were a group of two nurse practitioners, registered nurses, administrators, and friends from Lunder 10, an...
Read More