TeamMED is a student-run group of Monash medical students pursuing their passion by contributing to global health, with a focus on the health needs of rural and regional populations. In early December 2023, participants of the TeamMED embarked on a successful and impactful humanitarian mission to Bhakanje, Nepal to assist with a 5-day health camp organised by the partner NGO, the Himalayan Guge Organisation.
Rachel Chen as a lead of this project, made an impressive presentation to the club early this year. She advised that a total of $10,294.45 was raised through generous donations from Rotary Clubs, friends, families, and bake sales. The majority of these funds were allocated to purchasing and transporting medications and medical supplies, and a portion was reserved to support its long-term goals.
During their time in Bhaknaje, a rural village within the same district as Mt. Everest, participants observed local community practices shadowing doctors and nurses. This trip offered participants the opportunity to witness how the healthcare system functions while dealing with issues unique to rural and remote communities. 282 patients were treated, many of whom travelled for hours on foot to receive medical attention.
The team learnt valuable lessons that will enhance the effectiveness of future missions to tailor the medications to meet the community's needs such as including essential hygiene items, such as dental equipment. There is also a need to address the barriers that many patients face in accessing specialist treatment or tests, due to costs and travel time by allocating funds for medical transportation of patients to nearby surgical hospitals for day procedures, as well as arranging follow-up care, such as the provision of post-operative medications. This will enhance the impact of future efforts.
TeamMED expressed their gratitude of Rotary Camberwell’s support:
‘We extend our heartfelt gratitude to the Rotary Club of Camberwell for their unwavering support and generous contributions. Your support has been instrumental in making this mission possible, and we look forward to continuing our partnership to bring much-needed medical care to the people of Bhakanje. Thank you for your continued support and dedication to our cause.’