30 students going to Ghana on medical mission

The Global Brigade Logo
Photo courtesy: Global Medical Brigade

The FAMU Global Medical Brigade will be traveling to Ghana on March 8 to improve the well-being of residents in Accra, Ghana, by donating health supplies and educating local school children on health and hygiene.

During the 9-day trip, the 30 students from the Brigade will assist in the local communities, shadow doctors in clinics and hospitals, and teach the youth about health in the community.

So far, the FAMU Global Medical Brigade has raised more than $83,000 to send 30 FAMU students to Ghana.

Georgian Smith, a fourth-year biology pre-medicine major, organized the entire trip.

“I am the Brigade leader of the Spring 2024 Ghana Medical Brigade,” Smith said. “My role is to gather 30-40 volunteers, assist in planning the trip itinerary, coordinate group sessions, initiate fundraising plans, and implement many more ideas to create a smooth brigade planning process.”

This trip will give students a chance to enrich their skills to become influential professionals in the medical field.

“These trips professionally help FAMU students by allowing them to gain the required clinical hours needed for most professional school programs such as dental school, medical school, physician assistant, physical therapy, and many more,” Smith said. “With this unique experience, students are able to speak at a time when their typical patient interaction would not involve someone with a different cultural background.”

According to Oxfam International, a global organization that fights inequality to end poverty and injustice, despite significant advances, there are still wide health disparities. The National Health Insurance Scheme covers less than 2% of the impoverished. In Ghana, a child born into one of the wealthiest families has a threefold higher chance of living until their fifth birthday than a child from a poorer family.

Kelsey Hobbs, a third-year health science student attending the trip, said she looks forward to the experience.

“I am excited to participate in this Brigade to Ghana because I love giving back and helping less fortunate communities. This is an amazing experience that my fellow Brigade members and I are about to embark on,” Hobbs said. “This trip is important because the community we’re visiting in Accra lacks basic hygienic resources, and we are doing everything possible to fill that void,” she said.

The Brigade has also partnered with organizations on campus to collect these resources. Smith said there are other ways the student body can help support their trip to Ghana.

“The everyday student can help by supporting the donation drives that we host throughout our brigade planning process and participate in our interactive events that we host on campus, such as our Donate to Enter Karaoke Night on Wednesday,” Smith said.