"We at last have, in this moving book and in a companion volume, an authoritative overview that allows the reader to understand not only how poverty and inequality shorten lives in a time of medical miracles but also what can be done about it...I know of no other project that has been able to link such sound analysis to the pragmatic advice that all of need as we ask and answer (sometimes without ever learning the lessons of those who've gone before us) the what's-to-be-done question."

-Paul Farmer, MD, PhD



How To Donate:

Omni Med’s core mission is to get more health care providers directly involved in the quest for global health equity, through health education programs, and other innovative programs that our volunteers develop. As such, we have several programs that offer direct service opportunities to health providers of all types.

Belize: In this program, visiting health providers, primarily physicians, travel throughout the country in a ten-day template, teaching their Belizean colleagues at 7 sites. The program is ideal for those who have never done global health service work previously. Belize is a safe, English-speaking country and over 40 health volunteers have traveled through this program since its inception in January 1999. The Omni Med Belize model relies primarily on teaching, since this is the most effective way for non-ophthalmologists or maxillo-facial surgeons to share their skills in short-term ventures abroad. Interested candidates should have good teaching skills, though many of our most effective providers have had no academic affiliations. A passion to make a difference and a willingness to show adaptability, flexibility and a sense of humor are key components when working in any developing country. Volunteers cover the cost of their flight and in-country expenses. For those interested, please contact Dr Edward O’Neil at ejoneil@omnimed.org.

 

Guyana: In this program, health providers travel to Georgetown, Guyana with typically two or three other providers to teach at Georgetown Public Hospital for one week. Unlike the Belize model, volunteers remain in housing provided by the hospital and spend days teaching medical students, residents, and attending physicians on the wards, and some evenings giving CME lectures to 80-100 health providers. Guyana is an English-speaking country, and Omni Med has established a fruitful relationship with the Ministry of Health and the leaders of the Georgetown Public Hospital. Volunteers cover the cost of their flight and any in-country expenses, which are minimal. For those interested, please contact Dr James Eadie at jseadie@gmail.com or Dr John O’Brien at johnobrien49@yahoo.com.

 

Guyana Cervical Cancer Prevention Program; Reproductive Women's Health: Guyana is a small, impoverished country on the northeast coast of South America, with a population of 751,000 (2002 census), 72% of which is rural. Poverty disproportionately effects the rural interior population, the vast majority of whom are Amerindians. 71% of the rural interior population suffers critical poverty (daily expenditures of less than US $1 per person in the household), compared to 19% of the country as a whole, and less than 9% for the urban population. While a South American country, Guyana has more of a Caribbean influence and feel, and is the only English-speaking country in South America.

Volunteers travel as part of a team with Omni Med, and will often work in some capacity in the two programs during the visit. The level of involvement in each of the programs is adjusted according to skill levels and interests. A typical visit is two weeks long, with one week spent at the main teaching hospital, Georgetown Public Hospital Corporation. The second week is usually spent conducting mobile clinics to the remote Amerindian villages of the hinterland. Further information on the programs can be found under the Programs section. For those interested volunteering or donating equipment or supplies, please contact Dr. John E. Varallo at varalloj@gmail.com.

 

How you can help

Volunteer

Who: Physicians, residents, midwives, nurse practitioners; anthropologists and graduate students. Volunteers must have experience teaching, and experience volunteering/working in a developing country, or at least extensive travel experience in developing countries.

  • Visits are typically two weeks in duration: one week at GPHC and one week conducting mobile clinics to remote Amerindian villages in the hinterland. Depending on needs, some visits spend both weeks at GPHC or both on the mobile clinics. Volunteers travel as part of a team with Omni Med, and will often work in some capacity in the two programs during the visit.

  • Teaching and training of health workers: physicians, mid-level providers, nurses, community health workers and medical students. This involves morning reports, ward rounds, clinics, L&D, operating room, workshops, lectures, and evening CMEs (powerpoint presentations).

  • Service – providing care at GPHC and on the mobile clinics.

    Planned 2008 Trip Dates

  • January 13-27; April 13-27; July 13-27; October 13-27

  • 2009 trip dates not yet set, but will likely follow the 2008 quarterly template.

    Donate

    • Money – below is a sample of what different amounts of money directed to the Guyana Cervical Cancer Prevention Program would provide.

      • $50 - cervical cancer screening for over 50 women.

      • $100 -provide treatment of precancerous lesions (with cryotherapy) for 15 women.

      • $1000 – help build local capacity through providing training course materials for 10 health care workers in Guyana.

      • $10,000 - fully fund two cervical cancer prevention mobile clinics to remote Amerindian communities, screening and treating 1000 women.

    • Equipment (must be in excellent working condition)

      • Electronic fetal monitors

      • Cryotherapy units

      • LEEP units

      • Fetoscopes

      • Surgical instruments, biopsy forceps

      • Examination lamps

      • Endometrial biopsy curettes (reusable or single-use)

      • Vaginal specula

    • Supplies

      • LEEP supplies

      • Spinal needles

      • Suture

      • Large cotton swabs

      • Lidocaine

    • Other

      • Shipping services

      • Sponsor a Guyanese health worker to attend a conference in the U.S.

    Thailand Center for Eye Excellence: Drs Michael Morley and Katharine Morrow have developed a cooperative program with Dr Suwat in the NKP region of northeast Thailand in which visiting ophthalmologists screen and then operate on local indigent patients with cataracts and other eye diseases. Drs Morley and Morrow have taken teams of ophthalmologic professionals with them, including nurses, students, and other allied health personnel. The program is run primarily out of the Center for Eye Research and Education (CERE) and the Ophthalmic Consultants of Boston (OCB), with assistance from Lions Clubs. Those health providers who work in ophthalmology should contact Drs Morrow or Morley directly at kathy.morley@comcast.net, or mgmorley@eyeboston.com.

     

    St Mary’s Hospital in Nairobi Kenya: Since 2000, Omni Med has worked with Father Bill Fryda, MD, the founder and immediate past director of St Mary’s Hospital. Omni Med has shipped over $500,000 worth of medical supplies and worked with Dr Fryda to bring orthopedic surgeons to St Mary’s. Dr Fryda is currently building two new sites for St Mary’s and Omni Med will recruit physicians over the coming few years to meet Dr Fryda’s goal of developing regularly recurring educational programs in various clinical areas at the Educational Center of St Mary’s. Please direct inquiries to Dr O’Neil at Omni Med. ejoneil@omnimed.org or ejoneil@comcast.net.

     

    The Quest for Global Health Equity: Omni Med has limited slots for those interested in serving abroad currently. However, the two books published by the American Medical Association bring the opportunities of global health service directly to those who are interested. Please see the “New Books” section of this website for ordering information.

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