Inspired to help others, SFU biomedical physiology and kinesiology students Elisabeth Avery and Isabelle Chan-Emery have spent the past several months working as medical clinic assistants in Nepal. The students are participating in a co-op work term with Friends of Shanta Bhawan, a non-profit medical outpatient organization serving rural communities without access to healthcare. Located in Kathmandu, Nepal the organization provides subsidized healthcare to over 30,000 individuals every year.
When asked about their experience with Friends of Shanta Bhawan, Isabelle says: “the most rewarding part so far has been the opportunity to exchange perspectives with the healthcare personnel at the clinic.” Being a student, it is typical for Isabelle to learn from others but since working with Friends of Shanta Bhawan, Isabelle says, she has had the opportunity to share what she learned in the classroom in a meaningful way. For example, “the nurses educated me on various techniques to administer a vaccination, but they were just as eager to learn a few tips I had on taking a more accurate blood pressure reading.” Elisabeth adds “the most rewarding experience has been seeing how the changes we are making are already benefiting the clinic.”As part of their work, Isabelle and Elisabeth have started a crowdfunding website to help Friends of Shanta Bhawan organize an annual pop-up health camp.
The health camp will provide free medical services to individuals who cannot afford even the subsidized medical services. The students aim to raise fifteen hundred dollars for the clinic with any additional proceeds going to the purchase of a much-needed new x-ray machine.