Medical students set to serve communities in Kenya

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Fourteen medical students will travel to Kenya this Friday, where they will spend two weeks providing medical care to underserved communities.

Fourteen medical students will travel to Kenya this Friday, where they will spend two weeks providing medical care to underserved communities. The students are members of Support for Humanitarianism through Intercontinental Projects Inc. (S.H.I.P.) at LSU Health Shreveport.

During their time abroad, students will provide healthcare to the community with the help of LSUHS physicians and residents, as well as medical officers and translators based in Bungoma, Kenya. Traveling with the students will be a nurse, a physician assistant, four residents, three LSUHS faculty members, and a community physician.

On Thursday, S.H.I.P will be hosting a fundraiser and send-off for students on the upcoming trip at PizzaRev from 5 to 9 p.m. Guests can mention S.H.I.P when ordering for 20 percent of the proceeds to benefit the organization and future international medical trips.

Kenya is more than 8,300 miles from Shreveport, and it will take the group about three days traveling by plane and car to reach their destination.

“S.H.I.P. gives students and residents the opportunity to be exposed to different cultures and people, and to learn about various diseases, illnesses and types of healthcare systems across the world,” said Kate Ramsey, a third-year medical student and S.H.I.P. president. “This diversity allows for better equipped doctors to provide healthcare to patients at home in Shreveport with a greater knowledge base and sensitivity to differences in cultures. It is also an awesome and unique opportunity to be able to participate in global health initiatives and treat patients in different countries. We are so thankful for the support of the community in our endeavors.”

S.H.I.P. is organized by students at LSU Health Shreveport. Each year, third- and fourth-year medical students are given the opportunity to travel to Kenya. The non-profit organization was founded in February of 2009 by Matthew Berniard, a LSU Health Shreveport medical student, and his wife, Aimee Berniard, a LSU Shreveport graduate student. The first S.H.I.P trip to Kenya took place in February of 2010.

For more information on Support for Humanitarianism through Intercontinental Projects, Inc., visit www.shipcares.org.