The Albert Schweitzer Institute, housed at Quinnipiac University in Hamden, Connecticut, was founded to carry on Dr. Albert Schweitzer’s humanitarian legacy. Every year the Albert Schweitzer Institute provides an opportunity for professors and students to travel to Nicaragua to work in assisting the people there in bettering their community. This year, I, along with 15 other physical and occupational therapy students at Quinnipiac University, am traveling to work in the communities surrounding León, Nicaragua. The goals of this health care delegation are to introduce students majoring in physical and occupational therapy to the realities of health care in the developing world and to learn more about the Nicaraguan health care system, as well as providing much needed services for the Nicaraguan people.
The people of Nicaragua have suffered many hardships such as war, economic crisis and natural disaster. The average age is 21 years old and over 80% live on less than $2 a day. The average family earns just $910 annually, and 1/3 of the children never enroll in elementary school, do not attend, or drop out before reaching the sixth grade.
There is much disparity in the environment, supplies, and care that these people receive within their health care system. The hospital wards are overcrowded. There are not enough beds for patients. Many times there are two or more patients sharing a portion of the bed. If bed sheets are available, each sheet is numbered and at the end of each day, each sheet must be accounted for.
I would like to take this opportunity to ask for your support for our health care delegation that will be going to León, Nicaragua January 2 through January 10 of 2013. The clinics and homes of individuals where services will be provided are in great need of any physical therapy, occupational therapy, or general medical supplies. Aside from helping me to fund my trip, ,onetary contribution would also be genuinely valued to help our delegation buy other medical supplies, adaptive equipment such as walkers and wheelchairs, sheets, and toys for the children and patients in the hospital. Any contributions will help support our delegation’s mission and enhance the lives of those with whom we are serving. Any donation is also tax deductible!