Plattsburgh State now offers the Global Medical Brigades program, which aims to empower volunteers to facilitate medical care, to increase prevention through education and to provide resources for patient follow-up, according to the official Global Brigades website.

“We heard about the Medical Brigades from a former student who used to go here,” sophomore biology major and the president of the PSUC Global Brigades, Oumar Diallo, said. “Basically, we just fund raise to help the community and beyond.”

Global Brigades mobilizes volunteers from university chapters to empower communities in Central America and West Africa to improve health and economic development, according to the official organization website. Diallo said volunteers could have a chance to come to countries, such as Panama, Honduras and Ghana.

“We fund raise to buy medication and personal hygiene items for people who can’t afford it or do not have the ability to get to it,” he said.

For example, he said that people residing in Ghana have no healthcare because the hospitals are too far away.

“We go there, and we bring the hospital to them,” Diallo said. “We bring bandages, medicines and dental items like toothbrushes and toothpaste and other items.”

Sophomore public relations major and public relations of the PSUC Global Brigades, Chelsea Asare kept emphasizing the medical treatment they provide to poor countries. Asare said because of the demand for treatment, one of the most important factors of the club is fundraising to buy medical supplies for people because of the lack of access to it in those countries.

Diallo also said everybody could feel free to join the Global Medical Brigades and go to those countries to help people, even if they are not involved with the PSUC program.

“Our job here on campus is to bring awareness to the issue and fund raise to buy these (items) to take to these people,” Diallo said. “For SUNY Plattsburgh, what we do is to teach people about things that we have and (what) we take for granted.”

He also said the second aspect of the program is to bring awareness in terms of financial need. At the end of the year, the program will ask the general members if they would like to go on the trip with Medical Brigades. From there, the e-board will show students how to register for it.

“This program helps a lot of people,” Diallo said. “Media plays the big role.”

He said the program will help people get to know more about those countries as well. Diallo also hopes the program would make an impact on the PSUC campus so Global Medical Brigades will be a well-known organization throughout the SUNY system.

“It’s a volunteer club, and the purpose is to go away and volunteer,” Asare said. “What we do on campus is basically educating people on what the mission of the club is.”

She said the club will help to inform people on things that they would need to know if they want to go with the organization to volunteer. She also emphasized that they will educate people about tropical countries so people will know what they are getting themselves into.

“Also, we want to teach them the characteristic of being individual and being open-minded,” she said. “You have to learn how to respect these people.”

She also said the e-board members will come up with the fundraising idea, so they can help to raise money for the medication.

“It is great to volunteer,” sophomore biology major and public relations for the PSUC Global Brigades, Jessica Kabore said.

Kabore encouraged people to attend the program because it is useful for them. For example, she said they could gain more knowledge about different countries and different events that are happening in those countries.

Kabore also informed the PSUC Global Medical Brigades meeting is held every Thursday in Yokum 203.

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<a href="http://cardinalpointsonline.com/byline/hilly-nguyen/" rel="tag">Hilly Nguyen</a>