Pharmacy Students Provide Health Care in Honduras Over Spring Break

A group of 8 University of Louisiana Monroe pharmacy students and 3 faculty members spent their spring break volunteering their health care skills to the community of Guaymitas, Honduras.

A group of 8 University of Louisiana Monroe pharmacy students and 3 faculty members spent their spring break volunteering their health care skills to the community of Guaymitas, Honduras.

The pharmacy students interviewed patients, collected medical history information, recommended therapy, and communicated with physicians about the best medications available for the patients, according to a school press release.

The pharmacy students cared for individuals with a variety of conditions, including cardiovascular disease, hypertension, diabetes, and musculoskeletal problems.

“Some of the people we saw had extreme cases, from cancer in an older gentleman that was at a late stage, to a baby who was experiencing fainting spells because of a possible major heart congenital birth defect,” said pharmacy student Rino Nicholas in the school press release.

The students also conducted home visits and helped organize makeshift clinics for areas that lacked clean water and sanitation.

By the end of the trip, the group had served around 200 to 300 patients and filled around 400 to 500 prescriptions.

“This trip has been the most valuable and life changing experience that I will probably ever have,” said student Halie Verret in the press release. “It’s very hard to put all of the emotions into words. It opened my eyes to how bad some people’s living situations are. So many people told us that their doctors told them nothing was wrong when, in reality, these patients had very serious problems, and we most likely saved their lives.”

Associate professor of pharmacy David Caldwell said that University of Louisiana Monroe doesn’t only provide an academic education, but also instills a “passion for humanity” in students. He also commended the students for giving up their spring break to work a 40-hour week in Honduras.

The pharmacy students were involved in an elective class called Medical Outreach Experience, which includes a trip to a poor area in the world.

The school partnered with Southeastern Medical International (SMI), a program that seeks to train health care professionals to care for the needy all over the world. One of SMI’s achievements was providing clinics and medical care to those in the wake of the 2010 earthquake in Haiti.