Good health is a necessity for both personal and community development. Unfortunately, many marginalized communities are in serious lack of proper health care. Since 2007, ETA has been working with Seattle Colleges on a program that brings doctors, healthcare professionals and medical students from the US and Vietnam together to provide free health consultation and medical supplies. Our most successful project has been for people in remote mountainous areas of Mai Chau, Vietnam where ETA run an annual trip to make quality medical services accessible to the locals.
The 1-week long medical trek usually consists of visits to 2 villages where we set up temporary clinics just like at a real hospital with triage tables to define symptoms, doctor tables for diagnosis then prescription, and a pharmacy to provide medicines. In between comes a day when the whole group will need to trek from one village to another. The team serves approximately 200 villagers a day. Living far from the town center with low income has made it extremely difficult for local villagers to make their health a priority through regular check-ups. The medical trek has helped raise awareness about the importance of health checks and brought opportunities of quality health care to the locals. Before this initiative, many had never seen a doctor before.
ETA also runs community health programs in other Southeast Asia destinations, including Laos, Cambodia and Thailand. In these destinations we take university nursing, midwife and medical students to learn about health care through unique hands-on experiences and cultural perspectives. We help reach out to people in need, meet with doctors and professionals and expose students to unique learning journeys in the communities.
Our participants have told us that the program was eye-opening to how their career could make real impact and made them appreciate the things they were privileged to have at home. And that is what ETA has always been proud of: bring a WIN to everyone.