Team Philippines are go: Notre Dame students step up to help

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Zoe Wood, a second year medical student at Notre Dame, makes a new friend in the Philippines. PHOTO: UNDA

Medical students from the University of Notre Dame will offer their skills in the Philippines next month, raising more than $11,000 for much needed medical supplies in the lead up.

“Team Philippines” will provide medical care to children, women and men in Calauan, a province of more than 80,000 people, 78km southeast of Manila.

The students have been tenacious in raising funds at Notre Dame events, netting donations of $11,336 through their online fundraising page.

The donations will be used to buy vital resources such as folate supplements, iron supplements, pharmaceuticals, medical and dental supplies, glasses and other healthcare equipment.

Samantha Carr, a third year Doctor of Medicine student, said the response of the community had exceeded her expectations.

“I was blown away by the fundraising efforts of our team,” she said.

“We set a goal of $10,000 at the start of the year and we have already surpassed it – this has been our biggest fundraising achievement for Team Philippines yet.

Dr Charlotte Hespe, Associate Professor at Notre Dame’s School of Medicine, Sydney, said the mission itself would be invaluable for students.

“They become part of a real medical team and get to see how small projects can grow into significant health benefits for people who experience disadvantage when it comes to quality healthcare,” she said.

Team Philippines began in 2013 and has established a number of specialist community projects including a medical clinic and pharmacy, a dental service, a women’s health clinic and an eye clinic.

More information about the team is available at www.teamphilippines.org