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Press Release: DeSales University Student To Give Health Care in The Jungle
Date: 3/4/2002

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DeSales University Student To Give Health Care in The Jungle

Center Valley, Pa., - (March 4, 2002) - Nani Sinclair of Breinigsville, will participate in the Rainforest Health Project during one of four annual expeditions to the Amazon jungles of Peru beginning May 1 as part of her coursework in the DeSales University physician assistant program.

"I was brought up with a family involved in mission work and working for the underprivileged. It's in my blood," says Sinclair, the mother of two children ages 9 and 11 and a second year PA student.

Sinclair, a former emergency medical technician, became interested in the RHP through the American Academy of Physician Assistants. After looking at about 20 different groups and programs, the RHP program was the best fit and most appealing to her.

"I wanted a rural setting with fly-by-your-seat medicine. I wanted to get down to the basics, and apply what I know."

Sinclair will call upon her Spanish-speaking skills combined with her interest in the public health field while in the jungle

RHP, founded by Patricia Webster and Timothy Woodruff, is a non-profit international relief organization dedicated to building grass roots bridges between Amazonian and Western health care practices

Four times a year a RHP team of medical and non-medical volunteers visits the Peruvian jungle to provide basic medical care including safe waste removal, water supply management, nutrition, and dental care to villages with no access to routine care

Working conditions include primitive communities without running water, electricity, or the most rudimentary medical facilities. Teams work in bamboo huts or riverside

Sinclair chose this trip as part of her clinical rotations necessary for graduation in the second year of the DeSales program. Eight rotations are mandatory and include emergency medicine, two family medicine rotations, internal medicine, obstetrics and gynecology, pediatrics, psychiatry and general surgery. Students must then select one elective rotation. The RHP trip is Sinclair's elective.<</p>

While servicing inhabitants of the jungle, the RHP team learns of local traditions of healing and the use of indigenous medicinal plants while maintaining a sensitive and respectful support for local social systems and cultural beliefs

Sinclair will be working with a Peruvian physician and US volunteer staff in Iquitos, Peru doing patient follow up, patient records, government reports, and assisting with the medical supplies and pharmaceuticals

Her duties will also include meeting with the Ministry of Health and various other government agencies, reviewing past expedition reports, and assisting in preparing for the clinical jungle rotation. She will be rotating through the jungle clinics in various Amazon villages, as well as doing emergency "hut" calls.

"I'll be helping with things that we take for granted but they battle with everyday," says Sinclair. "I'll be taking a large amount of medical supplies including aspirin, anti-inflammatory medication, and antibiotics that would have been thrown away, but is like gold to them."

As a RHP volunteer, Sinclair has had to undergo a series of various immunizations against such diseases as Malaria, Tetanus, Rabies, Hepatitis A, and Typhoid.

She has been raising money to fund the trip including the expedition, supplies, medications, and project expenses.

Press Release: DeSales University Student To Give Health Care in The Jungle | Posted on: 3/4/2002

For more info:
Tom McNamara, Executive D
irector of Communications
DeSales University | 2255 Station Avenue | Center Valley, PA 18034

610.282.1100 x1219 | Tom.McNamara@desales.edu

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