A UCF-affiliated medical organization is set to cross the pond to the Eastern Hemisphere to help the people of suburban India and to expand the members' medical and cultural horizons early next year.
Lindsey Lyall, the International Medical Outreach's sergeant at arms, said the organization will be traveling to Faridabad, India, from March 4 to 13, 2016, in order to gain medical experience and help the people in suburban India who can’t afford medical attention.
“When I was running for this position I was thinking that I always had the idea that I wanted to take us to a new continent, I really wanted to branch out and help IMO grow as an organization,” Lyall said.
The idea for the trip, which is SGA-funded, began when a member of IMO, Karan Issar, suggested that the organization should travel to India where he was born. Issar has family and friends in the medical field who are willing to share their knowledge and resources with the selected members.
Lyall explained that in order for the Student Government Association to fund this trip, the organization had to create a bill, which was presented to and approved by the board as an educational trip. Lyall said the club received more than $14,000 in order to fund travel to Faridabad, India, which is located about an hour and a half away from New Delhi, India.
“It’s going to be cool to see how other people react to the culture,” Issar said.
Out of more than 200 active members, only 19 applied for the trip and in attendance will be two officers, 10 members, and Issar, the official translator. In order to have been chosen as one of the members who attends this trip, IMO required a written application and an in-person interview.
“It will be a good opportunity for members to see a different approach to medicine than what we are used to here in the United States,” Lyall said.
Lyall described the trip’s itinerary, which includes starting and operating a free health clinic with free medical supplies for the people of Faridabad. Additionally, there will be the possibility to shadow a cardiothoracic surgery unit.
“My cousins are going to advertise [the clinic] there, talk to the leader of the temple, talk to the leaders of the schools and hang a banner to advertise a couple weeks before we come,” Issar said.
In 2016, IMO will celebrate its 10th anniversary, and members said this trip is a great opportunity to experience medical practices that have previously been out of reach to UCF students.
“Hopefully this will really step up the game and cause us to branch out and really grow,” Lyall said.
Issar and Lyall both explained how the nonprofit organization will also be providing donations to an orphanage in Faridabad and that these contributions are vital to this trip due to the lack of resources available in India.
“We are asking for donations because you are really helping people. A lot of health issues that people in other parts of the world are burdened with are so simple to treat and so preventable, they just don’t have the resources,” Lyall said.
Anyone interested in donating to IMO and this trip can visit its website at imoucf.org and click on the "Donate" tab or attend any of the organization's bucketing sessions in front of the Student Union during the week.
Ana Espinosa is a Contributing Writer for the Central Florida Future.