Archive for the 'Medical' Category

Upcoming Mission Needs Your Help

Help support Ascovime’s major extended health and education mission from August 27th – August 31st when they will be traveling to Tiko, Cameroon and spending 5 days providing free healthcare and distributing school supplies to over 3000 kids and 200 teachers!  We all know how hard teachers work, but imagine if you don’t have the supplies to teach.  This is a large humanitarian mission under the looming presence of Mt. Cameroon that needs your help to provide these kids and teachers with the supplies they need for the upcoming school year, please donate here if you can.

Photo courtesy of CNN

Ascovime: The Mobile Hospital

For those that aren’t familiar, ASCOVIME is a small, grassroots volunteer organization committed to fighting illiteracy and disease in Cameroon and eventually greater Africa. The mission of Ascovime is simple: provide free medical care and education supplies to marginalized, destitute populations in the rainforests of Africa.

There are two major facets to Ascovime’s efforts: medicine and education.

Medicine

Every Friday during dry season in Cameroon, Ascovime loads up a hired or borrowed van with a team of volunteers and medical supplies, and hits the road. The team heads for some of the poorest and remote villages in the country where people may have never seen a doctor before. They set up a makeshift “hospital” and first provide locals with personal consultations, then prescribe treatments, and even surgeries under primitive conditions – all of this at no charge.

Education

During the fall months, Ascovime again loads up vans with volunteers, but this time with mostly educational supplies and materials.  Books, pencils, chalk, notebooks, backpacks, and anything that can help a teacher or a student to get a better education is distributed for free by Ascovime.  Currently, Ascovime is leading a project to give more children the opportunity of secondary education by providing educational passports required to enter high school.

In 2010, I volunteered in Cameroon with the team and was blown away by the experience.  When I returned to New England, I recognized the need to get the word out about Ascovime’s efforts to the North American public.  I decided to establish Ascovime.org and AscovimeUSA, help those who wanted to volunteer, improve press exposure, and assist with fundraising and logistical efforts.  As one example, check out the NPR story on Dr. Bwelle, the founder of Ascovime. This is an honest, volunteer-only organization where 100% of donations go directly to those in need of medical care or educational supplies.  If you’d like to volunteer, help in any capacity, or make a generous donation, please visit http://ascovime.org/donate.

-Mike

Mike Ursiny is a third-year medical student at the University of Vermont as well as a Visiting Scientist at the Massachusetts General Hospital in the Department of Urology. His current research interests include dietary influences on kidney stone formation, healthcare funding decision analysis, and medical device innovation.

Ascovime Plans for the Future

Hi all! It’s been a while since this site has been updated but I hope to keep the blog posts coming in a much more regular fashion from now on. There are some exciting things happening with the project that I wanted to share.

First, Dr. Bwelle has created a fantastic slideshow detailing where he wants to take Ascovime in the future and what the project needs to make it there so take a look and let us know what you think! There are some very ambitious ideas for what we can do and it’s exciting to see the direction this organization is moving in.

Currently we are working on getting Ascovime USA officially registered as a 501(c)3 (an American tax-exempt nonprofit organization) and will let everyone know when that has gone through.

Also, we are working on getting more information out in the media about Ascovime so if you know anyone that would be interested in doing a piece about us don’t be shy,send us a message, we’d love to work with you!

Finally, and most importantly, what keeps us running are our wonderful contributors. We will be creating a fundraising letter template that you can share with your friends and family that will have all the details on how to donate to Ascovime (any gift will be tax-deductible too!). We rely on your help and are so grateful for your continued support so thank you!!

It’s the start of a new school year!

And the perfect time to be thinking about our newest program, Project Education. As many of us gear up for another year of High School, College, Grad School or prepare our children for a new year of learning, most of us think of school as a necessary evil. Few consider it a luxury, but to a child in Africa, getting a proper education is often too much to hope for. This is something we are working to change and you can help! Along with better education comes better opportunities for these kids and not just in the form of a higher paying job, it means better opportunities for their whole village and ultimately, their whole country. Statistics show that investing in education is the key to economic development and a stable economy leads to a higher quality of life. So next time you are out shopping for books, pencils and calculators, please consider sponsoring a child so that they too can have the education that they deserve.

100 Donors and $5000!

Today, Ascovime has achieved two major milestones  with one big donation: 100 donors and over $5000 raised.  This is a nice goal and is a testament to the grassroots nature of this small organization.  Everyone out there is chipping in a little bit and helping get much needed healthcare and educational supplies to those in rural parts of Cameroon.

Continue reading ‘100 Donors and $5000!’

Making a Difference in Cool Way

The mission of Ascovime is to provide rural populations in Cameroon with healthcare and educational supplies, all free of charge.  Ascovime functions to achieve this goal in a rather unique way compared to other humanitarian organizations – all members contribute on a volunteer basis, so all the money raised goes directly to those who really need it.  With this model comes the need for great grassroots efforts from all over the world.

Cool Students in Yaounde

Continue reading ‘Making a Difference in Cool Way’

How Ascovime Operates

If you’re wondering how Ascovime does its work on the ground, this video pretty well encapsulates it.  The scenery, music, makeshift equipment and transport, and a jovial attitude are all represented in this fine work.  Credit to TristanChampion for putting this video together.

Ascovime Paris

For those of you that understand French out there, here is a nice little slideshow that was put together by the folks in Paris.  They are the original Ascovime and have been working diligently throughout the years to support the medical teams on the ground in Cameroon.  Check out the slideshow!

Building an Empire Through Third World Exploitation

Exploitation of the poor is a long standing tradition among empires throughout history.  From the Roman empire to that of Imperial Japan prior to World War II, killing and enslaving peoples in order to steal natural resources has been common practice.  And today is no different.

The American empire, built of collusion between the military, corporations, government, banks, and intelligence agencies, has managed to do the same as many empires of the past.  In the 1960s and 70s, our America was responsible for several assassinations as well as other orchestrated coups in order to install leaders that would be receptive to our interests in the region.  Today, we do this in the Middle East and Africa, with Cameroon being no exception.

Back in 2000, a corporate coalition led by Exxon Mobil started a project to build an oil pipeline from southern Chad through Cameroon to the Atlantic Ocean.   Continue reading ‘Building an Empire Through Third World Exploitation’

Keeping Malarial Mosquitoes Off Your Back

I don’t like mosquitoes.  They buzz in your ear, suck at your blood, and worst of all are carriers of malaria in tropical parts of the world.  Since no one likes malaria either, the name of the game is avoiding mosquitoes altogether.  My previous post talked about all the various prophylactic medications you can take, but there are other things you can do to lower the chances of an intimate rendezvous with a mosquito.  After all, it’s really just a game of statistics.

Buy Spray – The malarial mosquitoes are often a little bigger and a little nastier – so buy a bugspray that is also a little more potent.  You definitely want a spray with 5%-35% DEET.  DEET is the good stuff when it comes to insect repellent.

Wear Long Sleeves – I showed up in Africa like a complete rookie.  Logically (I thought) the weather would be hot and tropical, so I brought t-shirts and shorts.  Wrong.  I ended up wearing my one long-sleeve shirt and one pair of pants almost everyday.  Because of me, Americans must have an interesting fashion reputation in Yaounde. Anyway, I was constantly sweaty, but I left without malaria.  You should also wear light colors because mosquitoes are less attracted.

Mosquito Nets – You should have them.  None of the Cameroonians had them, and I also did have one, but it’s highly recommended. Rather be safe than sorry.  The nets should also be sprayed with either pyrethrum, which comes from chrysanthemums, or permethrin, its synthetic twin.  They’re basically just insecticides to create one additional layer of deterrence.

Indoors – Mosquitoes are active in the evening and night.  Be sure to shut windows later in the day and check the screens for major holes.  Prior to entering sleeping quarters, it’s also wise to spray the room with some insecticide to kill any loitering bugs.

The reality is that avoiding mosquito bites is nearly impossible, especially since the African ones I encountered were silent and bit you without causing a commotion. However, if you combine the ability of prophylactic meds and basic prevention techniques, you should be close to 99% safe.  And if you get malaria, it’s treatable and you’ll probably be fine.  Happy travels!