Archive for the 'Schooling' 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.

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’

Cambridge U – Jolly Good!

Big banking in the UK received a lump of coal from jolly old Cambridge University this Christmas.  The banking trade association in the UK wrote to Cambridge U asking them to censor an academic thesis of one of their students because it exposed one of their security flaws.  Instead of jumping at fixing the flaw they simply try to cover it up.  Click on the crest to check out the article:

Frontiers in Autonomic Neuroscience!

A great read I found this morning…

Non-Anesthetized Mouse Model for Recording Sensory Urinary Bladder Activity

Peter Zvara 1*, Andrew J. Wright 1, Kristopher Roach 1, Michal Ursiny 1, Bennett Shapiro 1, Lawrence M. Dagrosa 1, Mark T. Nelson 2 and Thomas J. Heppner 2

  • 1Surgery, University of Vermont, USA
  • 2Pharmacology, Univeristy of Vermont, USA

The goal of this study was to develop an in vivo awake mouse model for extracellular bladder sensory nerve recording. A bipolar 125-µm silver electrode was positioned under a single postganglionic bladder nerve. Efferent nerve signals were eliminated by tying off the postganglionic bladder nerve between the major pelvic ganglion and the recording electrode. Sensory nerve activity was measured in the conscious animals 48 hours after surgery during continuous intravesical infusion of 0.9% saline/0.5% acetic acid followed by 0.5% acetic acid with capsazepine (10 µM) at a rate of 0.75 ml/h. Continuous infusion of 0.9% NaCl led to a gradual increase in the frequency of sensory nerve firing that peaked upon reaching threshold pressure. Non-micturition contractions were observed in some animals during filling and other animals exhibited only minimal pressure fluctuations; both types of events were associated with a rise in sensory nerve activity. Intravesical infusion of 0.5% acetic acid reduced the intermicturition interval. This was associated with a 2.1-fold increase in bladder pressure during filling and a 2-fold increase at both threshold and micturition pressures. Concurrent with these changes, sensory activity increased 2.8-fold during filling and 2.4-fold at threshold pressure. Subsequent intravesical infusion of capsazepine in 0.5% acetic acid reduced filling and threshold pressures by 21% and 31.2%, respectively, and produced corresponding decreases of 36% and 23.4% in sensory nerve activity. The current study shows that multi-fiber sensory nerve recordings can be reproducibly obtained from conscious mice.

Full Article (PDF)

Journalism at Its Finest

Enjoy this great little tune made by some students at Middlebury College and a fledgling producer flown in from LA.  Clever little commentary on what college kids do at school, the brotherhood of lacrosse, and then below is a classic small-town, politically correct report from the local news.  Both are worth a chuckle.

Compelling newscast: (Embedding was disabled) on how the lacrosse players feelings were hurt.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=d4CSRAnGyqY&feature=related

The Times also wrote a little ditty about it:

http://thechoice.blogs.nytimes.com/2010/02/25/middkid/

Getting Some Press

News posted by the University of Vermont College of Engineering

Greetings to all!

There’s a great little news article posted by the University of Vermont College of Engineering about my medical mission to Africa.  Everyone should go read it and pass it on, although just a small blurb, I think it captures the story quite well.  Be sure to share the story with others and hopefully this will lead to more press in the near future!

You can click here to read the news article or find it through the College of Engineering and Mathematics homepage.

Thanks again and enjoy!