Name: Matthew Eng
Institution: University of Notre Dame
I spent 3 months with Blue-Med Africa between college and graduate school in 2011. During my stay I was able to volunteer at the local hospital, veterinary clinic, orphanage and school. These diverse experiences allowed me to see so many facets of Ghanian life and meet many amazing people. I found my stay to be an insightful and candid learning experience. While impelled by the idea to make a difference, after three months I was humbled after witnessing how a lack of basic care can cause suffering, but also the resiliency and kindness shown by Ghanians.
As an incoming graduate student researching infectious disease, it was significant to see first-hand how by malaria, lymphatic filariasis and leprosy cause suffering and economic loss. One of the Blue Med’s strongest assets is their connections with the local community and their ability to set up pop-up clinics in remote villages. The highlights of my time in Ghana was simply being part of the daily life in the small and bustling city of Ho, and going on the rural medical outreach treks, where we would deliver medicine and basic treatment to idyllic villages. Blue Med was essential to both of these experiences.
Richard and his team were terrific at providing valuable insight, unforgettable experiences and even some of the comforts of home. I was glad to spend my time with a locally-owned and operated organization that working to improve care within the region.