Nine UK medical students go on a two week parasitology masterclass at Colombo Medical school, Sri Lanka, to learn what the UK cannot teach.
About the project
Parasitology is the study of parasites, worms, lice, and insect infestations in humans, and includes diseases caused by venomous animals.
Yes, it is true that living in the UK means little risk of getting some of these weird and wonderful diseases. But increasingly Brits are travelling to weird and wonderful places, and bringing back with them all manner of things. In addition, with higher rates of tourism and migration we will start to see many diseases in the UK that we have seen very little of before.
Currently parasitology is not taught much in British medical schools, mostly because we just do not see a lot of these diseases. Yet, because it will become an increasing problem within the working lives of British medical students, we should gain some experience in helping affected patients.
There is no better place to undergo such training than the Faculty of Medicine in Colombo, the economic capital of Sri Lanka, a renowned centre of parasitology education.
The money that we raise from this fundraiser will be used to pay for the student visa required to enter the country, at a cost of $22USD, for each student.
Normally only two students at a time are accepted on their summer parasitology program, but arrangements have been made for all nine of us. The course has been specifically redesigned, consisting of an intense series of lectures, workshops, and laboratory skills designed to prepare us to sit the "OPSE in parasitology" exam at the end of the two weeks.
There is a significant drive amongst us students to provide teaching to the remaining student body on return, as part of our interest in global health and clinical medicine. We have a strong background in Plymouth of peer teaching.
In addition to this parasitology course we are using the trip to undertake a number of charity and community projects in Sri Lanka. Aiming to improve health and well being by developing community ties, raise money for the building of school classrooms and donating quality wheelchairs to rural Sri Lankan children.
We are a MegaReach project. You can find out all about the parasitology course, including the timetable and subject areas, plus all of the other MegaReach Community projects here: http://www.megareach.org/
Some of us have experience with microscopes already.
One of the worms about which we will be learning.
We have already been able to raise a good amount of money for charities in Sri Lanka through various events.
We have met the Lord Mayor of Plymouth on a number of occasions. He seemed very interested in our work.