A 4 week expedition to Guyana to research the effects of westernisation on the indigenous Amerindian communtities there.
Who we are
We are a group of medical students at the University of Aberdeen with a passion for research and expedition medicine! Three members of the team are graduates with scientific backgrounds currently studying medicine, three are 3rd year medical students and there will be one fully qualified doctor.
What is our project?
This october we are aiming to be the first ever group to document the potential increased health risks of people living in indigenous communities in Guyana, who are gradually becoming exposed to a western diet and lifestyle.
A group of Guyanese medical students will be joining us and will help us collect data from non Amerinidian Guyanese that we can compare our results against.
We will be working with the University of Guyana and with the approval of the Ministries of Health and Ministry of Amerindian Affairs, as well as any individual villages we visit.
Why is it important?
Similar studies in other countries have found an increased risk of non-communicable diseases (such as diabetes, obesity, heart disease and stroke) in indigenous communities who are exposed to a western diet and lifestyle, but it is not known why this is. If a similar increased risk is found in the indigenous communities of Guyana, awareness can be raised and people protected.
An important part of this project is that we share what we find with everyone who is involved, including all the people who have kindly agreed to be participants, the university of Guyana and the ministry of health and the ministry of Amerinidan affairs. We hope this will stimulate further homegrown research within Guyana.
How will we carry this out?
We will be asking people to complete a general lifestyle survey, measuring their BMI (body mass index) and Hip to waist ratio as well as measuring their blood pressure and peak expiratory flow.
These factors can be used to predict health risks, for example, the risk of cardiovascular disease, respiratory dissorders and strokes.
Where are we going?
We will be visiting Georgetown, the capital of Guyana, to liase with students from the University of Guyana. We will then be heading into Guyanas jungelous region, The Interior.
Our first basecamp will be at the Caimen House Research Station near our first village of Yupukari. After this we move on to the villages of Katoka, Massara, Rewa and finally Apoteri.
To get between each village we shall be using the jungle highways, in the form of small boats on the Rupununi and Rewa rivers.
The total cost of the project including accomodation, insurance, travel and medical equipment is £15,000. We are all making personal contributions and are lucky enough to have been awarded the Scientific Exploration Society Rivers Foundation Award for Health and Humanities and the University of Aberdeen Principle's Excellence Fund. However, we are still short of our target and are very grateful for any contribution you can make!
To show our appreciation every supporter will recieve a thank you message and there are other rewards as well! Thank you so much for looking at our page and considering our research!