Medical Aid Initiative
Global Medical Training (GMT) is an international humanitarian organization that provides free dental and medical services to impoverished communities in Central America. During our trips, students work with local physicians in providing free medical exams to patients with insufficient medical attention. In addition, we supplement our clinics with medication prescribed under professional supervision. On our trips, we saw that the medications that are easily accessible here in the US are very scarce and considered luxurious commodities to the villagers. Having abundant medical supplies and medication is crucial in our clinics as we see well over 100 patients a day during our trips. On several days of our trip, we were not able to provide enough medications to our patients due to inadequate supply.
In 2013, a group of UCLA students established the medical donations committee under Global Medical Training in attempt to relieve this problem. Over the past couple of years of reaching out to potential donors and efforts to raise funds, more than 1000 medical supplies have been collected and taken on GMT trips. Through this process we saw that the excess, unused supplies collected in the US could be reallocated to clinics to serve the villagers in developing countries, thereby reducing excess medical waste in the US and improving the healthcare within developing countries. This mutually beneficial relationship is what encouraged us to expand our organization and form the Medical Assistance Initiative.
Medical Assistance Initiative (MAI) is a student-found and student-led organization that provides resources to various student organizations and programs that share the same vision of providing medical care and health education to underdeveloped nations around the world free of charge. Through partnership with some of the largest hospitals in the Los Angeles County, MAI collects excess, unexpired medical supplies and distributes them to organizations that can use them to reach those in need of medical attention outside of the US. While US hospitals produce over two million tons of medical waste each year, MAI helps to prevent and reduce waste by distributing supplies to those who can use them to save lives globally. MAI envisions to bring healthcare to the developing countries through redistribution of localized and unused resources, thereby reducing waste and improving global healthcare.