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East Carolina University Global Health and Underserved Populations

Visited Locations (7)

Countries: Ethiopia, Guatemala, Haiti, Nicaragua, Uganda, Zambia

Months of Travel: Variable throughout the year

Year Initiated: 1974

Total Yearly Outreach Participants: 20-40

Matriculants per class: 80

Medical School Involvement: M1, M2, M3, M4

Other participating professional schools:

ECU Brody School of Medicine, ECU College of Nursing, ECU International Studies, ECU School of Dental Medicine

Faculty and staffing:

Faculty coverage from the ECU Brody School of Medicine and Vidant Medical Center GME, ECU School of Nursing faculty, and ECU School of Dental Medicine faculty

Application process:

Each project/location has a separate application process. Please see the website for contact information.

Program elements:

Zambia - 3 week trip every February to serve a population of about 750 children in and around a village in Western Zambia. includes 4 medical students and 4 residents in serving at an outpatient clinic as well as a mission hospital. Contact: Dr. Tom Irons

Ethiopia - 3 week rotation. Participants stay in the capital city Addis Ababa. They work primarily in the largest government hospital and teaching university, Black Lion Hospital, with the internal medicine department. Research opportunities available. Contact: Dr. Dawd Siraj

Guatemala (Pediatric Department) - 1 week mission trip each year providing medical care at a rural clinic. The remainder of the year the clinic is staffed by local mid-level providers and rotating mission groups. Contact: Dr. John Olsson.

Guatemala (Perspectives in International Community Health Nursing) - ECU College of Nursing 3 week course which includes culture immersion, language lessons and public health interventions focused on clean water resources in the community. Research opportunities available. Non-nursing students and residents also welcome. Contact: Dr. Kim Larson
Haiti - 9 day mission trip four times per year. Tovar Medical Clinic serves a rural population of about 60,000 people in the region of Grison Garde 25 miles south of the city of Cap Haitien. 300-400 pediatric patients seen per day. The rest of the year the clinic is staffed by local providers. Contact: Dr. Matthew Ledoux

Nicaragua - Two 3 week rotations per year. BSOM elective is approved for both Cardiology and Primary Care credits for medical students. The team sees cardiology patients daily, and in two weeks will see 300 adult and 50 pediatric patients with excellent exposure to rheumatic heart disease and congenital heart conditions not frequently seen in the United States. Learning experiences also include rounds with the in-patient medical team, obstetric patients, a visit to the HIV clinic and a working at a small public clinic in the beach town of Poneloya. In Spring they organize two primary care clinics for underserved patients. Opportunities for dental students and residents also available. Contact Dr. Harry Adams or Dr. John Rose
Uganda - 1 month resident rotation taking care of orphaned infants and children at the Potter’s Village (PV). PV is a missionary founded NGO. They have a medical center which serves about 15-20 outpatient pediatric patients per day, a 20 bed inpatient unit, 10 bed special care nursery, 10 bed Nutritional Rehab unit, and 7 bed overflow unit. Residents will be expected to see out patients, round on inpatients, learn about nutritional rehabilitation of children affected by kwashiorkor and marasmus, and cover the night call. Contact Dr. Kenefick or Dr. Tom Irons

Financial support:

Variable by department

Faculty time allotted:

None formally

Administrative support:

Medical students should apply through the Office of Student Affairs. Resident support is provided through Vidant Graduate Medical Education and through the individual residency programs/departments. The ECU Global Health and Underserved Populations leadership is available to help arrange rotations, research, training and funding across disciplines. A Global Health certificate is available to participants who attend a weekly lecture series and complete a project in Global Health and Underserved Populations.





NGO/In Country Partners

  • Universidad Nacional Autónoma de Nicaragua UNAN in Leon
  • Addis Ababa University Medical School, Potter’s Village (missionary founded NGO) in Uganda
  • The Haiti Mission Foundation
  • CMDA (Christian Medical and Dental Association)
  • Samaritans Purse