HUMANITARIAN AID: Local medical students Tom Boland and Shae Tripp are going to volunteer in Laos. Photo: contributed
HUMANITARIAN AID: Local medical students Tom Boland and Shae Tripp are going to volunteer in Laos. Photo: contributed

Medical students crowd funding for public health in Laos

TWO medical students who grew up locally are planning a trip to Laos in south-east Asia to help the "poorest of the poor" and have started crowd funding to help get there.

They chose Laos because it had very high death rates from a range of quite preventable diseases.

"Diarrhoea is the fourth highest cause of death in the country, but can be treated relatively easily," assuming you have access to water and other sanitation measures, said Shae Tripp.

Mr Tripp grew up in Byron Bay and is studying medicine in Sydney, and plans to travel with friend Tom Boland, a physiotherapy Master's student who grew up near Lismore.

Both attend the Notre Dame School of Medicine in Sydney.

"This is something I always wanted to do. We can make a lot of difference," Mr Tripp said.

His university is Catholic-based and requires students to do some form of community service to give back to society.

"We are taking that a step further and going to work for two weeks in a clinic that serves the poorest of the poor in Laos," he said.

The clinic is run by International Volunteer HQ who will make sure the visitors get to use and extend their skills.

Mr Tripp has started a crowd funding campaign to raise $1600 to cover his airfares and accommodation.

As a medical student Mr Tripp spends all his time studying and says he has already "maxed out" his credit card to pay for text books.

By day four of the campaign it had raised more than $400 and he was confident he would reach his goal before their planned departure in mid November.

To donate to the crowd funding campaign visit https:// http://www.gofundme.com/vb5aj3n8.



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