A GROUP of medical students from the GCC travelled to flood-stricken Kerala to provide humanitarian assistance.
The ‘Cloud of Hope’ team, comprising 30 students from Bahrain-based Arabian Gulf University’s College of Medicine and Medical Sciences, visited a number of medical centres and orphanages in rural areas in Kerala, India.
They provided essential vaccinations and first-aid training along with basic examinations as well as providing medicines, school bags and symbolic gifts to children.
Torrential rains in Kerala claimed the lives of 483 people last month and left close to a million displaced.
Landslides affected a large part of the state, known for its tourist attractions, while a number of small and medium-scale enterprises were also affected with 57,000 hectares of crops damaged.
“It was a unique humanitarian experience as medical students joined volunteers to extend a helping hand to needy people who were left stranded,” said AGU College of Medicine and Medical Sciences physiology department chief Dr Amer Al Ansari.
“Medical students had a lot to gain from this field training in highly difficult conditions which are not found in the Arabian Gulf region.”
The initiative was the brainchild of AGU medical student Yousif Al Tandeel who said students from Bahrain, Kuwait, Oman and Saudi Arabia joined efforts with other volunteers from Arab countries.
“The initiative will be expanded to include other countries in need of relief in co-ordination with NomuHub Network to alleviate people’s suffering from poverty, marginalisation and diseases,” said Mr Al Tandeel.
“The experience was so enriching and life-changing for volunteers who included medical students, teachers, journalists and parents. We felt as real doctors not medical trainees as we worked in hospitals, orphanages, schools and elderly people’s homes.”
The visit followed a humanitarian trip to Zanzibar, Tanzania in 2017, during which the same group provided medical help to about 800 patients.