Three highly trained local paramedics have combined their love of adventure with a desire to help bring health care to poorer communities overseas by creating ‘The Wild Medic Project’, a not for profit project aimed at delivering health care to communities abroad. Their mission is simple – to bring vital health care and assistance into communities where such care is unavailable and provide the necessary training, education and support to create and sustain self-sufficiency within the communities.
Here on the Discovery Coast, our communities are fortunate to have the services of paramedics to rely on in time of crisis, but many communities in poorer nations around the world have very little access to health care.
Local Agnes Water paramedics, Mick Stuth and Steve Whitfield, together with another paramedic, Jarrod Booth from Yeppoon have recently established ‘The Wild Medic Project’.
The project is a platform to engage paramedics, nurses, doctors and allied health professionals in gaining valuable experience in humanitarian and expedition medical care. The project aims to bring vital health care, health support and medical training to communities where such assistance would otherwise be unavailable.
‘I have been an expedition leader and medic for almost ten years now,’ explained Steve Whitfield, pictured here in Nepal.
‘Recently I returned from an expedition to Mongolia where I witnessed the need of communities for health care – basic health care that we take for granted.’
‘When I returned to Australia I was approached by paramedics and nurses who were keen to find out how to get involved in humanitarian expeditions.’
‘After returning from Nepal late last year, I approached Mick and Jarrod with the idea of setting up a platform that would give paramedics and nurses the chance to put their skills to good use,’ he continued.
‘We put the idea on paper and established a partnership with a not for profit group in Nepal who identified the need for medical assistance in two communities and from there The Wild Medic Project was born.’
In Nepal, WMP partners with Mother and Children Art Foundation (MCAF) of Nepal. An area of concern is the sanitation in rural villages where they do not have proper homes, kitchens, toilets and water facilities due to the recent devastation. There is a high chance of disease and infection in these villages due to poor sanitation and lack of medical treatment facilities. Every year during the monsoon, Nepal has a very bad record of simple diseases like influenza and diarrhoea, both of which take many lives in the rural villages.
‘Our first medical expedition will depart Australia in November with five medics, lead by Mick and assisted by Jarrod while I remain in Australia dealing with the operations side of the expedition,’ continued Steve.
‘In February we will depart our second medical expedition to Nepal this time lead by me with Mick and Jarrod remaining in Australia to support us.’
‘Our focus now is to raise the necessary funds to enable us to purchase the medical equipment we require to facilitate the up coming medical expeditions.’
‘We are looking at running a fundraising dinner soon and are searching for corporate sponsors or local sponsors who are keen to assist,’ Steve explained.
Wild Medics is currently selling merchandise on their website to raise funds to continue their work… just go to http://thewildmedicproject.com/the-wild-store/
They also launched an initiative this week called ‘Gift a Toothbrush’. This is aimed at supplying toothbrushes to kids and communities in Nepal on the Wild Medic November expedition… just go to http://thewildmedicproject.com
These two fundraising efforts can really assist the project!! For a small outlay you too can make a difference!
If you can help this amazing project, donations can be made by visiting the WMP website, firstname.lastname@example.org
For more information, phone 0432 473 889.
Pictured from left: Jarrod Booth stationed at Yeppoon with Michael Stuth and Steve Whitfield from Agnes Water.