Tonight was our first annual Global Get Down as GlobeMed at USC! We were able to bring together many different student groups to put on a diverse show of passion for global health. It was a great opportunity for us students to get a break from work, have some fun, and, at the same time, become more aware of and dedicated to the movement for global health equity.

The theme of this year’s Global Health Awareness Week is Urbanization and Health. Although we live in the city ourselves, it’s still often easy for us to dissociate ourselves from the problems that we see around us, both locally and globally. It’s all too easy for us to just live our lives and not pay attention to the suffering and injustice in the world. However, we have to realize that we have a part in the world, that other human beings don’t deserve less than we do.

This stance of social justice and equity is what motivates me and what motivates us as GlobeMed. Our mission is to improve the health of the impoverished by partnering with grassroots organizations around the world. We want to go beyond the short-term work of medical trips and travel, and focus on working directly with grassroots organizations in long-term partnerships of solidarity and mutual understanding. Each GlobeMed chapter (of which there are currently 19 nationwide) is partnered with a grassroots organization and works with them throughout the years to raise funds for projects that they are motivated to develop for their community. Our USC chapter began working with Care Net Ghana (which was actually founded by Ghanaian university students back in 1993) last fall, and we’re fundraising this year to support the establishment of a medical laboratory in their community of Hohoe. The overall goal of this project is to improve maternal and child health in the area by making it possible for health workers to provide timely and accurate diagnoses of any complications that may arise during pregnancy or the birthing process. This summer, I and a few others will go to Hohoe to meet the people of Care Net for the first time. During this trip, we hope to connect with and better understand the community there, to see what our work this past school year has done, and to bring back that connection to further our work for them here at USC in the next school year.

The funding of a simple medical laboratory in Ghana means so much to their community, which currently has no pediatric care and a doctor to patient ratio of 1/200,000. Let’s not be blinded by privilege, but open our eyes to the opportunity to make a lasting impact in the lives of others. It can be as easy as attending and donating at a fun event like our Global Get Down!