Bay Shore medical students used their education to lend a helping hand abroad this past winter break.

A full 20 students from Touro’s School of Health Sciences gave their time and skills to help adults and children in an impoverished area of Riobamba in central Ecuador.

The trip, sponsored by a non-profit organization called MEDLIFE, involved aiding four new health clinics that opened in the region.

The students treated various types of medical conditions like lacerations, parasites, and dental care, all while educating the Ecuadorians about proper personal hygiene techniques.

Both undergraduate and graduate students spent seven days in Ecuador, during which time they helped nearly 1,200 Ecuadorians, including 302 patients under the age of 12.

At first, the natives were unwelcoming of the Touro student-medical team because of their holistic Quechua culture that heavily relied on natural remedies, said MEDLIFE’s chapter president, Emily Lisanti.

But their apprehensions soon changed once the students began to develop a relationship with the people, she added.

“The people of Riobamba were so appreciative to how they were treated,” said Lisanti, “They hated to see us leave. The feeling was mutual.”

Lisanti said the experiences the students received in Riobamba were invaluable and “unforgettable”.


Top photo: Touro College student provides dental care for Ecuadorian children. 

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Touro students educating the Ecuadorian children.