OGDEN, Utah – From May 27 to June 19, Lisa Trujillo, director of clinical education and respiratory therapy instructor at Weber State University, will take her expertise in respiratory therapy and thousands of dollars worth of donated supplies to Africa.
Several of Trujillo’s health professions students, as well as her husband and two children, will join Trujillo on the trip. Because this trip is not officially sanctioned by WSU, all of the travelers are paying their own way.
Trujillo began organizing the trip in the spring of 2005 when one of her prospective students, Albert Ncancer, told her of the need for respiratory therapy education in his native country, Ghana. She was excited about the chance to help.
“I thought ‘What a great opportunity,’” she said. “He inspired me to want to do this.”
Since then Trujillo has organized the trip and rounded up donated supplies to be distributed, including medical equipment and textbooks, anatomy models, sports equipment, school supplies and blankets.
“Everyone’s generosity has been overwhelming,” she said. “It’s amazing how many people have helped.”
The supplies were shipped April 10 in a 20-foot long freight container and will arrive the same day as Trujillo’s group.
While in Ghana, the group will visit hospitals, clinics, orphanages and schools to distribute the supplies. They also will spend much of their time teaching medical staff tips for caring for critically ill patients and newborn infants, as well as providing free medical screenings to patients.
Trujillo has started a blog, trujilloghanatrip.blogspot.com, to share the group’s experiences with the community and thank those who donated to the trip. She hopes to update the blog periodically while the group is in Ghana.