The South Africa May Term took place from May 11-May 28, 2016, in collaboration with Nelson Mandela Metropolitan University (NMMU) Office for International Education and Health Sciences Nursing in Port Elizabeth, South Africa. The study abroad program included students from BSU’s 4-year Track program and RN-BS program, as well as NTC’s RN program.
After working with clients in different township clinics and during home visits, students had the opportunity to work with the Zinempilo health truck, an initiative by the NMMU Health Sciences department to bring health care directly to the poorest townships of Port Elizabeth and surrounding areas. The Zanempilo health truck drives out to a different community three days a week and offers primary care that includes family planning, blood pressure screening, HIV screening and counseling, diabetes clinics with eyes screenings, and TB screenings.
This interdisciplinary day of service takes careful planning and collaboration among the program coordinator, Health Science faculty members, professional community health nurses, technicians and community volunteers to make the day a successful clinical experience for the interdisciplinary health sciences students who participate as part of their academic and professional preparation. Students assist with screening, measuring, and maintaining care logs with information on the patients coming in for service. Statistics are compiled from the logs and provide information on where needs are most acute and what changes in service provision should be implemented. The interdisciplinary students who participate are studying in such fields as nursing, emergency first responder, dental technicians and oral hygiene, dietetics, public health, and social work.