My name is Ahrabbey and I’m an A level, student, aspiring to study medicine at university. I made my first ever trip to Sri Lanka in the summer and wanted to make the most of it; so I got into contact with UKTSU regarding the Mobile Health Clinic in Mannar. I was delighted to have been given the opportunity to volunteer with the clinic, travelling to a total of seven villages in one day.
We started the day at 8:30 am and arrived at the first village shortly after. I immediately noticed the stark difference between this sparse village and not only the UK, but even the nearby city of Mannar. The healthcare team had already set up and there was a growing queue of villagers outside. I was pleasantly surprised to see that an efficient system was in place as there was only one doctor to treat all of the patients. Therefore, every patient at each village could be given medication before the day was over.
I spoke to the patients throughout the day so I was able to find out more about their lives in such a remote area. Many of them were farmers whom worked in the blistering heat for long hours. Unfortunately, this meant that most of the villagers suffered from joint pains and, as they weren’t earning enough money, many adults and children were malnourished. Their stories were hard to hear and it was clear that all of the villagers were struggling. However, it was inspiring to see that the patients were welcoming and extremely positive despite their hardship. They were all immensely grateful for the Mobile Health Clinic because their only other access to healthcare was an hour away by bus.
The Mobile Health Clinic makes a significant improvement to the lives of these villagers who are currently trapped in poverty that is, unfortunately, still very common in the war affected regions of North Sri Lanka. However, if there was increased funding, the clinic would be able to run once a week rather than once a fortnight and it could run in other villages outside of Mannar. This experience has exposed me to the deprivation and anguish that Tamil people have to deal with in Sri Lanka and I strongly believe that by supporting the work done by UKTSU, we can continue to help people who are not as privileged as we are. I highly recommend anyone to volunteer with the Mobile Health Clinic as it was an extremely rewarding and an unforgettable experience.

Find out more about UKTSU's Mobile Health Clinic

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