Spring break may have been a time of rest and relaxation for some, but for 45 University of Florida College of Pharmacy students, the week off from classes offered an opportunity to give their time and talents providing health care in underserved countries. Eight teams of UF pharmacy students joined peers from the other UF Health colleges in traveling to five Latin America countries on Global Health Education Program-sponsored trips. The experience allowed pharmacy students to learn firsthand about the health inequities that exist in underserved areas of the world and partner with agencies to help meet the health needs of the local community.
Among the locations visited by UF College of Pharmacy students was an area of Ecuador impacted by an earthquake last year. Pharmacy students and their peers treated approximately 700 patients during the week-long trip and made a significant impact helping Ecuadorian children receive medications to treat parasitic infections. Additional teams traveled to the Yucatán region of Mexico. One team helped more than 1,400 patients with medication, speech and audiology services, while another cared for 950 patients.