We believe that medical professionals need to be aware of the urgent health and humanitarian needs of much of the developing world. We strive to promote an awareness of those needs and hope that that awareness will lead to a life-long desire to take part in international humanitarian service.
It is our desire that every human being have access to adequate health care regardless of nationality, race, religion, or socioeconomic status. Although we realize we cannot change the world, we, nevertheless, seek to do as much as we can for the communities that we can serve and strive to make a lasting-impact on those communities one individual at a time.
Communities are empowered to lead healthy lives when they understand the health issues and disease risks that they face, whether those issues deal with HIV, malaria, clean water, or diabetes. Indeed, studies have shown that positive health outcomes correlate with increasing levels of health literacy. For these reasons we place public health education as an important component of our medical missions in the communities we serve.
The Student Global Health Alliance is a relatively new student interest group at the University of Oklahoma Health Sciences Center. It was founded in 2008 by Ash Morgan and other medical students who were interested in forming a student group dedicated to international health issues. Its first medical mission was to Nepal in 2009. Since that first year, SGHA has grown in student involvement each year and has been able to make medical missions to Vietnam (2010), Peru (2011), and Ghana (2011). In January 2011, thanks to the hard work of our founder Ash Morgan, we obtained 501-(c)(3) status.
Currently, SGHA is partnering with ProsForAfrica in organizing two medical missions to northern Uganda which are set to occur this spring and summer of 2012.
Apart from organizing and executing medical missions in the developing world, SGHA hosts several lectures each semester that seek to educate students concerning a variety of global health issues. Some of these lecturers have spoke on issues such as infectious diseases, unique problems facing refugees, maternal health care, and the practicalities of organizing humanitarian missions.