Belmont’s community health students recently delivered the curriculum they developed for a new nursing school that will be established in Pemba, Mozambique by non-profit Mobile Medical Disaster Relief (MMDR). Dr. David Vanderpool, a Brentwood surgeon, founded MMDR in 2005 to serve the victims of Hurricane Katrina in the Mississippi area. The humanitarian organization now exists to help fulfill the medical needs of vulnerable and underserved people in the United States and throughout the world.
Developed under the leadership of Associate Professor Ruby Dunlap, whose parents were missionaries in Africa, the nursing curriculum was presented to Vanderpool Nov. 13 following the Sigma Theta Tau induction ceremony. Vanderpool will use the curriculum as part of his group’s efforts to start a hospital and nursing school in Mozambique, Africa. The organization is also collecting vaccines, malaria drugs and AIDS medications for their work there. According to the MMDR Web site, Mozambique medical facilities are scarce or nonexistent. One in six people have HIV/AIDS, and 60 percent of children die before the age of 5.
Karen Thomas, MMDR’s Director of Operations, said, “The curriculum development is a very important part of the process toward getting a nursing program in Pemba going. We can accomplish so much more in a short period of time than they can in Africa. Once the hospital is built, there will be a place to meet and train. Dr. Vanderpool is looking forward to replicating the hospital and nursing school in other places. What you have accomplished is a very important link in the chain.”