Medical Brigade to Aid Refugees

$11,474 of $30,000 goal

Raised by 306 people in 8 months
Created November 13, 2018
Please Help Central American Asylum Seekers at Tijuana/U.S. Border!

On behalf of the following organizations: Physicians for Social Responsibility-LA, Harbor-UCLA Family Medicine Residents, Alliance in Mentorship - MiMentor.org, CARECEN-LA, medical students from UCLA and UCI, and other allies of Central American asylum seekers, we would like to ask you for monetary donations.

Groups of healthcare professionals and volunteers are coordinating multiple trips to Tijuana, Mexico to provide much-needed medical assistance and basic supplies. Because of restrictions preventing the transport of these items in bulk, we are kindly asking for monetary donations to buy these supplies in Tijuana.

Your contribution will help cover the expenses of the following items:

· Medications: Tylenol, Motrin, Naproxen, Benadryl, Multivitamins (adult, child,
prenatal, iron supplements), inhalers, antacids (Tums, ranitidine, omeprazole),
Metformin, Epipens,

     o    Liquid formulations for meds

     o    Pedialyte, DIY instructions to make

· Antibiotics (Amoxicillin, Augmentin, Azithromycin, Bactirm, Flagyl, Keflex, Clindamycin, Doxycycline, liquid formulations for kids as well)

· Emolients (Eucerin, Vaseline, Aquaphor)

     o    Rx (Benadryl, hydrocortisone)

     o    Topical Antibiotics (Neosporin, Mupirocin/Bactroban, permetrhin, Chlorhexadine,
iodine, Silvadene)

      o    Topical Antifungals (Miconazole, Clotrimazole, Nystatin)

· Medical Supplies: gloves, face masks, hand sanitizer, wound care supplies (alcohol swabs, band-aids, gauze, medical tape, Ace bandage, dermabond, steri-strips, sutures), thermometers, pulsoximeters, blood pressure monitors, flashlights

     o    Medical testing: urine dip, pregnancy, hemaccute, glucometer, rapid

· Protection: sunblock, hats, socks, shoes, jackets, backpacks, condoms, blankets, tents

· Hygiene/Toiletries: soap, shampoo, wet wipes, toilet paper, hand sanitizer, diapers, toothbrushes, toothpaste, underwear, sanitary napkins, bottled water

Thank you for donating and if you would like to also donate your time, please contact us directly at: losangeles4refugeerights@gmail.com. 

Photo credit: Pedro Pardo/AFP/Getty Images
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As the media spotlight on the approximately 3,000 migrants currently waiting at the Tijuana-San Diego border intensified this weekend, our first group of medical providers crossed into Mexico to provide much-needed health assistance to Central American refugees. Our team consisted of undergraduate and post baccalaureate students, medical students, among these a third year physician assistant, from schools such as UCLA, UCI, UCR, and Charles Drew University, along with 3 family physicians and one emergency medicine doctor. Those in attendance volunteered on behalf of themselves and not necessarily on behalf of the institutions they are affiliated with. Many were recruited at an event organized by Physicians for Social Responsibility LA (PSR-LA), joining up with a group of medical providers who had already been organizing monthly Tijuana medical brigades. Volunteers came from numerous different organizations across Southern California, specifically, Harbor UCLA Family Medicine, California Hospital, Venice Family Clinic, UCLA Flying Samaritans, PSR-LA, San Diego Border Dreamers and MiMentor. It is important to note that this specific team does not see itself as providing charitable assistance but is rather acting in solidarity with migrants, as it has been largely galvanized by Central American professionals, particularly women, in the diaspora, including academics and committed physicians.

Our team walked across the border at San Ysidro on Saturday, visiting four different locations, including an LGBTQ safehouse, to provide medical assistance and much-needed medication and vitamins. We encountered migrants, including some pregnant women, sleeping on the beach in Playas, many suffering from severe coughs, and our team provided cough syrup and prenatal medication when appropriate. We also encountered migrants with foot issues and ear infections. Generally, we encountered inconsistencies in medical provision and a feeling of general restlessness. Migrants need places to rest, recover and process their experiences, so we realize that long-term, consistent access to basic needs (shelters, showers, laundry, first tier medical attention) is something that needs to be strategized for in the long run, something that our team is looking forward to assisting with. In sum, we provided services to 70-80 asylum seekers in one day.

This group’s next steps will depend a great deal on analyzing the experiences of this weekend’s trip, something we will be doing in the upcoming days. We hope to be able to plan regular trips down to the shelters near the border for at least the next 6-12 months so as to continue to provide care to the thousands of displaced individuals living there. We anticipate that even as the publicity for the current caravan subsides, there will continue to be ongoing needs in these communities both for the migrants themselves and for the towns and cities that have to quickly adapt to these population shifts. For now, our next visit date will be Saturday 12/8; however, this may change depending on the feedback from our first group visit. We are a dynamically responsive and decentralized team, coordinating closely with Tijuana-based physicians and adapting to the needs and availability of our network of volunteers. As such, our next steps will be determined by the needs identified at the border as well as volunteer capacity to meet them.

Here is where your support comes in: Since our volunteers are walking across the border, we cannot enter Mexico carrying very many donations. We need money for medications and supplies that we can purchase in Tijuana at the pharmacies near the shelters. We need to ensure that we have the medical supplies, equipment, and medications necessary to provide care based on the needs identified during our trip. If necessary, funds may also need to go toward paying taxes or logistical fees to transport goods to the shelters, as Mexican officials have been inconsistent in charging import duties for donations across the border. We would also like to use the funds to purchase other necessary goods that the shelters may need, including food, clothing, shelter/tents, and hygiene products, all of which can significantly impact the general health of the population.

On behalf of this LA-based team, we thank you for your donations and continued interest in supporting with this long-term humanitarian crisis. As many thousands of additional migrants continue to make their way to north, every little bit helps us provide much-needed assistance to ensure the wellbeing and dignity of the displaced migrants awaiting processing at the border.
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$11,474 of $30,000 goal

Raised by 306 people in 8 months
Created November 13, 2018
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