||HART's dual mission is to make substantial, lasting improvements
in the delivery of health care throughout the world and to attract,
develop and excite exceptional people to participate in the cause
The Humanitarian Aid Relief Team began when a group of American
college students spent a summer in Russia teaching English.
The students were greatly affected by the lack of medical
supplies and training in the areas they visited. Upon their
return to the U.S., the students collected medical supplies
and recruited volunteers. From 1992 to 1995, volunteers delivered
the donated supplies and trained Russian doctors to use the
supplies in their treatments. In that time, approximately
$1.5 million in supplies were delivered to Russian hospitals
and orphanages by HART teams comprised of volunteer doctors,
nurses and students.
In 1994, HART volunteers began to look for other relief projects
that could benefit from a relationship with HART. HART was
notified of Buruli ulcer, a little-known disease afflicting
rural areas in Africa and South America. With the help of
the World Bank, HART made arrangements to begin working with
the Centre for the Development of People and the University
of Science and Technology, both based in Kumasi, Ghana, Africa.
HART worked with the Centre for the Development of People
and the University of Science and Technology to coordinate
its efforts in Ghana for the treatment and eradication of
Buruli ulcer. HART defined a three-fold mission. First, HART
would provide needed medical supplies to the St. Martin's
Hospital. Second, HART doctors would provide treatment to
the patients at hospitals in Ghana. And third, HART teams
would provide training for local doctors to improve the techniques
used to treat Buruli ulcer patients.
The first HART team of 17 volunteers arrived in Ghana on
Dec. 26, 1995. The team worked with medical personnel at
the St. Martins Hospital for 12 days. Since the 1995 trip,
HART teams have traveled to Ghana yearly, bringing much needed
medical supplies and training. More than $2 million in donated
supplies have been delivered and hundreds of patients have
In 1997, the World Health Organization (WHO) announced the
deployment of a coalition of international efforts against
Buruli ulcer. HART is a recognized partner of WHO in the
international fight against Buruli ulcer.