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  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 of humanity.

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 been treated.
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.


Photos courtesy of Kimball M. Crofts, MD



$8 is the average cost for the treatment of a nodule, which is one of the early stages of Buruli ulcer

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