School of Medicine Students to Host International Poverty Banquet

Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center’s (TTUHSC) International Medicine Club will host the Fourth Annual International Poverty Banquet from 6 to 8 p.m. April 8 at the Legacy Event Center Ballroom, 1500 14th St.

All proceeds will go to Breedlove Foods Inc., the only commercial-sized non profit processor of food that has distributed more than 1.02 billion servings of food globally. According to their website, approximately 925 million people in the world don’t receive adequate nutrition to maintain health. In short, they are starving to death. Around 30,000 of these people die unnecessarily each day from a hunger related disease.

Sati Patel, first-year medical student and committee chair, said the goal of the International Poverty Banquet is to use a unique approach to dining to raise awareness of local and global poverty issues.

“Upon arrival, guests will be randomly assigned to dine in sections representing different segments of the world's population,” Patel said. “All guests will receive the same meal but some may have to overcome different types of barriers to actually have their meal. Guests will have the opportunity to experience different forms of poverty from various nations in effort to learn more about the obstacles that so many here at home and across the world face every day.”

The guest speaker will be Dr. Mohamed Bailor Barrie. Barrie is the only pediatrician and one of only five physicians serving the 450,000 people of Kono District, the epicenter of the Republic of Sierra Leone’s recent conflict and the most underserved region of West Africa. The son of a village tailor, Barrie grew up in poverty. Inspired by his neighbor, a dedicated nurse, he defied all odds to achieve the second highest score in the country on his high school completion examination — granting him a full scholarship to attend medical school in Freetown, Sierra Leon’s largest city, during the war.

Each day he walked 14 miles to and from class. Unable to afford medical textbooks, he hand copied his classmates’ books by candlelight. As the co- founder and executive director of Wellbody Alliance, Barrie dedicates each day to bringing essential health care to Sierra Leone’s poorest people.

The event is open to the public and tickets can be purchased for $10 at the TTUHSC Office of International Affairs from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., located at 3601 Fourth St. room 2B410. For more information, call (806) 743-2900 or email Patel at Donations are welcome.

For more breaking news and experts, follow @ttuhscnews on Twitter.

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