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UTHSC Medical Students Start Cradle of Health to Address Health Care Needs of the African Community


A new, multidisciplinary student service organization has been created at the University of Tennessee Health Science Center (UTHSC) to address the health care needs of people from African countries, who are now living in Memphis.

Cradle of Health, which began this year, aims to bring awareness to health care issues affecting Africans from the diaspora and the continent. The student organization will sponsor service projects to address barriers to health care, mentor the African youth in Memphis, and encourage the pursuit of health care professions.

Membership is open to all at UTHSC who share the same vision. “We want the members of this organization to be willing to get into the community and work in order improve the health status of African people physically, mentally, and emotionally, said Hanna Akalu, a fourth-year medical student and Cradle of Health founder.

“This organization is something we have always wanted to do, as we saw the great need in the community,’’ Akalu said. “As an organization, our vision is to ensure health equity and create a healthier Africa. In order to fulfill this, we work closely with organizations in the Memphis community, like the Memphis African Community, World Relief, the Ghanaian Memphis Association, and the Ethiopian Association of Memphis.”

The organization has two events in May. A health fair will take place Monday, May 6, at Central High School, 306 South Bellevue Boulevard. A health education forum on annual screenings is scheduled for May 18 at the UTHSC Student Alumni Center, 800 Madison Avenue, Room 305, from 5-7 p.m.

Eventually, the organization hopes to establish international rotations and expand its projects globally.