Denver School of Nursing Students Care for over 400 Burmese Patients in Myanmar

Four Denver School of Nursing (DSN) students and one DSN faculty member provided six days of healthcare in Myanmar, helping hundreds of Burmese, many of whom had never before seen a healthcare provider, said Marguerite Distel, RN, DSN assistant professor ( and academic coordinator for DSN’s Global Health Perspectives (GHP) program.

Teaming with the Loveland, CO-based nonprofit International Medical Relief (IMR) (, which works with universities across the country to help medical students participate in medical mission trips, DSN and IMR worked with a nurse from Singapore and a general surgeon from Nepal to triage, assess and educate approximately 100 people per day in a six-day clinical tour that traveled to remote villages outside the capital city of Yangon.

Myanmar is recovering from Cyclone Nargis, one of the world’s deadliest tropical cyclones, where the UN estimates 2.4 million people were affected, 84,500 people were killed and 53,800 went missing

DSN students Alyssa Benjamin, Daya Bhakta, Lauren Bliel and Jill Lysengen were accompanied by Julie Lohre, DSN adjunct faculty and nurse practitioner. Together, they also reviewed oral healthcare with and gave free toothbrushes to the Burmese; adults chew a tree root mixed with tobacco and give children candy at bedtime which deteriorates the health of their gums and tooth enamel.

“We focused on acute major illnesses, which included treating people suffering from chronic illnesses like diabetes and hypertension.  We treated people for dehydration, musculoskeletal and respiratory disorders.  Others we referred to the closest local hospital for disease education and physician referral,” Lohre explained.

“Students prepared interactive presentations for the villagers. Helped by translators, our education focused on hygiene and the importance of proper handwashing. We taught them about the ease of solar disinfection of water, where heat and UV rays kill 90 percent of disease-causing pathogens. And, because of the intense heat and humidity of their climate, we emphasized the necessities of rehydration and the maintenance of hydration during their long working days,” Lohre added.

Denver School of Nursing’s GHP program combines classroom training with in-field service-learning internships. The college partners with in-country nonprofits to make the best use of the healthcare infrastructure that exists in that country to allow for continued care of patients.

About Denver School of Nursing (DSN)
Denver School of Nursing, 1401 19th St., Denver, is a private, post-secondary college that provides educational programs and training for nursing professionals. The college specializes in offering rigorous curricula, clinical site-based academic programs toward associate and bachelor degrees in nursing and distance-delivered academic programs toward a bachelor degree in nursing. DSN is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission (HLC), (, (800-621-7440). Its associate and baccalaureate programs are accredited by the Accreditation Commission for Education in Nursing (ACEN), 3343 Peachtree Road NE, Suite 850, Atlanta, GA 30326 (404-975-5000). DSN is granted full approval for its associate and bachelors nursing programs by the Colorado State Board of Nursing. National Council of State Authorization Reciprocity Agreements (SARA) approval is maintained through the Colorado Department of Higher Education. For more information, call 303-292-0015 or visit