SurfAid Founder Dave Jenkins To Speak At UCSD School Of Medicine

Dr. Dave Jenkins. Photo KirkWillcox-SurfAid

SurfAid Founder Dave Jenkins To Speak At UCSD School Of Medicine

PRESS RELEASE: Dr. Dave Jenkins will be presenting “Creating Lasting Change in Remote Islands in Indonesia” on Monday, September 9th from 12:00-1:00pm PT in the BSB Garren Auditorium on the UCSD campus in La Jolla.  The seminar is free and all UCSD School of Medicine fellows, faculty and interested public are invited to attend.

Dr. Jenkins, known as “Dr. Dave” to those around him, founded SurfAid as a humanitarian organization in 2000 after taking a surf vacation in the Mentawai Islands in Indonesia.  While visiting, Dr. Dave discovered local communities with extreme, but preventable, childhood mortality and morbidity.

Commenting on what happened next, Dr. Dave said:  “It became a life-changing moment when I realized that I could not sail away back to my wealthy lifestyle without making a significant contribution to turning this situation around.”

Dr. Dave left his practice in Singapore, sold his home, and mobilized aid efforts to develop sustainable programs for, and with, the people in Western Indonesia.  Thirteen years later, SurfAid now employs over 60 people in Indonesia, Sydney, and San Diego, and this month started work for the first time in Eastern Indonesia, on the island of Sumbawa.

Dr. Dave recognized early on most of the deaths would be prevented by changes to a key set of low-cost/high-impact behaviors such as simple sanitation routines like hand washing, proper breastfeeding, utilization of clean birthing tools, and providing salt and sugar solutions for diarrhea.  Using innovative techniques like participatory drama and other approaches through its Community-based Health Program, SurfAid works in conjunction with local health departments and communities to create impactful, long-sustaining health programs.

Recognized by the governments of Indonesia, Australia and New Zealand, SurfAid is one of the key health organizations for earthquake and tsunami disaster preparedness and recovery, providing care, antimalarial nets and other resources for the local areas.  SurfAid operations have been supported by Quiksilver, Billabong, other corporate partners, and numerous surfing community fundraising events in Australia, Southern California, New Zealand and Singapore.

Topics during the presentation include:

  • The founding of SurfAid, key defining moments in its history, and the critical lessons learnt along the way.
  • The SurfAid integrated strategy of creating lasting change which includes
    • building government capacity to deliver primary health services and
    • community mobilization that enables change in the key lifesaving health behaviors
  • Examples from the field Dr. Jenkins showing how the new science of behavior change can help design successful community health programs

Attachments: Event flyer.  Photo of Dr. Dave Jenkins.

About SurfAid

The mission of SurfAid, a non-profit humanitarian organization, is to improve the health, wellbeing and self-reliance of people living in isolated regions connected to us through surfing.

SurfAid’s health programs involve education in nutrition, hygiene, healthy environments and disease prevention – including mosquito net distribution.

SurfAid has built an award-winning capacity in emergency preparedness and has delivered five emergency response programs following major disasters, including the 2004 Indian Ocean tsunami and the 2010 Mentawai tsunami.

About UCSD School of Medicine, Division of Global Public Health

The goal of the UCSD Division of Global Public Health is to increase awareness and prevent diseases of global health importance through research and training programs based at UCSD and internationally.

GPH faculty members are renowned for their expertise in prevention research related to infectious diseases, and barriers to care among marginalized populations that typically fall outside the reach of traditional health care systems.

GPH research focuses on cutting-edge investigations of infectious diseases; rigorous, hands-on behavioral and clinical research training in international settings and diverse communities; providing healthcare, intervention and education to study participants; and offering consultation to international organizations on global health topics.

Together with our international collaborators in developing countries, our work will continue to prevent the spread of infectious diseases, build stronger health care systems, and prepare the next generation of global healthcare leaders for the inevitable challenges they will face.