FOR the second year in a row a group of University of Tasmania medical students are leaving their family and friends behind over summer and spending six-weeks in Uganda.
Kaitlin Daw, Alice McGuishin, Breeanna Cumming and Yoni Byron are set to take off to the East African country today to carry out rural health projects in conjunction with local charity and student groups.
They are going as part of the newly formed International Society for Student Unity and Empowerment (ISSUE) which was established by students Lachlan Davey, Ben Wood, Siak Lee and Hector Lopez who went last year.
ISSUE director Mr Davey said three of the original group were planning on returning to Uganda in about six months.
Third-year medical student Ms Daw said she was looking forward to the trip with a mix of excitement and trepidation.
``The guys who went last year have helped us design our projects, told us who are the people to talk to and just pointed us in the direction of carrying on the work they started,'' Ms Daw said.
The students will spend time in the central Ugandan district and town of Masaka to progress the work started last year with distributing and teaching locals about the importance of insecticide-treated mosquito nets and antiparasitic treatment while also travelling around with the mobile HIV clinic.
Ms Daw said the group was close to reaching its fund-raising target of $5000 to help with the purchase of supplies and equipment.
For details visit www.theissuefoundation.org.