Campus organization volunteers are limited
THE SANTA CLARA
October 24, 2013
A shortage of tuberculosis tests has prevented members of the Santa Clara Community Action Program from helping out in the community.
Volunteers are required to undergo TB testing before serving at seven of the 19 SCCAP-sponsored sites and the shortage has made that process difficult.
“For certain programs, it has affected how active people are,” said Program Director Dominique Troy. “Some programs haven’t even sent volunteers out.”
Before the shortage, students who wished to get involved in SCCAP were able to go to Cowell Health Center, undergo a test and know whether or not they were eligible to volunteer within 48 hours.
Because Cowell has run out of tests, students must now have the time and means to visit an off-campus clinic.
“There were a few clinics that were offering them and slowly the list has been dwindling,” Troy said.“There are so many excited volunteers that really want to get out there, but now costs are about $35 per test.”
SCCAP has done all it can to combat this change, offering financial aid to students who are hindered by the price of the test and arranging trips to clinics, but there is only so much they can do as a volunteer organization.
When the shortage was first announced, priority concern from the university went to the Arrupe Partnerships for Community Based Learning, as it is a mandatory aspect of the Santa Clara curriculum. However, SCCAP, which relies solely on volunteers, had to remedy the problem on its own.
“We were kind of an afterthought,” Troy said. “The university depends on us getting volunteers out and getting students these community based learning experiences and we can’t really provide (this to) them, until all of our boxes are checked.”
These tests are necessary as spreading disease would do massive harm, but this shortage prevents disadvantaged communities from receiving the volunteers they need.
“We’re hoping it’s a temporary issue and that it’s just for this quarter,” said Troy. “Interest level is high.”
Although current conditions have set limitations, the Santa Clara County Department of Public Health claimed TB tests should be replenished by the end of 2013.
Contact John Flynn at email@example.com.