Dr. Dave talks about malaria, malnutrition in the Mentawai
Surfersvillage Global Surf News, 26 March, 2014 - In late 1999, Dr Dave Jenkins took a break from a stressful corporate directorship in Singapore to test his goofyfooter skills against the perfect lines of the Mentawai Islands. Late one afternoon, on what he thought would be a harmless tourist venture inland to one of the villages, his beliefs in what is important in life were changed forever.
"After walking past the graveyard and seeing a lot of very small graves I ended up running a clinic at the chief’s request," Dr Dave recalls. "I was the first doctor ever to visit the village. I saw women and children dying from malaria, malnutrition and inadequate living standards - things that I knew were treatable and, better still, preventable by helping them change behaviours such as basic hygiene and better breastfeeding practices."
The scene haunted Dave for the rest of the trip and he began questioning his life. "Did it have meaning? Were my skills wasted chasing some corporate carrot? What if I could make a real difference to these people?
"The thought of more children dying drove me mad with frustration and helplessness yet, at the same time and in some strange way, the potential solutions inspired me. I couldn’t just walk away from those kids; I vowed to return to the Mentawai with people and supplies."
Here is a talk 'Do something that matters' that Dr Dave gave at the recent TEDxManly