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This gives new meaning to Doctors Without Borders. 

After traveling the world on myriad medical missions with depleted supplies, Mr. Benjamin LaBrot was inspired to establish Floating Doctors, bringing medical relief to impoverished countries around the world.  

In 2008, the group Floating Doctors was established with the mission to bring medical relief to remote coastal communities around the world. With the realization that approximately 80 percent of the world’s population lives within 5 miles of the coast and that access to the poorest communities is often best attained by waterways, the group decided to buy a 76-foot sailboat, called “The Southern Wind.” LaBrot now had “a much bigger backpack” and would never run out of supplies again.

Since 2012 LaBrot has been in Panama, which is ideally suited for Floating Doctors as it has hundreds of small island communities that are widely dispersed and accessible only by water. These communities have no access to health care and lack the transportation infrastructure to get to a hospital during an emergency scenario. In the villages where the Floating Doctors sets up mobile clinics, LaBrot and his volunteers treat patients with tuberculosis, respiratory infections, diabetes and a variety of local tropical diseases. “Too often,” he says, “it is not so much treating, as it is preventative medicine. It’s the little things that make the most impact: a toothbrush, a bar of soap and a pair of glasses. “

To this day, Floating Doctors has treated approximately 20,000 patients in three countries.

To read more, check out Yahoo News. See more exclusive photos and a video from Floating Doctors’ trip to Panama below. 

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