Where to Go for Medical Mission Trips
Planning medical mission trips is no small task, and first you’ll have to decide on your destination. There are many options, and narrowing them down can be difficult. Think about which parts of the world you’d like to visit, and the kinds of stressors you can handle. Long work days, unfamiliar living conditions, language barriers, and new foods will most likely accompany this kind of trip.
Depending on your personality, these kinds of changes could excite or terrify you. Do a little research, and find a location with people who can work with you on a project that will enrich the community. Here are a few places to consider.
Ecuador is a place with a definite need for medical missions. The country’s economy has had a negative impact on nearly every home. The government cut back the budget for public hospitals, and there are many people who cannot afford healthcare. Countless small children are in need of medical assistance that their families cannot afford, which draws many people to Ecuador for medical missions.
Ecuador has several cities and many small villages, meaning you could end up in an urban environment or a very rural area. When planning your trip, find out where you would end up and decide if that is a situation you could live and work in for an extended period of time.
India has a population of over one billion, and many of these people are poor and in need of medical assistance. The healthcare system cannot provide for everyone in the country, and the cost of decent care is much more expensive than many people can afford. People of all ages need aid with all kinds of diseases, from chronic degenerative diseases to infectious diseases. Another problem facing India is a rapidly aging population. The elderly will most likely need medical assistance, and the current system will not be able to provide these people with what they will need.
India, much like Ecuador, has both urban and rural environments. When you do your research, find out what it would be like to live in both of these areas of the country.
Unlike many impoverished nations, Rwanda has a national health insurance system providing healthcare to 92 percent of the country’s people. Rwanda may be advanced in the sense that they have a healthcare system, but its facilities are in desperate need of aid and improvement. There are many people who need help, so you might consider carrying out your medical mission trip in Rwanda.
According to Cassandra Andrews, a University of South Alabama medical student, the conditions in some of the hospital rooms in Rwanda are terrible: In “the 230-bed medical center is eastern Rwanda, there were no devices to measure a newborn’s heart rate, and no oxygen saturation monitors to know if someone was taking in enough air to survive.” Some of the treatment rooms in the hospitals do not have running water.
In certain parts of Peru, mobile clinics are not uncommon. Around a third of the total populations live in poverty and need assistance with healthcare, meaning about 37 percent of the population does not have health insurance. Many people do not have the money to pay for quality healthcare and must go to a free or mobile clinic for aid.
Some quality hospitals and clinics exist in Peru, but many are nothing more than a tent set up outdoors. Both kinds of medical facilities may need assistance in staffing, so your options are open.
Interested in more information about mission trips? Check out this post on Mission Trips Abroad for Young Adults.