Remote Clinical Outposts

Medical Volunteer Opportunities Abroad

Our regular clinical deployments have improved regional health access, but between our visits to communities, accidents and illness still take a heavy toll on the communities and help is far away. For health services to be available constantly, we knew we had to establish an ongoing presence. When we are not present, machetes slip, pregnant women fall down muddy hills, snakes bite, and people suffer seizures, heart attacks, strokes, or other acute medical issues.

In addition, it can be challenging for patients in the USA to make good lifestyle changes for, for example, diabetes, but can you imagine what it would be like for a remote rural villager who has little access to health services or healthy eating options? An elderly grandparent with a pressure sore being cared for by a family sharing the same hut in the jungle, or a patient with advanced metastatic cancer dying at home without palliative care? It is important to be able to assist and support patients on a daily basis, even if that means simply being able to pass away in dignity, free of pain and fear, surrounded by family members.

Lastly, we are committed to providing health training and education to community members and local midwives (midwives). Although there are many short-term health training curriculums, we believe it takes four years to become a doctor or nurse, and while a lot can be taught in a week, we believe that to create real health care capacity in these remote villages, long-term education, reinforcement, apprenticeship, and mentoring are essential.

In partnership with three villages in areas of high need, and strategically chosen to allow other villages in the region to have a place they can travel to in case of emergency, we have constructed Remote Medical Outposts where we will eventually send a small medical team to live and attend patients each week, rather than sending the entire large team only once or twice a year. By reducing time between an acute event and appropriate treatment, these outposts will provide our patients with ongoing access both to health services and health knowledge.

With a small team and living in the village for the week, the outposts provide emergency care, assist chronic patients, provide education and training, and participate in the ongoing cultural exchange that occurs when you work and live alongside your target population.