The Gambia - Medical & Dental Relief

The Gambia

June 14, 2019 - June 23, 2019

Join For As Little As: 2,450*

  • * Includes $300 rebate for bag scholarship. Apply to purchase a group ticket and carry supply bags for IMR. See More Info below.
  • * Includes $200 Early Bird Special savings. After Mar 18th, 2019, Minimum Donation increases to 2,650
  • See More Info below for full details and additional options for travel.

About The Mission Trip

The Gambia is the smallest country in Africa and is a country completely surrounded by another country with the exception of a small length of coastline on the Atlantic Ocean. The Gambia, surrounded by Senegal, is a country of a rich history in her own right. In fact, you will be staying on a island that was one of the most important slave trading routes during a tragic time in history. The Gambia is known as one of the most culturally rich countries on the African continent, with many tribal and ethnic groups living peacefully side-by-side. The Gambia has enjoyed long periods of stability, unlike many of her African neighbors. Stability, however, has not translated into prosperity. Despite the presence of the Gambia River, which runs through the middle of the country and on which you will travel, only one-sixth of the land is arable and poor soil quality has led to the predominance of only one crop - peanuts. With a population of 1.8 million, the life expectancy is less than 60 years and the probability of dying before the age of 16 is greater than 25%. Malaria is the #1 cause of death for children under 5 and lower respiratory tract infections killed more than 1700 adults in 2012, the most recent year this information is available (WHO). Nearly 60% of the population lives below the poverty line and 40% lives below the food poverty line. Poverty is widespread, pervasive and predominantly rural. Approximately three quarters of the rural population (where are clinics will be held) is classified as poor. The Gambia needs your help and the Ministry of Health has asked IMR to provide care.

About Clinic

The people of the Gambia are facing major obstacles in their pursuit of basic health care to save and or enhance their lives. Basic health care is not affordable for the vast majority of citizens in the Gambia. Although a few government-run clinics do exist, they are not adequately equipped to handle the needs of the people. The two major problems faced by Gambians are related to the shortage of health care professionals and access of medications due to availability and financial restrictions. The main causes of mortality in infants (0-12 months) are neonatal sepsis, premature deliveries, malaria, respiratory infections, diarrhoeal diseases and malnutrition. For child mortality, the main causes are: malaria, pneumonia, malnutrition, and diarrhoeal diseases. Almost 60% of the population is under age 25. The literacy rate is 55% for men - and considerably lower for women. Poverty is a national issue. In 2008 (last data available) there were only 0.11 physicians/1000 people - compare this to the United States with 2.5 physicians/1000 people and you can see a country that needs help to care for her people.

Transportation & Lodging

You will stay in comfortable and safe hotels on this amazing trip. Please join us as you discover the beauty of Gambia and the Gambian River valley! Our hosts, working hand-in-hand with the Ministry of Health, have partnered with us to create an itinerary that will allow you to see the sickest patients while sharing in the beauty of the Gambia.

Trip Highlights

You will have the opportunity to explore the Gambia, not just from the perspective of the health of her people, but also culturally as you work with many different tribes. You will stay on an island designated as a UNESCO World Heritage Site, infamous for its history of slaving but now famous as the disembarkation point in the book and movie, "Roots", based on a true history of a family living on the island in the 1700s, and the lead character, now known around the world as "Kunta Kinte". You will travel along the Gambia River, one of the most beautiful rivers in the world, where oysters abound, giving rise to the national dish of the Gambia, oyster stew. Women harvest the oysters from the river and add many of the common Gambian flavors from peanuts, tomatoes, black eyed peas, and more. You'll enjoy the wonderful sights, sounds, smells, and tastes of the Gambia every day during your journey.

Extend Your Stay

Birdwatching, safaris, river kayaking and rafting, the possibilities are endless in the Gambia! Crocodile watching is a favorite pastime, including viewing the rare "dwarf" crocodiles at one of the three sacred crocodile pools used for fertility rituals. Monkeys and baboons are waiting to meet you around every river bend. Beautiful Atlantic beaches, the Makasutu Culture Forest, five star resorts where you can relax after a hard week of work - all waiting for you in the Gambia! The amazing 5-Star resorts on the Atlantic coast will really capture your attention for your extended stay. And you're in Africa! Jet off to South Africa, Kenya, Tanzania, or any of the amazing destinations that the continent has too offer!!

Trip Itinerary


Coming soon...

Trip Donation & Flight Options

Pay 1,475 and complete your application to secure your place as a TEAM MEMBER!

Payments & Requirements

How much do I need to pay?

Before Mar 18th, 2019: 2,450

  • Pay 1,475 of the total cost.
  • Upload all of your required documents and forms
  • Space on team is confirmed
  • You are an EARLY BIRD!  
  • Pay in full by May 15th, 2019

After Mar 18th, 2019: 2,650

  • Pay 1,475 of the total cost. 
  • Upload all of your required documents and forms.
  • Space on team is confirmed
  • Pay in full by May 15th, 2019

Flexible Flight Options

Is group airfare available through IMR?

Before Mar 18th, 2019:  YES!

  • Pay 1,475 of the total cost
  • Upload all of your required documents and forms
  • Submit your flight choice as “economical” or “premier”
  • Approve the ticket that IMR is going to purchase on your behalf
  • You are on the group flight
  • Airport transfers are included in the cost of your ticket

After Mar 18th, 2019: On a space-available basis only 

    • Pay 1,475 of the total cost
    • Uploaded all of your required documents and forms
    • Contacted the office to see if tickets are still available
    • Submitted your flight choice as “economical” or “premier”
    • You are on the group flight
    • Airport transfers are included in the cost of your ticket
May I purchase my own flights?

Yes!

  • Some trips may require an international flight and a domestic flight in country to meet the team
  • You are required to meet the IMR team at the designated time and location per the trip itinerary
  • Submitted your flight choice as “independent”  
  • You have many options for extending your stay including extended stays available through IMR’s preferred travel agency, Worldwide Navigators
  • I would like to request airport transfers at an additional cost

$300 Bag Scholarship

Doesn’t IMR need to send supply bags for my trip? Can I save some $$$?

YES!

  • We hope you made the Early Bird and saved $200.  Would you like to save $300 more?
    • YES
      • The scholarship is first come, first served.  We only have a few on every trip!
      • You are on the group flight?  YES!
      • You are packing all of your personal items in a carry-on?  YES!
      • Have you applied for the scholarship?  NOT YET?!
    • After you apply for the trip you can apply for the scholarship on your account page.  It is simple to do!
    • We will let you know soon!  Now what?
      • Take 1 or 2 supply bags for IMR both ways to The Gambia.  
      • IMR will pay for getting the bag to you/from you to IMR and any 1st and or 2nd bag charges on the international flight.
      • You are responsible for any checked baggage charges on your domestic ticket to and from the departure airport.
      • Bags may weigh up to 50 lbs and are not always roller bags
      • You will receive a rebate check for $300 after returning your assigned bags to IMR promptly (using your pre-paid UPS mailer)

Extended Stays - Trip of a lifetime!!

May I book an extended stay through IMR if I choose the group flight?

Yes!

Contact Worldwide Navigators to see your options

May I book an extended stay through IMR if I choose to book my own tickets?

Yes!

Sleeping the way you want to!

What are the sleeping arrangements?
  • IMR trips include triple or double rooms, twin beds as an added safety measure
  • IMR standard is each volunteer has their own bed (no shared beds outside of couples)
  • Let  the IMR Office know if you are a family or couple.  We always try to accommodate our volunteer’s needs!  
  • IMR does not discriminate in any way – please let us know your needs
  • Please understand if we are unable to accommodate your specific needs based on availability
Are single rooms available?

Yes!

  • Contact the IMR Office to find out if single rooms are available and at what cost
  • Standard IMR sleeping arrangements are double or triple rooms, twin beds

Sleeping the way you want too!!

Travel Assistance

If you would like help booking flights, hotels, extended stays, and more contact Worldwide Navigators at (970) 633-3033.

$300 SCHOLARSHIP OPPORTUNITY FOR TAKING IMR SUPPLY BAGS

  • IMR is offering a limited number of scholarships of $150 each way for carrying 1 or 2 IMR supply bags on our trips. You will receive a $300 scholarship if you carry bags both ways.
  • You may apply for the scholarship on your IMR account page.  To be eligible for the scholarship you are required to meet the required minimum donation by the payment deadline for your trip.
  • You will be sent 1 or 2 IMR supply bags at IMR’s expense approximately two weeks prior to your trip.  Please assume you will be sent 2 bags for planning purposes.
  • You are responsible for taking the bag(s) at your own expense (and prior to receiving the rebate from IMR) on your domestic flights and checking the bag(s) on your international flights one or both ways.  You are required to deliver the bag(s) directly to your team leader in country or to send the bag via a pre-paid UPS mailer to IMR upon returning home.
  • The $150 or $300 rebate will be paid via a check from IMR after your IMR supply bags are delivered to your team leader in country and/or have been returned  to IMR via UPS.

Accommodations

  • The minimum donation cost includes a shared room. If you want a private room, you can request a single room at an additional cost. Please contact the IMR office via office@imrus.org or 970-635-0110 for more information.

Transportation

  • All independent flyers will be able to purchase ground transportation at designated times from the final airport in country to the starting point of the trip for an additional fee. You may also request the same service to return to the airport for the next part of your journey.  Please contact the IMR office if you will be needing this service via office@imrus.org or 970-635-0110.

Fundraising

IMR provides a personal and customizable fundraising page to all registered trip applicants.  We provide a fundraising packet that is full of ideas on how you can raise support or supplies to be utilized on this specific mission.  You may download this information and individual items such as letters requesting support, our 501(c)3 information, and a list of needed supplies from your Volunteer Resources page.  When soliciting donations for any of our trips, your personal story is your most powerful tool.  Why do you want to go? Whom will you help?  How will your donors help you achieve your ultimate goal?  Tell your story to anyone and everyone. Refer your potential or active donors to your IMR personal fundraising page by sharing your unique URL on social media, via email, and through personal contact.  Give your supporters our website and Facebook page so they can see the great things that IMR has accomplished since our founding in 2002.  Did you know we have cared for almost 300,000 patients in the last 16 years?  We need your help and the help of your donors to see 300,000 more patients in the years ahead!

Your Donation to IMR Includes:

  • All group costs from the time you arrive at the designated team meeting location in country until you separate from the team at the designated ending location of the trip in country, including transportation, lodging, food, tips for services provided to the IMR team, costs associated with clinic, and all logistics, including translation services and security as needed.

 

Costs that you are responsible for in addition to your donation to IMR:

  • Any costs associated with travel, regardless of flying independently or on an IMR group flight.  Travel is defined as any travel occurring before meeting the IMR team at the designated meeting location in country and after separating from IMR at the designated ending location of the trip.
  • If flying on the group flight: your domestic round-trip airfare to the central point of departure and any costs in transit associated with your domestic travel.
  • Passport fees, visa fees, and transit fees, including baggage or overnight accommodations/meals while in transit.
  • Vaccinations and medications common for travel.
  • Spending money for souvenirs and personal purchases.
  • Trip supplies and personal equipment or small gifts for the special people you meet. 
  • Any lodging, meals, and transportation outside of the scheduled team trip, payable at the time of service to the local vendor.

Frequently Asked Questions

What does the donation amount include?

The donation amount covers the cost of lodging, meals, and transportation while after joining the IMR team at the designated starting location, and clinic supplies/medications for our patients.  You may choose to join an economical or premier group flight, priced at the time the tickets are purchased, if you donate 50% of the total donation by the Early Bird date. 

Costs that are not included in the donation amount are your passport, travel visas (if applicable),  and if you choose the group flight, your domestic airfare to the group departure city, vaccinations, and insurance. If you choose to fly independently, the cost of your international flight and all other costs in transit are not included in your donation to IMR.  This option gives you the opportunity to extend your stay to do some sightseeing after the trip, choose a routing that best meets your need and your budget, and/or fly directly from your home city to your final destination.  

What will the team be doing on the trip?

IMR teams provide medical and dental care and community health education to communities that lack access to care. A typical IMR team consists of doctors, dentists, and advanced practice providers, nurses, EMTs, medical/dental/nursing students, pre-med students, and non-medical volunteers.  The team makeup for your trip is not guaranteed to be as described above and is dependent on the individual volunteers who make up your team.  The team usually stays in a central location and travels each day to a different community to set up a mobile medical and dental clinic. In order to promote lasting and sustainable improvements in the health of those communities, IMR conducts an extensive community health education program, teaching about prevention and treatment in small groups and during individual consultations with providers. No matter what your specialty or skill level, there is a job for you on an IMR trip!

Can I fundraise for the trip?

Yes!  Many volunteers fundraise for trips.  You can find information and tips on how to fundraise on your Volunteer Resources page on the IMR website.  You will have access to a personal fundraising page with a unique URL that you can share with family, friends, business associates, and any potential donors via social media.   IMR is a 501(c)3 charity, and all donations are tax-deductible to the fullest extent of the law.

Are there any important dates I need to know?
      • IMR Group Flight: In order to qualify for the IMR Group Flight, you will need to reach 50% of the required donation on or before Mar 18th, 2019.
      • Early Bird Special: A discount of $200 is awarded to team members who raise / pay 50% of the required donation on or before Mar 18th, 2019.
Are there additional costs / expenses for the trip?
  • If flying on a group flight: your domestic round-trip airfare to the central point of departure and any costs associated with this portion of your travel or during the international portion of your travel.  Your all-inclusive trip starts and ends at a designated location in country.
  • If flying independently: your international round-trip flight and any costs associated with this portion of your travel until joining the team at the designated starting point and after you separate from the team at the designated ending point of the trip.  If you wish to join the group ground transportation from the final airport to the designated starting point and/or back to the airport at the end of the trip, you may do so for a small fee.  
  • Passport fees, visa fees, and transit fees, including baggage or overnight accommodations/meals while in transit.
  • Vaccinations and medications common for travel.
  • Spending money for souvenirs and personal purchases.
  • Trip supplies and personal equipment or small gifts for the special people you meet. 
  • Any lodging, meals, and transportation outside of the scheduled team itinerary, payable at the time of service to the local vendor.
Can IMR assist me with travel plans and extended say options?

Yes!  We encourage our volunteers to extend their stay and explore.  Extending your stay also puts money into the economies of these developing countries!

Trip Preparation


A service that we are very proud of at IMR is the preparation that each team and team member receives prior to the trip. This is one of the most important reasons that you should join an IMR team.

All team members have access to the IMR Volunteer Resources page where you may view and download important conference calls, a detailed briefing packet outlining the important elements that make a successful trip, packing lists, a checklist to keep you on track, and much more. You will find detailed information on how clinic operates, the roles on an IMR team, community health education topics, fundraising tips, and all of the materials our licensed providers need including best practices for providing care in short term medical clinics, public health information specific to the country you are traveling too, and a guide to the infectious diseases of that country.  You will also find a comprehensive country briefing packet that provides background information, cultural etiquette, common phrases, and links to additional information from a variety of sources on your volunteer resources page.  Finally, a departure packet that outlines how and where to meet your team will be sent just prior to departure and can be downloaded from the volunteer resources page.

IMR applicants and team members are also able to join in two informational calls: About IMR and How Clinic Operates/Provider Guidelines.   A Q and A call just prior to departure helps to ensure that you have the most important information and are ready to go!  If you can't join our live calls, you can listen at any time via your Volunteer Resources page.  Your team's departure call will be recorded by and sent by email to the team immediately following the call.

All of our volunteers have access to a personal IMR fundraising page with a unique URL that can be emailed and shared with family, friends, business associates, and other potential donors.

Did you know you can earn CME credits on line with IMR?  www.cmeonline.net will get you to 6 1 hour courses containing great tips for treating a variety of conditions in the field including wounds, hypertension, dengue fever, and more.

Most importantly, we are always here to answer your questions or help you complete your application. It is our goal that we exceed your expectations for preparation, patient care, and your overall trip. Let us know how we can help and how we did!

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