The Gambia - Medical Relief COMPLETE

The Gambia

September 13, 2018 - September 22, 2018

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 Donation & Travel Options

50% of the minimum donation is REQUIRED to secure your place as a TEAM MEMBER.


Travel Assistance

If you are in need of travel arrangement assistance and would like help booking flights, hotels, extended stays and more contact Worldwide Navigators at (970) 633-3033.


PURCHASE YOUR
OWN FLIGHT
PURCHASE A GROUP FLIGHT

50% Payment by Jun 16th, 2018
(International Flight Included)
PRICE 2,650
*Requires 50% of the minimum donation to be paid by Jun 16th, 2018 - .

2,850
*If payment is received after Jun 16th, 2018

International flight costs are additional and not included in this price
Costs of group airfare will be priced at the market value.

ECONOMICAL FLIGHT: An economical option with longer routings and layovers in exchange for a less expensive flight. Some layovers may be long enough to allow you for a city tour at your own leisure.

PREMIER FLIGHT: A more direct routing that is a higher cost for those of you looking to save time.
DOMESTIC FLIGHTS - Not Included -

You must book airfare from your home city to the international destination city
- Not Included -

IMR can route you directly from your hometown as an added convenience. You will pay the cost of the ticket at the time of purchase.
EARLY BIRD SPECIAL N/A N/A
DONATION DUE DATES Full Minimum Donation Amount due Aug 30th, 2018. Payment of 1,775 (50%) is required by Jun 16th, 2018 to be included on the IMR Group Flight. Full Minimum Donation Amount due Aug 30th, 2018.
FLIGHT SCHEDULE You are responsible for meeting the team at the airport or designated location in The Gambia prior to the team’s official arrival. Should you have travel delays it will be your financial responsibility to meet the team at their location upon your arrival. You will fly with other IMR team members to our final destination. The official ground itinerary will exactly match your flight schedule.
AIRPORT TRANSFERS Ground transportation to the IMR meeting place on the first day of your trip is available for all independent flyers for an additional fee. Ground transportation is included.
EXTENDED STAY Extend your stay to see some of the amazing sites that this country has to offer. Flexibility in your arrival and return date may also help you reduce your ticket cost. Additional nights at before or after the trip are at your own expense. Extend your stay on an official trip extension with World Wide Navigators

Your Donation to IMR Includes:

  • All group costs from the time you arrive at the team meeting point in country until you separate from the team, 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:

  • If flying on subsidized team flight: your domestic round-trip airfare to the central point of departure and any costs associated with this portion of your travel.
  • If flying independently: your international round-trip flight to destination city and any costs associated with this portion of your 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.

Fundraising

IMR provides a fundraising packet and personal fundraising page to all registered trip applicants that is full of ideas on how you can raise support for your trip or for supplies to be utilized on this specific mission. When soliciting donations for any of our trips, success is completed through telling your personal story. Why do you want to go? Who will you help? Why their donation can help you achieve the ultimate goal. Tell your story to anyone and everyone. Refer your potential or active donors to our website or Facebook page and to your IMR personal fundraising page. You may share your IMR personal fundraising URL on Facebook and other social media sites.

Safety & Security

We take security very seriously at IMR.  It is our job to ensure that security precautions are in place, but please keep in mind that we cannot guarantee your safety on the trip.

  • We continuously review all current activities occurring on the ground, and we work with the State Department and the U.S. Embassy to know the ground situation to the best of our ability. 
  • We have a security training conference call with our volunteers where we detail our security procedures that are in place for the trip. 
  • We take many security precautions such as radios, a buddy system, and security planning. 
  • We provide you with an email address that you can give to the people you meet to protect your privacy until you determine that you want to remain in contact with team.
  • We rely on our teams to be cognizant of their own safety and to be aware of their surroundings. 
  • We have several policies in place that we require the team to adhere to for their safety and that of the team as a whole. 

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 receive a detailed briefing packet outlining the important elements that make a successful trip, packing lists, and a checklist to keep you on track. You will receive detailed information on how clinic operates, the roles on an IMR team, community health education topics, fundraising, and access to a personal IMR fundraising page. 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 will be shared with the team. You will also receive a comprehensive country briefing packet that provides background information, cultural etiquette, common phrases, and links to additional information from a variety of sources. Finally, a departure packet that outlines how and where to meet your team will be sent just prior to departure.

IMR applicants and team members will also have access to a series of phone conferences where you will learn about specific aspects of IMR trips and 2 Q and A calls where you can ask questions specific to your trip. There will also be a Q and A call just prior to departure to help ensure that you have the most important information and are ready to go!

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!

Frequently Asked Questions

What does the donation amount include?

The donation amount covers the cost of lodging, meals, and transportation while you are in the country, and clinic supplies/medications for our patients. If you are eligible for and choose the Subsidized IMR Flight, your donation amount also includes the cost of your international airfare. Costs that are not included in the donation amount are your passport, travel visas (if applicable), domestic airfare to the group departure city, vaccinations, and insurance. You also have the option of flying on your own directly from your hometown and meeting up with the team in country. IMR gives you the option of purchasing your own tickets, which decreases your minimum donation amount. It also gives you the opportunity to extend your stay to do some sightseeing after the trip, and fly directly from your home city to your final destination.

What will the team be doing on the trip?

IMR teams provide medical care and community health education to communities that lack access to care. A typical IMR team consists of doctors, nurses, EMTs, medical/nursing students, pre-med students, and non-medical volunteers. We strive to have a dental team on every trip as well. The team usually stays in a central location and travels each day to a different community to set up a mobile medical clinic. In order to promote lasting and sustainable improvements in the health of those communities, IMR conducts an extensive community health education program in each area as well. 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.  Once your references are approved, IMR will send a fundraising packet that contains information on how the personalized fundraising page on the IMR website works.  It also contains some great ideas for fundraising events and other ways to fundraise for the trip.  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 Subsidized Flight: In order to qualify for the IMR Subsidized Flight, you will need to reach 50% of theMinimum Donation Amount on or before Jun 16th, 2018.
      • Early Bird Special: A discount of $200 is awarded to team members who raise / pay 50% of the Minimum Donation Amount on or before Jun 16th, 2018.
Are there additional costs / expenses for the trip?
  • If flying on subsidized team flight: your domestic round-trip airfare to the central point of departure and any costs associated with this portion of your travel.
  • If flying independently: your international round-trip flight to destination city and any costs associated with this portion of your 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.
Can IMR assist me with travel plans and extended say options?

Yes!  We encourage our volunteers to extend their stay and explore.  And by extending your stay you also put money into the economies of these developing countries!