" Mission trips" as some of them are, provoke many hard questions
1. Was there a need by poor people back home in their own community for these type services to be provided (that is, was this just a fun trip for the team, or should they do the same thing back home first) . My city had a free dental day and 1200 people showed up.
2. were they invited/sponsored into the "host" country by someone/some local medical organization. Some countries, Chile I have been told, dont like some of these type trips unless they are sponsored by a local group. If they just show up, and have self selected the "locals" they will work on, how do locals view them or accept them if the local medical organizations dont know them ?
3. were the people properly trained and certified for what they are doing, who checks on this? (or do you get want- to- be -docs and summer students doing medical things (practice) that are illegal back home but are somehow OK in another country). US had problems like this on the Katrina hurricane cleanup around new orleans.
4. do they sterilize their equipment properly, and how- are they taking short cuts here? what equipment is used? do they off load steam sterilizer autoclaves at the airport? Thats the standard of care now. Not boiling on a stove in a pan of water etc. why? infection, HIV, hepatitis etc etc
5. do they not "push' any religion or products
6. is aftercare provided (your tooth extraction gets infected but the team is gone, what do you do?)
7. is there time for the team to be briefed on the country's culture and history during their visit to prevent comments like "no I dont know much about the place , we were only there 4 days, and the food was bad, they eat only beans and rice (someone told me this about Peru once!!!!!) " (probably not applicable to vacation spots like AC).
Hard questions but I think they are legitimate ones.
Edited by ed50 (08/10/12 09:10 AM)