3 Important Facts About The Global Healthcare Crisis And How You Can Help

3 Important Facts About The Global Healthcare Crisis And How You Can Help

We all want to make a difference, but we don’t know what we don’t know. Below are three important facts about the global healthcare crisis and how you can help:

1. There are 5 billion people worldwide who do not have access to much-needed safe and affordable surgical and anesthesia services.

Many medical health professionals in the third world do not offer the surgical services their patients need due to the lack of anesthesia or access to education or resources the surgery requires. In fact, 18.6 million people die every year because of their inability to receive the surgeries they need. To put that into perspective, that is three times more than the combined number of deaths caused by HIV/AIDS, tuberculosis, and malaria. Surgical and anesthesia care has been largely neglected in global healthcare. When surgical care isn’t readily available, what could have been a preventable illness will soon turn fatal. What can you do to help? Volunteer to attend a medical mission’s trip that offers the resources and expertise needed to conduct surgeries. Do the research before attending a trip to find out what the surgical needs are before going overseas and then go through the proper training to educate yourself on your participation in those surgical procedures. (Source)

2. Daily use of supplements can significantly reduce national healthcare costs.

Supplements prevent many illnesses, cut hospital stays in half, and reduce the chance of readmission. The human body is like an empty glass. It needs to be filled with the right fuel, or else it will eventually crack and break. The glass can only take so many repairs before it leaks and becomes worthless. What can you do to help? Take supplements with you on your medical mission’s trip and provide medical professionals with information about the impact of vitamin deficiency. This gives a rundown of the benefits of vitamin A and iodine supplements.

3. Six children die every minute in the developing world because they don’t have access to basic medicines that are actually affordable.

This article includes the medicines that are most needed, and this article  argues the importance of investing in children globally. “Investments in child health and well-being are a cornerstone for productive adulthood and robust communities and societies. Promoting healthy and holistic child development is an investment in a country’s future workforce and ability to thrive economically. Ensuring that all children, including the most vulnerable living at the margins of society, have the best first chance in life is a tried-and-true means to stabilize individuals, communities, and societies over the long term.” What can you do to help? Go into communities overseas and train local leaders to become healthcare agents. This will help the economy and the healthcare world as these agents will sell affordable medicine to their communities — reducing the child mortality rate and helping pregnant women. Now that you’ve seen three ways to make an impact in global healthcare, what next step are you going to take?

Looking for ways you can help? Click here to request more info on joining one of our upcoming trips or donating supplies.

See you in the mission field!

Sheri Postma, RN
Founder & CEO
Mission Partners for Christ
MissionPartnersforChrist.com
Facebook.com/MissionPartnersforChrist
Twitter.com/mission_partner

5 TED Talks That Address The Global Healthcare Crisis

5 TED Talks That Address The Global Healthcare Crisis

TEDx is an organization known for their powerful speakers and their ability to spread knowledge and ideas from science to business to global issues.

Here are five talks that address the global healthcare crisis from five different perspectives, all with the hopes of making positive changes to the healthcare needs around the world.

1. Achieving a grand convergence in global health by 2035: Gavin Yamey TEDx Berlin Salon

There are many deaths in low and middle income families around the world that could have been prevented.

Children born anywhere on the planet should have a long and healthy life, and pregnancy and childbirth should no longer be a death sentence for certain mothers. 1 in 10 children in the poorest countries don’t make it to their fifth birthday. Gavin Yamey goes through ways to close the global health gap by 2035. Doing so will increase economic growth substantially. Every one dollar spent in investing in convergence would return nine to twenty dollars — well worth the investment.

2. The global health paradox: Sean Kelly at TEDx Columbia Engineering School.

Vending machines are more important than hospitals at helping the global healthcare problem.

The snacks and drinks offered from vending machines can be the tipping point for the global healthcare crisis and reverse the trend of educational decline. Sean Kelly tells people how offering healthy snack options can positively impact a better tomorrow. The main focus is on the impact in America, but the idea nutritional education is a global need. Imagine a world where healthy food is easier to find than junk food.

3. Individual health is a driving force behind global health: Jason Lee TEDx Oakville

We are active participants in our health.

It’s not just something that happens to us. Individual health is essential to global health. We live in a time where people are dying to know about health and are on prescriptions and relying on doctors to help with symptoms that could be avoided if we were actively working toward better health — freeing up medical care to have a greater impact around the world. People struggle from lifestyle deficiencies but solve them with medicine rather than a change in lifestyle. We must fill our cups with proper nutrition. Genes are affected by nutrition and lifestyle. Changing the choices you make in nutrition keeps companies accountable for what they are putting in their food. We can control what foods are made globally by the choices we make.

4. Global Healthcare Revolutionary: Vanessa Kerry at TEDx Boston

There aren’t enough doctors and nurses in the countries that need them. The need is greater but the development opportunities are few and medical health professionals are leaving the places that need them most. Depleted medical healthcare is running rampant globally. Vanessa Kerry created a nonprofit called Seed Global Health to help the global healthcare crisis. “Seed Global Health partners with the Peace Corps to pair US clinicians with public sector teaching institutions in resource poor countries to help nurture the future caregivers and educators in these countries of great need.”

5. Poverty, Disaster Relief and International Health: Fred Gottlieb, MD at TEDx ParkCity

Fred Gottlieb talked about the myths we are taught that impact people’s views of poverty and international healthcare.

He talks about how we are giving the fish, teaching how to fish, but people around the world need to know where the river is located to find the fish. When we bring our supplies and materials, people are losing confidence in those who are there all the time serving the local population. Instead of taking our skills and interests and bringing them to others, we need to ask what the need is, bring additional skills and teaching, and then let local healthcare providers do the work with their skills and ability to follow-up with patients.

See you in the mission field!

Sheri Postma, RN
Founder & CEO
Mission Partners for Christ
MissionPartnersforChrist.com
Facebook.com/MissionPartnersforChrist
Twitter.com/mission_partner

8 Documentaries That Shed Light On The Global Healthcare Crisis

8 Documentaries That Shed Light On The Global Healthcare Crisis

Film is a way to inform and impact people who may not otherwise know what is happening in the world around them.

In the case of the global healthcare crisis, many will never see the problems first-hand nor look directly into the eyes of those suffering. The films listed below bring the global healthcare crisis to life:

1. The Shape of Water (2006) The Shape of Water tells the stories of idealist women who wish to face and change the third world. The film promotes the ending of the old tradition of female genital cutting. It takes you through interviews of women in Senegal, Israel/Palestine, Brazil, and India. “The Shape of Water offers a complex look that is simultaneously inspiring and yet candid about the contradictions that face women in the Third World as they make change.”

2. Flow for Love of Water (2008) This movie reveals the harsh reality of what is happening to water around the world and highlights the lack of clean water that many countries face. The clean water crisis is directly related to many of the global health care issues.

3. Ericson and the Ebola Soccer Survivors (2015) This is a short 12-minute film about what it’s like for those who survived the Ebola crisis. 16,000 out of the 28,000 people infected actually survived, nd the characters in this film use soccer as a way to piece their lives back together.

4. Living in Emergency Stories of Doctors Without Borders (2010) This film follows doctors without borders as they struggle to give proper medical attention to people in DR Congo and Liberia under extreme conditions. It’s an uncensored film that follows the difficulties each doctor faces on the scene.

5. Donka: X-Ray of an African Hospital  Donka is the largest public hospital in Guinea that has a substantial amount of debt. The hospital enforces a pay-as-you-go method which is difficult for patients who need the help but can’t afford the costs. Debt increases as access to treatment diminishes, and this documentary covers the reality of what most third world hospitals face.

6. Grace Under Fire (2011) Set in the DR Congo, which has been named the worst place in the world to be a woman, follows Dr. Grace Kodindo as she looks into the healthcare crisis of her world and investigates reproductive health when it comes to sexual abuse victims. The tragedy of war not only affects the soldiers but also the civilians — particularly women and children.

7. The Lazarus Effect  This documentary follows a woman who lost her family to AIDS before there were any affordable treatment opportunities. Choosing between paying for food or paying for treatment was a difficult decision at the end of every month, and it ultimately cost this family their lives. There was soon a program that allowed the woman to be enrolled for affordable treatment. The Lazarus Effect shows people the progression of a patient arriving at a treatment center with AIDS and then seeking the treatment they need. Not only does the program offer support to those with AIDS, but they also try to protect people from contracting and/or spreading the virus.

8. Malaria: Fever Wars  A disease that is running rampant in the third world and killing millions is actually getting worse. An eye-opening work that follows the lives of people battling malaria and exposes the truth about the disease. If you were ever wondering if there is a global healthcare need, these films would help answer that question for you. Watch and recommend to friends who are seeking to understand what’s happening in the world around them.

Help us create more healing stories like the ones featured in these films by joining one of our teams. Click here for details on upcoming trips.

See you in the mission field!Sheri Postma, RN
Founder & CEO
Mission Partners for Christ
MissionPartnersforChrist.com
Facebook.com/MissionPartnersforChrist
Twitter.com/mission_partner

The Importance Of Including Vision Care On The Mission Field

The Importance Of Including Vision Care On The Mission Field

If you or someone you know has experience working in optometry, consider joining our medical teams!

It’s important to include vision care on the mission field. When people think about medical mission’s trips, they often don’t consider the positive impact of proper vision care but there are 285 million cases of blindness in the world. 80% of all cases are avoidable with the proper care and corrective measures ranging from glasses to surgery. 90% of the worlds visually impaired are in developing countries. Making sight correction a global priority would save millions of lives and create jobs in the communities that need them most. Both of those are a win-win for all involved!

The top vision issues faced in developing communities are uncorrected refractive errors, cataracts, glaucoma, and childhood blindness.

In some cases of cataracts, people are debilitated and can’t see to take care of their basic needs. To find a solution and to improve global eye care also means the creation of more jobs. 47,000 more clinical refractionists are needed. If we take the need for eye care seriously, there will be manufacturing, traveling clinicians, and instructor jobs available that will help the economy and communities in the developing world. For these jobs to exist, there needs to be more educational facilities available to train specialists properly.

Bettering vision will improve work conditions — keeping workers safer and more employable.

But even more valuable than correcting the vision of the people in a community is equipping local medical specialists to take care of their community once the medical mission’s team is gone.

To understand the impact vision correction can have on a person, here is a testimony from Dr. Jeff Carlsen of Johnson City Eye Center telling about his experience as an eye doctor who attends medical mission’s trips:

“My most memorable patient was a 17-year-old girl who had cataracts bilaterally, as well as diabetes. She was light perception vision when she came in and could not remember seeing at all, as she had lost her vision around age eight. She was not able to participate in her care, as she was not able to see to give herself insulin injections and was completely incapacitated. She improved from light perception vision in both eyes to 20/30 vision when we left. Having such a profound impact on vision and function in such a young individual is and was exceptionally rewarding. I do remember walking out the first night after a surgery and seeing one of the most beautiful sunsets I have ever seen, seeing her sitting on the curb, and this was a particularly moving experience.” 

Correcting someone’s vision gives them their life back.

Not only is it treating the human body, but it is also impacting the human spirit — giving people a new lens to see life in a more positive light!

See you in the mission field!

Sheri Postma, RN
Founder & CEO
Mission Partners for Christ
MissionPartnersforChrist.com
Facebook.com/MissionPartnersforChrist
Twitter.com/mission_partner

3 Things That Happen On Medical Mission Trips

3 Things That Happen On Medical Mission Trips

Have you ever wondered why people join medical mission teams?

Or perhaps you’re wondering what encourages people to leave the comforts of their home and pay thousands of dollars to fly across the ocean to a place that doesn’t provide relaxing beaches or an all-inclusive resort? Why would anyone take valuable vacation time to visit the poverty of a third-world country? To answer these questions, one must learn what happens on medical mission trips.

Here are three powerful things you can expect to happen on a medical mission trip:

  1. Transformation

The people served on medical mission’s trips are not given the healthcare they need or deserve. Volunteers travel to give free health screenings and treatment that are long overdue.  In the process of healing those in need and saving lives, a transformation happens — one that is deep and lasting for all involved. When people’s physical needs are met, they can open themselves up to their spiritual needs. Even Jesus himself healed and fed his followers before He shared the gospel. He knew the importance of meeting people where they were at and fully providing for their needs. His impact would have been far less effective if He had let the weak and weary remain sick and impaired. Jesus was about a transformation from the inside out, and that is the same goal of a medical mission’s trip.

The volunteers often experience a transformation as well. To step out of their fast-paced, self-indulgent world into a place of selfless serving often wrecks the heart of the volunteers.

Team members can’t return with the same worldview because their lens has expanded and includes a new culture and the faces of beautiful people across the ocean.

  1. Education

One of the biggest struggles within a third-world country is the lack of education in preventative care. The people there are in survival mode more often than we could imagine, but that doesn’t mean they know how to prevent health problems. They don’t want to become ill or have physical pain, but they don’t know much about prevention or how to seek the healing they so desperately need. Part of a medical mission’s trip is to provide education such as how to eat healthily and the importance of clean water. Other education tips include safe sex practices and proper first aid care.

Volunteers also receive education by experiencing a new culture and providing medical care with few resources.

  1. Connection

Looking into the eyes of those who are desperate for healing, it’s hard not to feel a pull and attachment. Medical mission’s trips are an experience that connects the souls of the patients and the caregivers. Not all patients can be helped in the capacities they deserve, but all are given the best care possible given the circumstances.

The stories shared, education received, and transformation both in body and spirit all form a lasting connection that often keeps volunteers coming back again and again.

See you in the mission field!

Sheri Postma, RN
Founder & CEO
Mission Partners for Christ
MissionPartnersforChrist.com
Facebook.com/MissionPartnersforChrist
Twitter.com/mission_partner

Why Medical Missions Trips Are Worth the Cost

If you’ve ever looked into going on a medical mission trip, you’ve probably seen the high costs involved. Due to the nature of the work compared to other types of mission trips, the cost is high, but so are the benefits.

When you join a medical missions team, you can expect to pay for flights, accommodations, and food while you’re there. Unlike many organizations, members of Mission Partners for Christ teams are not asked to pay extra to cover the supplies needed to conduct medical exams or to leave with the patients.

But despite those expenses, here are three reasons why medical missions trips are worth the cost:

  1. Medical mission trips provide additional training for students outside of the regular classroom.

There are so many things that cannot be taught within the walls of a classroom. Some of the first people to sign-up for medical missions opportunities are students because they can finally use their knowledge in a situation that isn’t hypothetical. Students can not only see the global healthcare needs up close but also serve through hands-on experiences that make a difference! Now, this isn’t to say that volunteers should use a medical missions trip to experiment or put patients at risk by doing more than they’re trained to do. It’s simply an opportunity to experience more and serve those in need.

  1. Medical mission trips have a transformational impact.

Short-term missions trips aren’t always equally beneficial between the communities served and the volunteers. The lasting transformations happen from building relationships, and that can’t always occur in a couple of weeks time. Of course, sharing the message of Jesus is the biggest gift you can give someone, but what’s impactful about short-term medical missions trips is that the few short weeks are enough time to change a person’s life spiritually and physically — leaving a transformational impact on those served.

  1. Healthcare professionals can further develop their skills.

Certain diseases or medical needs are prevented in the states but still exist overseas. For example, thousands of people in Tanzania test positive for malaria each year. 

In the US we often have more than enough resources and an optimal environment to treat patients. When volunteers put their skills to use in less than ideal conditions with little resources, they are developing their skill sets, providing great care, and gaining a positive learning experience in the process.

When the costs for a medical missions trip seems overwhelming, remember that there are ways to raise money such as crowdfunding and fundraising opportunities with organizations such as Volunteer Forever (https://www.volunteerforever.com/). Volunteer Forever offers scholarship opportunities that allow volunteers to serve on medical missions trips no matter the expense.

And when it comes down to it, what price would you put on offering life-saving preventions and interventions to people in need? Medical missions trips are always worth the cost.

Ready to join a team? Click here to contact us for information on upcoming trips!