Many healthcare professionals are completing global health outreach trips. Studies have indicated the people who volunteer tend to live longer. To quote Yasemin Saplakoglu, Staff Writer for Live Science, “People who volunteer for selfless reasons, such as helping others, live longer than those who don’t lend a helping hand.” 1, 2
This new series will highlight global health outreach in addition to global travel. Included will be resources for those desiring to attend global health trips. Other topics will include immunizations for international travel and traveling with children.
Several faith-based agencies provide global health outreach trips from the USA. One resource is the Christian Medical and Dental Association (CMDA), with a 15,000 membership. CMDA conducts overseas medical evangelism projects through its mission arm. The New England Institute of Jewish Studies, in coordination with the Schlesinger Institute and Shaare Tzedek Medical Center provides a four-week summer program based in Jerusalem. 4 UC Davis Global Health lists numerous other agencies for global health.4 The American Muslim Association highlights an “International Medical Missions; One Eye-Opening Experience.” 5
Many medical global outreach programs are non-faith based as some developing countries do not approve Visas if “religious” is checked for the reason of travel. In Vietnam, global health teams may be scrutinized and closed if there is a concern of ministering to anyone, including making simple conversation, praying for general blessing, praying for specific needs (e.g. healing) and sharing testimony.6 A personal example was our non-profit humanitarian organization, Power of a Nickel (www.powerofanickel.org) which had documented government approval for a global health outreach program but the local officials thought we might be evangelizing in a tribal area outside of Ho Chi Minh City and a police team of nine arrived at our site and did not allow any further patients to attend.
The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) “works with the U.S. government, other partners, and through the International Pediatric Association to ensure that global health is funded, and children everywhere have access to the care they need to survive and live healthy lives. In 2013, 5.9 million children globally died from easily preventable or treatable causes.”7 The AAP section on International Child Health is also involved with underserved children of the world.8
Author: Stanley E Grogg, DO, firstname.lastname@example.org) is a fellow of both a Fellow of the American College of Osteopathic Pediatricians and the American Academy of Pediatrics. He is Professor Emeritus in Pediatrics at the Oklahoma State University-Center for Health Sciences. He was certified in Pediatrics in 1978 by the American Osteopathic Board of Pediatrics and received a Certificate in Travel Medicine by the International Society of Travel Medicine in 2003. In 2015, Dr. Grogg received a Special Achievement Award from the AAP after nomination by the OK Chapter for global medical outreach.
Dr. Grogg is also the Chapter Champion and Chair for two initiatives: Global Health Initiatives and Immunization Education.
Conflict of Interest: Dr. Grogg is Chair of a non-profit organization, Power of a Nickel (www.powerofanickel.org) which led medical global health outreach teams to Uganda, Vietnam, India, Belize, Ukraine, Mexico and Greece in the last 12 months. If interested in participating or hearing more about Power of a Nickel, a FUNRaiser will take place at the Mike Fretz Event Center in Tulsa on Sept. 6 at 6:30 pm. Tickets and donations can be purchased and given at www.powerofanickel.org. Fun, food, silent auction of international products from countries visited and a live auction will be part of the function.
- Volunteers live longer: https://www.livescience.com/15978-volunteers-live-longer.html. (accessed 8/14/2018)
- Volunteers live longer and have happier lives: https://www.alternet.org/books/two-studies-show-volunteers-live-longer-and-happier-lives. (accessed 8/14/2018)
- Christian Medical and Dental Association: https://www.charitynavigator.org/index.cfm?bay=search.summary&orgid=3505. (accessed 8/14/2018)
- Jewish Global Health Outreach: http://globalhealth.ucdavis.edu/student_resources/International%20Opportunities/Outside_Opportunties.html (accessed 8/14/2018)
- American Muslim Association: http://www.amhp.us/international-medical-missions-one-eye-opening-experience/. (accessed 8/14/2018)
- Vietnam and religious reference: https://world-outreach.com/vietnam-short-term-mission-exposure. (accessed 8/14/2018)
- AAP Global Health: https://www.aap.org/en-us/advocacy-and-policy/federal-advocacy/Pages/GlobalChildHealth.aspx. (accessed 8/14/2018).
- AAP Section on International Health: https://www.aap.org/en-us/about-the-aap/Sections/Section-on-International-Child-Health/Pages/SOICH.aspx. (accessed 8/14/2018).