The health care needs of the people of the Dominican Republic are tremendous, especially in rural areas. There are fewer than two physicians available per 1,000 persons nationally and the Dominican health care system struggles to meet the needs of poor women, adolescents and children under five. Forty-two percent of the population lives below the poverty line and, for many, even the most basic health care is financially out of reach.
Handfuls of Hope partners with physicians, nurses, dentists, dental hygienists, opticians, and other medical professionals to help meet the medical needs of the underserved through medical mission trips. Our teams work side-by-side with local medical professionals who volunteer their time to help care for the poor. Our mission team will bring cases of donated medicines, vitamins, bandages, eyeglasses and other supplies. Additional medicines are purchased in-country as needed.
We strive to always work alongside the local church, who provide the space for our makeshift clinic and who make certain that the local community knows that we are coming. Our team typically arrives in the early morning to find hundreds of people already lined up and patiently waiting for attention. Church volunteers assist with the task of registering each patient, assessing and prioritizing their needs, and maintaining order. At the end of the day, hundreds of people will have been treated. For those who are physically unable to come to the clinic, we mobilize a smaller team to make house visits. Our team typically is onsite for 3-5 days, enabling us to care for thousands of individuals - men, women and children.
Who should go?
We are seeking dentists, doctors, nurses, dental hygienists, and other medical professionals who have a heart for people and a desire to use their skills to bring health and hope to the needy. Participation is not limited to those with medical training, however. We welcome teachers, pastors, business people, plumbers, stay-at-home moms, or anyone with a heart to serve.
What is the trip like?
Our typical medical trip is 5 days, with 15-25 participants. Group accomodations are provided in a nearby hotel. Lodging, food, air transportation, in-country transportation, and insurance coverage are included in the trip fee.
It is a busy week. We work hard and we work quickly to set up the clinic, organize medications and prepare for the many who will come to be treated. When the clinic "door" opens, a steady stream of people will come through and we get to minister to their needs. The trip agenda usually includes time of worship and fellowship with the local church and some down-time to rest and relax.
How do I sign up?
Refer to the list of upcoming mission trips in the upper right corner of this screen. Click each entry for more information, then click the "Sign Up for a Trip" button to access the application form.