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Medical Mission Trips to Brazil

Thank you for your interest in IMR’s medical mission trips to Brazil! This is a very unique opportunity to work with populations that have little to no access to healthcare and make a huge impact on their lives.

The Need

In the Amazon the World Health Organization recently reported a rise in health issues related to basic hygiene, water storage, sanitation, and insect control. Several health disparities exist within this region that illuminate different social determinants of health. For example, incidents of malaria, leishmaniasis, tuberculosis, and leprosy are disproportionately affecting those in lower socioeconomic classes and those who have no access to formal education. International Medical Relief (IMR) works with the community to provide health services and also education in order to help sustain the well-being of the community for the future.

Our primary goal of this trip is to care for locals with treatable and often preventable conditions. As such, much of the relief you provide at clinic will be for people who would have benefited from access to preventable care. At clinic, you will treat conditions related to malaria, dengue fever, leishmaniasis, and more serious tuberculosis. You will also help treat conditions of non-communicable diseases, including personal violence, alcoholism, hypertension, diabetes, and smoking-related illness. In addition, our IMR volunteer veterans report treating snake and piranha bites, fungal infections, and ear infections.

You and the rest of the volunteer team will also educate locals on how to stay healthy and how to care for their loved ones. One of the main focuses of this mission is dentistry. Because all community members are encouraged to attend, the demand for dental care will be high. Another main focus of this mission is women’s healthcare. We will provide general women’s and infant care, as well as strengthen the knowledge and skills of the local midwives.

Our Work

International Medical Relief started serving in Brazil back in 2010. Since 2020, IMR has had a total of 339 volunteers and staff serve over 7,000 patients. Also, since 2020, IMR has provided community health training, medical treatments, medical supplies and equipment, and clinic operations. IMR is able to provide house calls, which allows the IMR team to understand their patients and the community they are serving. Being part of the IMR team means gaining an understanding of the specific lifestyles their patients have, which allows for better health education that fits the communities specific needs. IMR continues to provide sustainable health care and education to communities in Brazil.

With diligent planning and preparation, IMR is dedicated to ensuring that specific goals are met on our missions, each in correlation to the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals 3, 6, and 17.

IMR works to elevate vulnerable populations through shoulder-to-shoulder care with our local partners, creating workforce density, and a cadre of future healthcare and public health leaders in association to UNSDG 3: Good Health & Wellbeing.

Our medical mission teams also work toward UNSDG 6: Clean Water & Sanitation by supporting and strengthening the participation of local communities in improving their water quality, and installing water filtration systems that supply communities with clean drinking water and providing education on hydration and hygiene.

In correlation with UNSDG 17: Partnerships for the Goals, our organization works in collaboration and at the request of local hosts where we are under their direct influence and affluence. IMR never goes into a country without a formal invitation where there is a great community need for medical or dental care, and health education.

The Mission

During your time in Brazil, you will become intimately familiar with all the Amazon region has to offer.

Your team will live and work on the Amazon River, which means every day will bring breathtaking sunrises and sunsets and exposure to biodiversity. The demographic density in the Amazon region of Brazil is quite low, which means that many areas lack access to basic health care services and facilities.

You and the rest of the volunteer team will also educate locals on how to stay healthy and how to care for their loved ones. One of the main focuses of this mission is dentistry. Because all community members are encouraged to attend, the demand for dental care will be high. Another main focus of this mission is women’s healthcare. We will provide general women’s and infant care, as well as strengthen the knowledge and skills of the local midwives.

You will be provided with extensive public health information to help you provide the best care possible for your patients, including statistics from past IMR teams. The remote river communities will welcome your team with open arms, a plea for care, and a friendly “obrigado” (Portuguese for “thank you”) upon your departure.

Lodging & Transportation

You and your team will live on a five star, world-class boat and set up a full medical and dental clinic in remote villages along the water’s edge. Without IMR, these villages have no other means of healthcare. Upon returning to your private riverboat each night, you will be welcomed with a feast of local cuisine and opportunities for stargazing, crocodile hunting, hammock swinging, and much, much more. After a dinner of local delicacies and remarkable desserts, the boat will make ready for your departure to the next clinic site while you take a hot shower under the stars and prepare for a wonderful night’s sleep without bugs or cares. Enthusiastic crowds will gather at every stop, and children will peer through every crack as they anxiously wait their turn for care and hugs from the IMR team. Enthusiastic crowds will gather at every stop, and children will peer through every crack as they anxiously wait their turn for care and hugs from the IMR team.

I can’t begin to convey the sheer admiration, respect, and love I have for all these people. This trip to Nicaragua, documenting International Medical Relief’s mission to make a very simple yet profound impact on the lives of those less privileged has touched my heart and helped guide it in a more meaningful direction. The bravery and unbridled sense of kindness woven throughout these people’s character and this experience has shown me something new and refreshing that I will never forget. From our IMR crew to the people of Nicaragua, you will be with me always.

Madison, Team Nicaragua

Trip Highlights

Simply being in the Amazon, living on a riverboat, and caring for people with very limited access to care may be enough, but there is still more to see! Your team will have some time to discover Manaus, including the renowned opera house, Teatro Amazonas (the #1 rated place to visit in Manaus according to TripAdvisor!), the handicrafts market, and the Rio Negro Palace. You may also have the opportunity to explore the rainforest and “hunt” for caimans, explore the villages where you will work, and experience life aboard, steaming up and down the Amazon. Every IMR team member who has “taken the boat” will tell you – this trip is best!!

Food & Water

All food is typically provided during your stay. Please refer to your unique itinerary on our website to review which meals are provided each day. We may hire local people to cook for the team during our visit, or we may eat at restaurants or hotels. Lunch in clinic may include sandwiches made by the team or a feast prepared in your honor by community leaders. We recommend bringing snacks to eat during the day or evening or to supplement your lunch. High protein/high fat/high energy snacks are best. IMR also provides all of the drinking water for the team. Hydration and nutrition are extremely important for the health of the team. You are the best judge of your own health so please pack appropriate snacks and stay well hydrated on the trip.

Extend Your Stay!

Since you are already venturing across the globe, have you considered extending your stay by a few days to see Brazil’s most intriguing destinations? Did you know IMR offers an exclusive three-day extension to its volunteers?

By continuing your trip by three additional days, you will allow yourself to visit the world-renowned Ipanema. This is a neighborhood located in the famous city of Rio de Janeiro and is known for its namesake beach, incredible surfing, hiking trails, and spectacular sunsets. While exploring the beach, you can enjoy a sunset cruise or snorkeling trip. And, since you will already be in vibrant Rio de Janeiro, be sure you embark on a quest to summit Sugarloaf Mountain and appreciate the panoramic view of Guanabara Bay.

Itinerary

Itinerary is subject to change without notice.

Full Mission (7-8 Days)

Arrivals

You need to arrive in beautiful Manaus, Brazil  by 5:00pm to meet your team at the airport for your pre-arranged transportation to the boat but you will want to come earlier! Take a taxi to the central square and see the famous Teatro Amazonas.  While you are there, stop in at one of the coffee shops and then stroll through the art galleries – don’t forget to do some people watching!  Arrive back at the airport by 5:00pm for your pick up and short drive to your home for the week.

When you get there, check out your hammock and get your sea-legs (or river)!   This is also your departure evening from Manaus – join everyone on deck for the ride under the bridge and take some photos of the lights!

Day 2

Team Orientation

You will be steaming on the Amazon or one of her many tributaries today.  Your team will gather in the bow to get to know one another and have a training session that will prepare you for the clinic days ahead!  Try out the outdoor shower on the stern – bathing suit required!

Day 3

Training Day

Education is as important as medical and dental care for our patients. Each clinic includes basic health education according to the specialties and skills of the IMR volunteers, as well as the needs of the local people. When communities become empowered to take health and wellness issues into their own hands, they become self-sufficient. IMR provides learning opportunities for the local communities through classes and hands-on learning to sustain their well-being beyond our visit.

Days 4-7

Clinic

Each day you will steam to a new village, either arriving in the morning or docking overnight nearby.  Some villages are close to the water’s edge and some that may require you may walk on the boardwalks (there is lots of flooding in the Amazon) into the village.  

You may set up clinic in a church, a school, or even in the village square.  Some villages will be small, others big.  This is truly a trip where you will see it all!   If you are lucky enough to catch a festival in a village, you will be sure to be right in the middle of the action!

Many clinic days will be spent helping those with malaria, dengue fever, tinea and scabies, chagas disease, leishmaniasis, tuberculosis, leprosy, and other common conditions throughout the Amazon Region of Brazil.

Volunteers will also have the opportunity to provide education on hypertension, diabetes, smoking, and sexually transmitted diseases in addition to basic hygiene, water storage, sanitation, and mosquito/insect control. Your last clinic day will be spent helping patients and appreciating their rich culture.

Day 8

Departures

This is your departure day – plan to depart in the late afternoon or evening to have time to get your land-legs back and see more of beautiful Manaus.  Your time in the villages is complete and you’ll take home great memories.

Don’t leave your camera home on this trip – there is a beautiful photo in your future – sunrises and sunsets on the Amazon, pink dolphins (watch the river for smooth shiny water and you’ll be sure to find them), wonderful riverfront stores and homes, and beautiful, laughing children and families!!

Crisis Management & Emergency Response

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.
  • A security training conference call is available to 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, emergency evacuation plan and security planning.
  • We protect the privacy of our volunteers in the field and provide them with customized contact information for their use.
  • During our mandatory briefing, team members review our safety protocols, evacuation procedures, protocols for illness, natural disaster and terrorism.
    We provide training to our teams to be cognizant of their own safety and to be aware of their surroundings.
  • Several policies require teams to adhere to safety issues.

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. All team members will receive a detailed briefing packet about the country you are serving. In addition to receiving background information about the country and the public health issues affecting local communities, you will also receive detailed information on fundraising, community health education topics, clinic protocols, and a comprehensive departure packet. All of these materials are critical to the preparation for your trip. Finally, a guide to the infectious diseases of the country is distributed to medical providers prior to departure.

Donations to Our Himalayan Project Count!

Although each of our teams only have the opportunity to be a part of the IMR project in the Himalayans for a short time, IMR’s work in the Himalayans is long-term and sustainable.  Your dollars are a direct investment into saving and changing lives.  Your program fee is allocated to the overall mission while 15 percent goes directly into your personal logistics.

IMR supports the villages year-round.  Our goal is to never uncover a need that we cannot take care of.  We support the communities, the health clinics, the team year-round, and the patients when in need.  IMR has provided five helicopter evacuations of patients in critical need from the circuit into Kathmandu.  Whether it’s saving the eye of a 10-year-old boy in need of a very specialized optic surgery or providing knee and leg surgery for a young lady, IMR answers the call. Read their stories on our blog.

Security - $180
$180 3%
Staff & Logistics - $240
4%
Lodging and Meals - $900
15%
Insurance and Fees - $900
$180 15%
Transportation - $1,680
28%
Medical Equipment & Supplies - $2,100
35%

Mission Cost Breakdown

How does IMR use mission fees? See the complete mission cost breakdown below

Minimum Donation

Your generous donation helps to save and change lives every day.

Your charitable investment will go toward ongoing global relief to care for the underserved and vulnerable people of this community. As a member of this medical mission team, you will elevate the long-term impact of sustainable, capacity-building efforts that improve the health, wellness, and quality of life of those most in need. A small portion of your donation includes:

  • Clinic supplies and medications for patients
  • Clinic participation
  • Transportation, accommodations, and meals as outlined in the itinerary

Payment Deadlines

To save $200, a 50% donation payment must be received 14 weeks before the mission’s scheduled start date. Full donation payments must be received 4 weeks before the mission’s scheduled start date.

Early Bird Savings Opportunity

To be eligible, upload all your required documents and forms, and make a minimum of 50% of your donation payment by 14 weeks prior to your mission’s scheduled start date.

Flexible Flight Options

Volunteer with Airfare

You may choose to book a flight with us for an additional fee. Details on the available flight routing and US departure city will be announced on the Early Bird Date. Airport transportation to and from the team’s accommodations are also included with this option. Depending on your departure city, you may still need to purchase another flight in addition to this one. After this flight has been booked, you may contact our travel agent, Worldwide Navigators, for assistance booking any necessary additional flights.

Benefits of Flying at a Subsidized Rate

Volunteer without Airfare

Many team members choose to book their flight(s) to and from the mission location independent of IMR. This is a great option if would like to extend your stay in the area to tour and explore, or if the routing from you home airport is more feasible for you. If you choose to fly independently, please note that your transportation in between the airport and the team’s accommodations will not be provided. This will need to be arranged separately. Our partner for travel, Worldwide Navigators, would be happy to assist you in coordinating flights and/or transportation. You can contact them at travel@worldwidenavigators.com.

Benefits of Flying Independently

Featured Enhancements

**To purchase any of the above Featured Enhancements for your mission please contact our office at office@imrus.org or call at (970) 635-0110.

Fundraising

IMR provides a fundraising packet 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 personal fundraising page. You may share your personal fundraising URL on Facebook and other social media sites.

Join Us in Making a Difference.

Bring much-needed acute medical and dental care to a beautiful, culture-rich destination. You can join an IMR medical mission team today!

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