Medical Mission Trips to Myanmar
Thank you for your interest in IMR’s medical mission trips to Myanmar! 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.
Myanmar is a heavily diverse country that faces several obstacles when it comes to the quality of healthcare and access to healthcare services. Myanmar transitioned to a civilian government in 2011, and this democratic process brought an increased attention to healthcare, but there is still work to be done. In 2008, Myanmar was hit by an extremely destructive and deadly tropical cyclone.
Myanmar still faces large problems specifically in maternal and child health, infectious disease control, and nutrition. In 2018, Myanmar had an infant mortality rate of approximately 38 deaths per 1,000 live births. Myanmar also faces a critical health workforce shortage. For this trip, clinic will be set up in the more remote areas of the region and will be set up in small Buddhist temples, under tarps in the middle of the villages, in orphanages, and also in the homes of some of our patients.
At clinic, you can expect to primarily treat conditions related to malnutrition, HIV/AIDS, and tuberculosis. The 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.
International Medical Relief started working with the Myanmar community in 2002. In 2008, IMR provided emergency disaster relief following the tropical cyclone. Since 2008, we were able to strengthen our relationship with Myanmar and continue to provide medical relief efforts. Starting in 2010, we have deployed five mission trips that contain five full days of clinic specifically in Myanmar and have had a total of 116 volunteers and staff. From 2010 to 2019, we have served about 4,000 patients. During our medical relief trips, IMR provides community health training, medical treatments, clinic operations, and clinic supplies. IMR teams continue to serve villages in the most rural areas of Myanmar and provide education and care where it is needed the most.
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 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 & Well-being.
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.
IMR is honored to return to Myanmar for the ninth time. We began work in Myanmar after the major cyclone in 2004, where a small IMR team provided disaster relief to hundreds of patients. Since then, we have worked in many villages, towns, and cities in the areas around Yangon (formerly Rangoon) and the Irrawaddy River Delta. IMR was invited to return to provide disaster relief in the aftermath of Cyclone Nargis in 2008.
On this trip, the IMR team will venture to small city communities and remote villages around Yangon. Our transportation will be left on the road as we hike in through beautiful paths to the communities we will work in each day. You will be amazed as you turn the cover to discover our clinic location and the children who will be waiting for you. Find the village swing and give one or two of them a push! You will hold clinic in small Buddhist temples, under tarps in the middle of the village, in orphanages, or in the simple homes of the people you will treat. Your patients will be in great need of medical and dental care and health education; their appreciation is unending and beautiful to receive.
Lodging & Transportation
You will stay in a Yangon hotel with beds provided for everyone. The accommodations, while not luxurious, are safe, clean, and friendly. Breakfasts of fragrant fish and noodle soups (mohinga) will start your day off right before heading out to clinic. You’ll experience many new fruits and spices while learning about the healing powers of heating and cooling foods. Ngapi and a variety of savory, sweet, and salty condiments are a mainstay of every meal.
Your transportation each day will be by van and you will travel 1 to 2 hours to the beautiful villages in the countryside around Yangon. As you walk into the villages through amazingly green and thick vegetation, often on raised stones to keep the villagers dry in the wet season, you will find many children waiting on the path to take your hand. This is one of the friendliest places you will ever go and although shy at first, the children will warm up quickly and, if you are lucky, will take you to play for a few minutes after lunch or at the end of the day.
Keep your eyes open and your camera handy. The villages you pass through will have beautiful temples and the countryside around you will be magnificent.
Families are the highlights of this trip! You will be drawn to the families and their kind and loving ways with their children and each other; laughter is the sweetest sound in Myanmar. Don’t think that all is well though – there is a great deal of medical care that needs to happen here. From wound care to ear infections to pregnant women and the very old, Myanmar has something for every provider and IMR volunteer to care for.
World-famous gilded Buddhist pagodas draw thousands of pilgrims every year. You will tour the notable religious sites that house Buddhist relics. The most famous, Shwedagon Pagoda, will surely be a highlight as your barefoot soles stroll the immaculate white marble structure. Enjoy a bag of freshly fried grasshoppers while the local chefs cheer you on. Pour water on the symbols representing the day you were born to avoid misfortune while visiting a Buddhist temple. Enjoy the amazing traditional markets for an authentic experience of culture and shopping. Contribute to their economy by supporting the local sand painting artists or bring back your own jars of thanaka paste for a cooling, skin-clearing face mask.
You can visit the Catedral San Pedro Apóstol and explore more of the history of the island, spend some time at the Los Delfines Water & Entertainment Park, or just venture along the Iguamo River. However you decide to spend your time, you will welcome every opportunity to explore and cherish the island.
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!
You’re journeying halfway across the globe, have you considered extending your stay to visit some of Myanmar’s top spots? Join International Medical Relief on an exclusive trip extension provided by our partner, Worldwide Navigators!
Trek into the mountain rainforest as you search for the famed gorillas in the mist, or explore the spectacular Virunga Volcanoes! Experience a guided walking safari at Lake Mburo National Park
Itinerary is subject to change without notice.
Full Mission (8-9 Days)
The first day is a travel day to Myanmar.
You and the team will fly into the Yangon International Airport in Myanmar on August 29th and transfer to your hotel in Yangon. The required arrival at your hotel is 5:00 pm on August 29th with a team orientation and dinner at 7:00 pm. If you arrive early – take a walk and explore Yangon! If you are flying on an IMR group flight your airport transportation will be provided for you. If you are traveling independently, please contact the IMR office to arrange transport or take a taxi from the airport. Your hotel information will be provided to you after you join the team.
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.
Wake up to breakfast at your hotel and depart early each day for the clinic sites! You and the team will venture to small city communities and remote villages around Yangon. Each patient’s thanaka-painted cheeks and reserved smiles will bring a warm welcome.
You will see many acute illnesses among your patients on this trip – skin infections and wounds are prevalent every year. You will also see the common illnesses of children: ear infections, eye infections, rashes, scabies, and mosquito-borne diseases are all common, as is diarrhea. You’ll also see, treat, and educate about the chronic issues of today. HIV/AIDS, endemic leprosy, high infant and maternal mortality rates, malnutrition, malaria, and tuberculosis are all significant public health issues in Myanmar. Alcoholism also takes its toll on your patients. Dental disease is also prevalent with few dentists in the country and limited access and money to spend.
Enjoy breakfast in the morning with your team and then drive to the iconic Shwedagon Pagoda, a magnificent Buddhist temple. You will also see other sites in Yangon, including a crafts market, and will have a team lunch to celebrate the amazing work you did. After lunch you are free to continue shopping and sightseeing on your own, dependent on your departure time.
Have a safe flight home, everyone! If you are flying on the group flight, your transportation to the airport is pre-arranged for you. If you wish to join the scheduled IMR transportation, please contact the office at 970-635-0110 or email@example.com.
Extended Stay or Arrivals in the United States
You have the option to extend your stay or travel back to the United States.
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.
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.
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
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 firstname.lastname@example.org.
Benefits of Flying Independently
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!