Medical Mission Trips to the Philippines
Thank you for your interest in IMR’s medical mission trips to the Philippines! 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 Philippine population is extremely diverse and is made up of 7,107 islands. Many of these islands are home to remote villages and the Philippine healthcare system struggles to successfully deliver healthcare to many of these communities. Overall, the healthcare system in the Philippines is of high standard, however services and quality varies widely between rural and urban areas. There is also a critical need for economical and dependable medical equipment and gaps between the quality and quantity of health services exist between the poor and the rich. The Philippine healthcare system is decentralized, which leaves the local level to be primarily responsible for the delivery of healthcare services and public health initiatives. This can make it harder for the most vulnerable populations and the most rural to have reliable access towards health education and health services.
In 2013, Typhoon Haiyan became one of the most powerful tropical cyclones ever recorded. When Haiyan made landfall, it devastated portions of Southeast Asia, particularly in the Philippines. Haiyan is known as one of the deadliest Philippine typhoons on record. Reports estimate that it killed at least 6,300 people in the Philippines alone. The Philippines started to face a humanitarian crisis as millions of people became displaced in the aftermath of Haiyan with the destruction of homes and important infrastructure. This makes the population of the Philippines more vulnerable and susceptible to diseases due to the lack of food, clean water, shelter, and medication.
Please join IMR as we return for another trip to the Philippines, continuing to provide and assist new villages that need medical care and health education. Thanks to the special invitation that we received from the Philippine government, this trip will take us to remote island communities that have an especially difficult time accessing healthcare.
International Medical Relief began sending medical mission trips to the Philippines in 2014 providing emergency disaster relief right after the devastating typhoon hit. Since 2014, we have been able to strengthen our relationship with the Philippines and continue to provide medical relief efforts. We have served nearly 10,000 patients through nearly 300 volunteers and staff. During our medical relief trips, we provide community health training, medical treatments, clinic operations, and clinic supplies. Our teams will continue to serve villages in the most rural areas of the Philippines 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 & Wellbeing.
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.
International Medical Relief is excited to venture to Palompon, on one of the most beautiful islands in the chain of 7,107 islands that make up the Philippines. IMR has visited dozens of locations during more than 13 trips over the last six years, and we continue to reach villages and people that are in great need of medical care and health education. With special invitations from our in-country hosts and partners, IMR is committed to reaching more and more patients in need as we support the Philippines.
Lodging & Transportation
When you arrive on Cebu, you will transfer to a commercial ferry to travel to Palompon. When you arrive, you will be welcomed by the Mayor and the town with open arms. Join the community in morning yoga or zumba on the square – they will happily make room for you! Get some ice cream on the dock! Look at the ocean as you breakfast or dine in the evening in your private dining area on the rooftop, with food cooked especially for you! The water is hot in the showers, the beds are comfortable, and your roommates are top notch. You and your team will be very comfortable after clinic and will love every moment of your stay here.
Transportation will be very varied on this trip – there may be planes, boats, and fun trucks in your future in the Philippines. A ferry will take you from the island of Cebu to Palompon. Trucks designed for transport will carry you safely to the barangay and home again. Motorboats will take you out to see those whales! And finally, your feet: there may be some light hiking if you like to make house calls! Each barangay will have some homebound patients for you to see. This is one of the best parts of an IMR trip so don’t miss the opportunity.
You will work in carefully chosen and remote barangays on this trip. People here rarely get comprehensive care although the nurses of the public health service make a heroic effort to care for the villages. You will have the opportunity to work alongside these wonderful public health nurses and with one of the top-rated rescue squads in the Philippines. Your ground host is one of the top physicians in the Philippines with extensive disaster experience. Working side by side with these remarkable healthcare providers is certainly one of the many highlights of this trip.
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!
The Philippines is an amazing place to extend your stay! While most visitors to Asia go to Thailand, Cambodia, and Laos, the Philippines offers something for every traveler, from hiking to surfing, malls to handicrafts, volcanoes to blue lagoons. An added bonus is that almost everyone speaks English, and the people are known to be some of the friendliest in the world. The Philippines has beautiful beaches, wonderful food, and some of the best surfing in the world. Allow IMR to help you plan a new adventure after your amazing adventure caring for villagers on Leyte through our partner, Worldwide Navigators!
Itinerary is subject to change without notice.
Full Mission (7-8 Days)
Team members will arrive in Cebu, Philippines throughout the day. You will enjoy dinner with your team and team leader, then the ferry, which will be your sleeping quarters for the night, departs for Palompon at 9pm.
You will arrive in Palompon at 5am. After breakfast and team orientation with your team leader, you will attend a community medicine orientation with Dr. Ong. You will spend the afternoon in clinic, then enjoy a team dinner with your food prepared for the team al fresco in the rooftop restaurant. After dinner is the debriefing of the day before you retire to your quarters in the comfortable, dormitory-style Tourism Building in Palompon.
You will find many children, their parents, and elderly patients waiting eagerly for you in the barangays (remote villages) that you will visit. You may also have opportunities to go on house calls in the remote areas to visit patients who are unable to make it to clinic.
You will likely see patients with pneumonia, ear infections, wounds, animal bites, and non-communicable diseases. During your clinic days, you will have the opportunity to work side by side with local doctors, nurses, and EMS personnel who are anxious to learn from you, as well as share their knowledge about medical care in the Philippines.
You will travel to Angeles by plane or ferry, then transfer to Sapang Uwak for our final day of clinic. That evening you will be camping in the village in tents provided by IMR or sleeping in government housing. Please bring a sleeping bag and mosquito net.
After the day’s clinic, you will get some hands-on instruction on what to do to survive in the jungle from members of the indigenous Aeta tribe of Sapan Uwak. After your training, you will return to Cebu for the night.
Enjoy a final breakfast with your fellow team members before bidding farewell to the beautiful Philippines! If you think you might want to extend your stay (especially after receiving your jungle survival training), contact Worldwide Navigators for information on extensions and flight arrangements.
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.
Your generous donation helps to save and change lives everyday.
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 email@example.com.
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!