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Senegal & The Gambia


May 21, 2023 — June 3, 2023

Starting at: $3,700

Save $200! Sign up before February 20, 2023 and pay the Early Bird price of only $3,500!

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.

The majority of your donation goes toward clinic supplies, medications for patients, and caring for the community, but a small portion goes toward your clinic participation, transportation, accommodations, and meals as outlined in the itinerary.

Overview


The Need

In Senegal, you will travel to one of the most remote and impoverished villages in the country and will provide residents with much-needed health care, dental care, education, and medications. You can expect to treat medical conditions related to malnutrition, poor living conditions, and dirty drinking water.

In the rural and isolated villages of Senegal, it has become increasingly difficult for residents to find reliable medical services. The people of these villages are high-spirited, hard-working, and friendly, but they all struggle to live healthy lives and to protect the longevity of their children. More than 20% of children in the country are malnourished, and one in 11 children will die before the age of five.

The focus of our clinic work will be the Talibé children who are often abused by the country’s education system. At clinic, you will treat children who have been severely beaten, have been forced to sleep on concrete floors, and have been forced to beg for the money they need to remain in school. You will also help patients with zika, malaria, schistosomiasis, scabies, lymphatic filariasis, sexually transmitted diseases, and bacterial and protozoal diarrhea.

IMR has treated thousands of patients in villages throughout the country where the demand for our services is always high. Because of this and other concerning health issues, International Medical Relief has organized volunteer trips to Senegal since 2002. Our goal is to provide support to increase access to health care in Senegal. Please join us as we return to provide life-changing healthcare and medical services to the Talibé children and the remote villages of Senegal.

**Gambia

Our Work

***Note: Full COVID-19 Vaccination is Required for Participation***

International Medical Relief first traveled to Senegal in 2002 and we have continued to work in Senegal’s remote villages. We have deployed hundreds of volunteers and staff who served tens of thousands of patients.

There continues to be many health disparities that exist between urban and rural communities in Senegal and these remote villages lack access to health delivery services. This is why these outreach programs are critical. We always seek to create a long-term sustainable plan for the success of the village and the different communities we serve. We have expanded across the entire country and supported several different causes, including the Talibe children. Today we continue to provide community health training, medical treatments, medical supplies and equipment, and clinic operations. On this trip, IMR will again focus on under-served population groups including the Talibe Children and rural villages. We’ll see many women and children on this trip!! We will hold also clinic in distinctly different locations, including the first village that IMR ever served! We are so excited to go back, and Shauna will be sure to tell you the story on one of our conference calls.

​Our team will partner shoulder to shoulder with Senegalese physicians who work hard to reach the population​s most in need​​ with free health care. We have worked with these fine young doctors for years and have accomplished a great deal in our partnership. Our volunteers have learned a great deal from them and they have learned a great deal from our volunteers. We will also partner with other groups that are making great things happen in Senegal!

In rural Senegal, one way for children to have the honor of attending school is through the Talibé system. In the past, this system developed educated professionals in Senegal; today, the system has challenges and IMR comes to help those at a time of great need.  IMR feeds all of the children we will treat during clinic, pays their daily fees to their teachers, and provides them with vaccinations, deworming, acute medical and dental care, wound care, and most importantly sustainable health education.

 

The people of the Gambia are facing major obstacles in their pursuit of basic health care to save and or enhance their lives. Basic health care is not affordable for the vast majority of citizens in the Gambia. Although a few government-run clinics do exist, they are not adequately equipped to handle the needs of the people. The two major problems faced by Gambians are related to the shortage of health care professionals and access to medications due to availability and financial restrictions.

The main causes of mortality in infants (0-12 months) are neonatal sepsis, premature deliveries, malaria, respiratory infections, diarrheal diseases and malnutrition. For child mortality, the main causes are: malaria, pneumonia, malnutrition, and diarrheal diseases. Almost 60% of the population is under age 25. The literacy rate is 55% for men – and considerably lower for women. Poverty is a national issue. In 2008 (last data available) there were only 0.11 physicians/1000 people. Compare this to the United States with 2.5 physicians/1000 people and you can see a country that needs help to care for her people.

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.

This Mission

The Republic of Senegal is a bustling and colorful African nation and is one of the continent’s most popular tourist destinations. Famed for its rich music culture, lively streets, secluded beaches, and a large spectrum of wildlife, the country has something to offer every type of traveler. From dust-covered streets of the capital to vibrant and tropical mangroves along the coast, there are plenty of unique sights to see. Because of its complicated history with slave trade and colonialism, Senegal’s people represent many different ethnic groups and cultures. Senegalese culture is lively, vibrant, and welcoming and the country is now a beacon for African democracy. But, despite its strong democracy and reformed education system, Senegal is still struggling with social inequality and extreme poverty.

The Gambia is the smallest country in Africa and is a country completely surrounded by another country (Senegal) with the exception of a small length of coastline on the Atlantic Ocean. You will be staying on an island that was one of the most important slave trading routes during a tragic time in history. The Gambia is known as one of the most culturally rich countries on the African continent, with many tribal and ethnic groups living peacefully side by side.

The Gambia has enjoyed long periods of stability, unlike many of her African neighbors. Stability, however, has not translated into prosperity. Despite the presence of the Gambia River, which runs through the middle of the country and on which you will travel, only one-sixth of the land is arable. Poor soil quality has led to the predominance of only one crop – peanuts.

The country has a population of 1.8 million, a life expectancy of less than 60 years, and a probability of dying before the age of 16 greater than 25%. Malaria is the number one cause of death for children under 5, and lower respiratory tract infections killed more than 1700 adults in 2012, which is the most recent year this information is available (WHO). Nearly 60% of the population lives below the poverty line and 40% lives below the food poverty line. Poverty is widespread, pervasive and predominantly rural. Approximately three quarters of the rural population (where are clinics will be held) is classified as poor. The Gambia needs your help and the Ministry of Health has asked IMR to provide care.

Lodging/Transportation

The Senegal portion of your trip will be marked by the variety of your experiences. You will spend your nights in small hotels with beautiful courtyards and excellent food.   Your transportation will be by bus ,and you will visit two unique areas of Senegal: you will be in the city to treat the Talibé children and then immersed in a village for the second half of the trip.

In the Gambia, you will stay in a beautiful resort for most nights, but you will also have an overnight on the UNESCO World Heritage designated Kunta Kinteh Island (James Island), made famous by the book and movie, Roots.  Please join us to discover the beauty of Gambia and the Gambian River valley. Our hosts, working hand in hand with the Ministry of Health, have partnered with us to create an itinerary that will allow you to see the sickest patients while sharing in the beauty of the Gambia.  There is nothing better than this!

Highlights

senegal-safariYou will join your team members on a one-day safari  – get ready to have some fun!  Zebras, rhinos, wildebeest, giraffes, and more are all possible sightings along with monkeys and many kinds of antelope.  This will certainly be a highlight of the trip!

You will also have the opportunity to explore the Gambia, not just from the perspective of the health of her people, but also culturally as you work with many different tribes. You will travel along the Gambia River, one of the most beautiful rivers in the world, where oysters abound, giving rise to the national dish of the Gambia, oyster stew. Women harvest the oysters from the river and add many of the common Gambian flavors from peanuts, tomatoes, black eyed peas, and more. You’ll enjoy the wonderful sights, sounds, smells, and tastes of the Gambia every day during your journey.

In Senegal, one of the highlights is working with the local physicians who work with our IMR team year after year after year.  Working with these fine young doctors is the heart of sustainability – for IMR and for Senegal.  We’ll also be vaccinating our street children as we have for the past 10 years.  Joining us in the field in Senegal makes a difference.

Extend Your Stay

Extend Your Stay

You’re venturing around the globe. Have you considered extending your stay a few additional days to explore Senegal? Join IMR on an exclusive three-day extension! Rich with colonial heritage and many natural attractions, Senegal is known for its exciting safaris, nightlife, and historical museums.

  • Explore the narrow streets of Île de Gorée lined with pastel-colored French colonial buildings.
  • Discover the House of Slaves — a museum and memorial to the Atlantic slave trade.
  • Experience the wildly unique Lac Rose, which is a pink saltwater lake.

See the Extensions tab on this page for details on these amazing experiences!

Itinerary at a Glance


Sunday, May 21, 2023

Arrivals, Visit to Gorée Island

1
Monday, May 22, 2023

Clinic with Talibé Children

2
Tuesday, May 23, 2023

Clinic

3
Wednesday, May 24, 2023

Clinic

4
Thursday, May 25, 2023

Clinic

5
Friday, May 26, 2023

Clinic

6
Saturday, May 27, 2023

Safari!

7
Sunday, May 28, 2023

Travel to The Gambia

8
Monday, May 29, 2023

Orientation and Free Day

9
Tuesday, May 30, 2023

Clinic

10
Wednesday, May 31, 2023

Clinic

11
Thursday, June 1, 2023

Clinic

12
Friday, June 2, 2023

Clinic

13
Saturday, June 3, 2023

Departures

14

Please View Full Itinerary in the Next Tab

Sustainable Impact

Your Journey



Full Itinerary


This itinerary is subject to change without notice.

Please note: You will be notified about the group flight option prior to the Early Bird deadline. Domestic flight arrangements should not be made until after the group flight is booked. 

If you choose to fly independently, transportation between your arrival airport and your IMR accommodation is not included. If you wish to arrange transportation, you can contact flights@worldwidenavigators.com

If you have any questions regarding flights, please contact flights@worldwidenavigators.com. Thank you. 

 

21 May 2023

Arrivals, Visit to Gorée Island

Day 1

You and the team will fly into Blaise Diagne International Airport in Diass, Thies, outside of Dakar.  Please be sure that your flight arrives no later than 8am as your boat tour departs at 10am.

Our day beings bright and early in the morning with a tour of the UNESCO World Heritage Site Gorée Island. Gorée is a tiny, car-free island off the coast of Dakar, in Senegal. It’s known for its role in the 15th- to 19th-century Atlantic slave trade. On the narrow streets, colonial buildings include the House of Slaves, now a museum. The 19th-century Fort d’Estrées houses the IFAN Historical Museum, with exhibits on Senegal’s past. The Henriette Bathily Women’s Museum considers the role of women in West African society. We will take the ferry (an experience unto itself if there is a party going on!) and tour the island to hear her sad history. After lunch on the island, you will have a chance to “shop till you drop” while seeing some of the most modern and edgy art in Senegal.

Meals: Lunch, Dinner,

1
22 May 2023

Talibé Clinic

Day 2

After breakfast, you will attend the team orientation to prepare you for the upcoming week of clinic. Your team leader will assign roles for clinic, address IMR’s clinic protocols, and discuss the communities you will be serving in Senegal. You will also get an overview of the health care system in Senegal by one of our hosts.

Throughout your week you will see and care for many Talibé children (Talibé means “student,” but they are street children living in difficult conditions) on this amazing trip, in addition to families, the elderly, and entire villages!  These children are not seen by doctors or dentists on a regular basis and live primarily on the street, earning their school fees on a daily basis.  IMR has long provided meals, vaccinations, medical and dental care and sustainable community education for these children.

 

 

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner,

2
23 May 2023

Clinic

Day 3

Clinic will be held in a variety of locations, from small villages to medium-sized towns in remote areas of central Senegal. Each day will be unique and filled with laughing children and people of all ages. Healthcare outside of the cities is not easily accessible in Senegal. The entire community often comes for medical and dental care, health education to make their families stronger, and for the sheer joy of visiting with neighbors, friends, and relatives. You will be part of it all – and along the way we’ll visit mosques, markets, and much more to gain a deeper understanding of Senegal’s culture.

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner,

3
24 May 2023

Clinic

Day 4

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.

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner,

4
25 May 2023

Clinic

Day 5

We will also treat many villagers on this trip. The patients you will see will have conditions ranging from rashes to joint pain, lymphatic filariasis to leptospirosis, schistosomiasis to GERD. Burns are common from the open cooking fires and serious wounds are normal occurrences in clinic each day. Working in the villages is very special and our patients will celebrate your visit. Your team will see tropical diseases such as schistosomiasis, lymphatic filariasis, malaria, and the number one most common disease, bacterial and protozoal diarrhea.  The majority of patients you will care do not have access to adequate sanitation or clean water; you will work together with many local physicians and dentists to be the difference in these communities.

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner,

5
26 May 2023

Clinic

Day 6

Today will be our final day of providing health care and health education to the vulnerable communities of Senegal.

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner,

6
27 May 2023

Safari!

Day 7

Get ready to see some animals!

Here are a few safari tips:

  • Be flexible & prepared to get up early!
  • Even if you are a shutterbug, bring a pair of binoculars
  • Don’t forget to bring sunscreen, sunglasses, a hat, and deet! And of course, a few snacks & water.
  • Wear layers. The mornings are cool, but it gets hot fast! Comfortable sneakers or boots are required. Comfortable & neutral-colored clothing is encouraged.

After our safari, we will have a celebratory lunch and members of the Senegal-only portion of the trip will prepare to depart for home.

 

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner,

7
28 May 2023

Travel to The Gambia

Day 8

You will travel from Diass in Senegal to Banjul in The Gambia by bus and ferry. There you will meet up with new members of the team who will be joining you for The Gambia portion of your mission, and you will all meet together for a team dinner.

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner,

8
29 May 2023

Orientation Meeting & Free Day

Day 9

You’ll enjoy a team breakfast, then attend the team orientation to prepare you for the upcoming week of clinic. Your team leader will assign roles for clinic, address IMR’s clinic protocols, and discuss the communities you will be serving in The Gambia. You will also get an overview of the Gambian health care system by one of our hosts. The meeting will conclude around noon and the rest of the day is yours.  Try out the Senegambia private beach, take a walk, or find one of the fun restaurants within steps of the hotel.  We’ll meet back for a team dinner at 6:00pm with our hosts.

 

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner,

9
30 May 2023

Clinic

Day 10

Clinics will be held in the rural areas with the highest needs in The Gambia under the direction of the Ministry of Health.  We are very excited to work with local Gambian medical personnel in key areas of health concerns.

Senegambia Hotel

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner,

10
31 May 2023

Clinic

Day 11

Basic health care is not affordable for the vast majority of citizens in the Gambia. Although a few government-run clinics do exist, they are not adequately equipped to handle the needs of the people. In 2008 (the last data available) there were only 0.11 physicians/1000 people in the Gambia. Compare this to the United States with 2.5 physicians/1000 people and you can see a country that needs help to care for her people.

The two major problems faced by Gambians are related to the shortage of health care professionals and access of medications due to availability and financial restrictions.

Senegambia Hotel

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner,

11
1 June 2023

Clinic

Day 12

You will see patients of all ages, from the very young to the very old. The main causes of mortality in infants (0-12 months) are neonatal sepsis, premature deliveries, malaria, respiratory infections, diarrheal diseases and malnutrition. For child mortality, the main causes are malaria, pneumonia, malnutrition, and diarrheal diseases.

Senegambia Hotel

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner,

12
2 June 2023

Clinic

Day 13

Your last day in clinic will be bittersweet as you reflect back over the past two weeks and think about the people you met and the lives you touched.

Senegambia Hotel

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner,

13
3 June 2023

Free Day & Departures

Day 14

On your last day, you may choose to do group sightseeing, cruise the river, or relax at the beach.  The day is yours to recharge and prepare for your departure. You may depart any time.

If you’re interested in extending your stay, our partner Worldwide Navigators offers exclusive trip extensions just for IMR volunteers! See the extensions tab on this page for details.

14

Your Journey


Clinic Photos


This itinerary is subject to change without notice.

Extensions


You’re venturing across the globe. Have you considered extending your stay a few additional days to explore Senegal? Join IMR on an exclusive three-day extension! Rich with colonial heritage and many natural attractions, Senegal is known for its exciting safaris, nightlife, and historical museums.

Dakar, Senegal

Highlights:

  • Explore the narrow streets Île de Gorée lined with pastel-colored French colonial buildings
  • Discover the House of Slaves — a museum and memorial to the Atlantic slave trade
  • Visit Lake Retba, or Lac Rose, a wildly unique pink saltwater lake that lies north of the Cap Vert peninsula northeast of Dakar

Itinerary:

Day 1: Arrive Gorée | House of Slaves

Arrive at Île de Gorée, or Gorée Island, by ferry and check in at the bed and breakfast. Spend the day exploring the narrow streets lined with pastel-colored French colonial buildings, eating lunch at a coastal African restaurant, and visiting the Henriette Bathily Women’s Museum that considers the role of women in West African society.

Gorée Island is known for its role in the Atlantic slave trade in the 15th to 19th centuries. Though its dark history has passed, the shadow of the slave trade still haunts this island. After lunch, set out to discover the House of Slaves — a museum and memorial to the Atlantic slave trade on Île de Gorée.

Day 2: Dakar | Lake Retba

After enjoying a local breakfast served at the bed and breakfast, take the ferry to Dakar to check into your hotel. Then, hop on a shuttle for a quick drive to Lake Retba, or Lac Rose, a lake that lies north of the Cap Vert peninsula northeast of Dakar. The lake is named for its pink waters caused by Dunaliella salina algae and is known for its high salt content — reaching up to 40% in some areas.

Upon returning to the capital, grab dinner from a local, African grill restaurant and spend the night out to experience West African nightlife firsthand.

Day 3: Departure Home

Awake to an early morning breakfast served at your hotel and spend your free time leading up to your departure exploring the capital city of Dakar.

What’s Included:

  • 3-Day, 2-Night Tour
  • Ground Transportation
  • 2.5 to 3-Star Accommodations
  • Daily Activities & Excursions
  • 2 Meals Per Day
  • Tours & Entrance Fees
  • 24-Hour Emergency Service

You Will Need to Provide:

  • Customary Gratuities
  • Travel Insurance
  • Personal Souvenirs/Gifts
  • Currency Exchange Fees

3-Day, 2-Night All-Inclusive Tour starts at $950. Contact Worldwide Navigators to book this extension or get more information.

  • Lac Rose, Senegal

Minimum Donation

Your generous donation of $3700 will go toward the 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

Donation Payment Deadlines

$3500 due by February 20, 2023

$3700 due by April 23, 2023

Early Bird Savings Opportunity

To be eligible, upload all your required documents and forms, and make your 50% donation by February 20, 2023

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 February 20, 2023. 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 Group Rate

  • Travel with other members of your team on select routing
  • Fly on a group ticket at a guaranteed rate
  • Transport to and from the airport included

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

  • Extend your stay and customize your dates of travel
  • Choose your departure location
  • Customize your class of service

Featured Enhancements

Airfare & Airport Transfer
Starting at $50+ each way plus airfare that is subject to availability at the time of booking.
Single Supplement
$100+ per night subject to availability at the time of booking
Airport Transfers (for independent flyers)
$50 each way
Malpractice Insurance
$129.50 to $279.50
Continuing Education (CE/CME) Credits
$350
Personalized Scrubs (2 sets)
$50
IMR T-Shirt
$25
Partner Program
Starting at $25 per month

**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.

Your Donation to IMR for Your Mission Cost Includes:

All group costs from the time you arrive at the team meeting point in country until you separate from the team or when the team arrives at the departure airport, including:

  • Transportation
  • Lodging
  • Costs associated with the clinic
  • Food
  • Tips for services provided to the IMR team
  • All logistics, including translation services and security as needed

Additional Costs That You Are Responsible For:

All group costs from the time you arrive at the team meeting point in country until you separate from the team or when the team arrives at the departure airport, including:

  • International and Domestic flights to the country. You have the option to fly independently, or on a group flight with IMR.
  • Passport fees, visa fees, and transit fees, including baggage or overnight accommodations/meals while in transit
  • Required or recommended insurance
  • Vaccinations and medications common for travel
  • Spending money for souvenirs and personal purchases
  • Required or desired mission supplies, personal equipment, or small gifts for the special people you meet
  • Any lodging, meals, and transportation outside of the scheduled team mission, payable at the time of service to the local vendor
  • COVID-related fees such as testing, vaccinations, and quarantines as required by in-country arrival/departure or USA arrival/departure
  • Each team member is responsible for carrying medical supplies for the deployment. All fees associated with transport are the responsibility of the volunteer.
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