The Ethiopia Medical Mission 2018 is a joint collaboration coordinated by the SDARM Northern California Conference with the support of Plymouth Leadership College, the SDARM Western United States Union, the SDARM GC Welfare Department, and the SDARM GC Medical Department.
In order to have your information up to date, please be sure to check the participant log at the end of this email. You must have submitted a signed application. Now comes the next step. Please, scan your passport information page (the one with your photo), and email it to firstname.lastname@example.org. We need to keep a copy on file for security reasons. Be sure your passport is valid for at least 6 months. Additionally, those with profession (and/or medical) degrees and licenses, please be sure to submit those to receive your corresponding license in Ethiopia (which we will arrange for you)
All volunteers will be given a volunteer participation certificate that may be used as evidence for school and work requirements, or as a souvenir. Please be sure to provide the correct spelling of your name as you would like it to appear on the certificate.
All participants must pay a fee of 150 US dollars, which will cover all the ground transportation in Ethiopia and also the uniform that will be worn during the mission. Each participant is responsible to purchase his/her own ticket from his/her country to Addis Ababa. Upon arrival, our organization will be responsible to provide basic needs such as food and shelter.
Participants must arrive in Addis Ababa (the capital of Ethiopia) by December 25, 2018. From Addis Ababa we will be transporting participants to Bakafa, which is where the medical mission will take place. The Mission will be held from December 26, 2018 to January 6, 2019. Participants will be taken back to Addis Ababa the morning of January 7, 2019.
Passport holders from the majority of European, and North and South American countries may receive their visas as they arrive in the Addis Ababa Airport. Photos are not needed; however, your passport must be valid for more than 6 months. The price of the visa is US$50 and is valid for 30 days. Citizens of all countries can also obtain their eVisa in advance at https://www.evisa.gov.et. Also, you must have your “yellow card” (vaccination card). If you have any doubts about your visa, call the Ethiopian embassy or consulate in your country.
- Participants must buy their own airfare to Addis Ababa, and must arrive by December 25, 2018 and may depart on January 7, 2019.
- From Brazil, the most convenient/economical flights are either through Johannesburg, South Africa, or Luanda, Angola. The flights through Europe are usually more expensive.
- From the North America, the most convenient/economical flights are the ones through Europe. There are direct flights from Los Angeles, Toronto and Washington (Dulles) to Ethiopia, but these may be more expensive.
- The participants from Europe may seek the most convenient/economical flights from different countries within Europe.
- From Asia and the Pacific the most convenient options are through Dubai, Singapore and Bangkok to Ethiopia.
- As soon as you purchase your ticket, please submit a copy of the itinerary to the mission administration. Make sure the confirmation number is clearly visible in your itinerary.
You are responsible to arrange your own travel insurance if you decide to have it. We strongly encourage you to purchase travel medical insurance to ensure that should there be any emergency, you can be taken out of the country to receive proper care as the medical care in Ethiopia is poor. DO NOT GET SICK ON THIS TRIP! We are going to GIVE medical care, not receive it!
General principles in packing for this trip:
- Finding the right balance between over-packing and being unprepared is a skill that even seasoned travelers have difficulty with. The list provided in the section below is designed to help you be prepared for anything that may come up. Use the list as you pack your suitcase.
- Do not exceed the limit of your baggage weight. Doing this will cost you more, and you will have to deal with unnecessary trouble. When purchasing your ticket, become familiar with the baggage rules and limits of the air company.
- Very important: we will meet many people who have NOTHING. Be prepared to leave basically everything you take with you. You may have a full suitcase on the way there and no suitcase on the way back. Besides your personal belongings, you may bring clothing for children and adults, toys, etc… This has been the experience of many whenever they go to Africa. Therefore, be prepared, and pack accordingly.
- prescriptions & personal medications (in original bottle with actual prescription from doctor)
- First aid kit: adhesive bandages, alcohol swabs, bandage rolls
- Toilet paper
- Anti-bacterial hand sanitizer (access to clean water will be very limited)
- Insect repellent (with DEET)
- Mosquito net
Documents & Financials
- Copy of airline ticket
- Credit/debit cards
- Passport valid at least for 6 months
- Yellow Book (vaccination record)
- Cash in US dollars only necessary for your needs. Very Important: Take only bills issued 2006 and up. In Africa, bills issued before 2006 are not accepted to avoid the forged ones.
- Work clothes (scrubs, white long-sleeved t-shirts)
- Lightweight clothes
- Sweater or jacket for the evening
- Sabbath clothes
- Sleeping bag & pillow (since we will be sleeping on the ground, a sleeping roll (thin foam pad) is also strongly recommended)
- Sabbath School Lesson
- Meal bars (basic food will be provided for you, but bringing meal bars is a good idea)
- 30 or 40 disposable plates (paper or plastic) and equal amount of plastic forks, spoons, and knives) [Remember that there is little clean water for washing plates, so if you bring disposable ones you will avoid having any problem at meal time.]
- You are encouraged to bring extra medical supplies for the Mission, such as: gauze, bandages, gloves, etc., but don’t bring medications which require medical prescription since they are controlled by the Ethiopian government (so we will buy them in Ethiopia).
VACCINATION & HEALTH
You need to arrange your vaccinations for Ethiopia as required prior to departing. Make sure that when you get your vaccine you also receive your “yellow book”, which you may need to present to the immigration officials at the airport of entry.
Please read the disease prevention sections below which will give you more detailed information. Remember that we are going to provide healthcare, not to be recipients of it. Make sure that you are taking care of yourself now so that you will be in a good health condition when we arrive in Ethiopia.
What Is It? Malaria is a serious potential infectious risk for travelers. You can get infected with malaria if you are bitten (and it only takes one bite!) by the female Anopheles mosquito which typically bites at night. The malaria parasites quickly invade the liver and then the red blood cells, where they multiply. When the red blood cells rupture, and an attack of malaria occurs, serious illness and/or death can occur.
Symptoms: Malaria is characterized by fever and influenza-like symptoms, including chills, headache, generalized muscle soreness, and malaise; these symptoms can occur at intervals. Malaria may be associated with anemia and jaundice, and P. falciparum malaria infections can cause seizures, mental confusion, kidney failure, coma, and death. Malaria symptoms can develop as early as 7 days after initial exposure in a malaria-endemic area and as late as several months after departure from a malarious area.
Medications: There is no vaccine currently available. Malaria medications are always started before, taken during, and continued after leaving a malaria area. Some antimalaria medications are taken weekly, while others are taken daily. The time frame of when the medication is started and stopped depends on the type you have been prescribed. Regardless of which medication you have, taking it exactly as instructed is imperative to avoid infection. Because antimalaria medications do not actually prevent the disease, continued dosing after leaving a malaria endemic area ensures that the drug will kill any lingering parasites. The medications used for antimalarial prophylaxis are generally well tolerated. However, side effects may occur. Minor side effects usually do not require stopping the drug. Travelers who have serious side effects should see a health-care provider.
Things to consider when choosing a drug for malaria prophylaxis:
- Recommendations for drugs to prevent malaria differ by country of travel and can be found in the country-specific tables of the Yellow Book. Recommended drugs for each country are listed in alphabetical order and have comparable efficacy in that country.
- No antimalarial drug is 100% protective, therefore, it must be combined with the use of personal protective measures (ie., insect repellent, long sleeves, long pants, sleeping in a mosquito-free setting or using an insecticide-treated bednet).
- For all medicines, also consider the possibility of drug-drug interactions with other medicines that you may be taking as well as other medical contradictions, such as drug allergies.
Protective Measures: Avoid getting bitten by mosquitos! If you develop a fever during your trip or after you return home – seek IMMEDIATE medical attention. A fever in a returning traveler is considered to be malaria until proven otherwise! Remember that antimalaria medication or protective measures against mosquito bites are NOT 100% guaranteed to prevent malaria. Prompt medical attention can make the difference between life and death.
CODE OF CONDUCT
All participants (both church members and non-members) through the signature on their application have agreed to the following:
- Participants shall at all times maintain the principles and standards of the Seventh Day Adventist Reform Movement.
- Participants shall at all times remain at the clinic facility, and shall leave the compound only with the approval of the administration team.
- Participants shall avoid any inappropriate behavior, or even the appearance of inappropriate behavior which is against Christian principles and moral principles of regular Ethiopian society, during the mission.
- Participants shall not engage in any activity or conduct they know to be illegal or immoral.
- Participants shall wear the uniform (their team-designated scrubs) during all clinic hours (8am to 6pm) and shall be modestly covered at all other times (no shorts, etc.).
- Participants shall, even if they are not medical doctors, abide by the medical practices of patient confidentiality, and an oath to do no harm.
- Participants shall at all times operate with fairness and respect toward the project administration, their fellow team members, the local staff of the Ethiopian mission, and all those who come to the clinic either to receive physical or spiritual healing.
Administration Team – Blue
Operation Team – Brown
Children’s Team – Purple
Medical Team – Green
We plan to purchase the uniforms in the near future so please email your uniform size (S – Small, M – Medium, L – Large) as soon as possible.