2020 Medical Mission Newsletter #1

by | Mar 13, 2020 | Brigade Updates

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HONDURAS GOOD WORKS 2020 MEDICAL MISSION TRIP

Welcome to the monthly newsletters regarding our annual Medical Mission trip. This is lengthy, sorry!, but please do read through it now.  The following monthly newsletters should be shorter!

CoVid 19: Our first priority is always the safety of our team and that of the Hondurans we serve. We are closely monitoring the situation with the Corona virus and will provide details as they become available. At this point we are pressing ahead with plans for the medical brigade, with the hope that by July things will be at a level that our mission work and travel will be feasible and safe. We will make a definite decision before buying the airline tickets mid June.

REGISTRATION AND FEES: This year’s mission trip is scheduled for July 22-29. You can register online at hondurasgoodworks.org. You will be able to make payments through this website. The total amount of the trip is $2000.00. We need a $200 deposit at registration; another $900 is due by May 15, 2020; the balance of $900 is due June 15, 2020. If you wish you may pay the full balance anytime. On April 1 we will release any seats that have not paid the $200 deposit. If you cancel after April 1, the $200 deposit will not be refundable, as this is a non-refundable airline fee. Given the uncertainty of travel due to CoVid 19, if you want to wait to sign up until later, it is likely you will still be able to procure an airline ticket on the same flight as the team; and join us; we just will not be able to guarantee that.

We will officially close registration on April 1, but if you think you might want to sign up later, please let us know, so we can possibly pencil you in as a participant. The reason for the April 1 deadline is so we can avoid HGW losing the $200 fee for unclaimed tickets that we are currently holding, but also so the brigade planning committee can determine the number of teams we will have, the amount of medicine to buy, the number of translators and trucks we will need, and many other logistical issues.

Trip Expenses: The trip amount includes your airfare, lodging and meals, travel insurance, travel agent fee, and in country travel expenses. It also helps cover a small portion of the medications dispensed and the expenses incurred by our Honduran team. The cost of putting on a brigade is closer to $2400 per missionary from the US, but Honduras Good Works will be fund raising to cover these other expenses.

Passport: An important step for you to do now, is to check your passport expiration date. It must be good until January 29, 2021 (or 6 months after your return date). Please renew if needed.

Injections/Prevention
Ask your personal health care provider about immunizations and prevention for mosquito borne illnesses. He/she is the best judge of any special requirements you might have. General minimum recommendations are: Diphtheria-tetanus booster (if you haven’t had one in the past five years), completed the Polio series in childhood, Hepatitis A vaccination (be sure and start this at least two weeks prior to the trip. The initial injection should be followed by a booster 6-18 months later for maximum effectiveness.)

Mosquitos can carry several illnesses including Malaria, Zika, Chikungunya and Dengue Fever. Protection from mosquito bites is your main means of defense. (long sleeves, mosquito spray, wrist bands). However, if you are pregnant or considering becoming pregnant within the 6 months after the trip, please seriously consider not attending due to the Zika risk.

Malaria is common in parts of Honduras. It isn’t rampant, but is prevalent enough that, over the 20 years of our groups going to this area, there have been one or two cases among the mission workers. The risk for malaria is very small, but no one can say it is zero. For those who decide that they want prophylaxis against malaria, we recommend prophylaxis with Aralen tablets. This medication is taken once a week, starting two weeks before departure and continuing for four weeks after return. This medicine is expensive. Talk it over with your physician if you have any questions. If you decide to take it, we can provide it for you.

All prescription medication for personal use must be in a properly labeled, currently dated prescription bottle. There will be a supply of medication carried specifically for the mission workers, in case anyone gets ill while we are down there.

Packing parties
Medication is purchased in bulk and separated into individual packages at the packing parties. Volunteers, such as yourself and friends and family, meet on several dates before the medical mission trip to label and package all the medication. This is a great way to meet some of the folks that will be on the mission trip, but it’s also a great way to be “a sender” for those not coming. So, invite your family and friends!!

The next packing party is set for May 9, 2020 at Christ Episcopal Church in Temple, Tx, from 9am until 3 pm. The address is 300 N Main St, Temple, TX 76501. Feel free to bring something to share; lunch will be provided. There is a chance this date will change, depending on timing of medication orders, so stay tuned.

T-shirts

Each year we select a team T-shirt that is worn to and from the airport and on photo day. At the packing parties there will be opportunities to vote on a team T-shirt color with a monetary donation.

Carpools to/from George Bush Intercontinental Airport

We leave out of and return to George Bush Intercontinental Airport in Houston. At the packing parties, you will have a chance to sign up for carpooling to Houston and find out about arrangements for a hotel.

Lodging/Meals

We will be staying at a convent/retreat center, Montaña Clara Maria Casa de Retiro. The center is gated with a security guard at the entrance. As this is a retreat center, the rooms are very basic. There are no ceiling fans or AC and water pressure varies, especially if everyone is trying to shower at once — so stagger your showers. They do have flush toilets, but like everywhere in Honduras, do not flush anything other than human waste. That includes toilet tissue!! They plug very easily.

Only drink bottled water, even for brushing your teeth.

As is the case in most developing countries, telephone communication in Honduras can be frustrating at times. You may use your cellphone but international charges may apply. You should look into getting an international plan with your phone provider if you intend to use your phone. Internet is available at the retreat center, but again this is spotty and not always available.

Breakfast and dinner will be provided at the center; we will be packing our lunches. The food is safely prepared, and safe to eat. Unless we advise you otherwise, breakfast is at 6:30 a.m. and dinner is at 6:00 p.m.

Upcoming newsletters will contain information on why we need you to check a bag with HGW supplies, what to pack, valuable tips about Honduras, and more packing party dates, etc.

To answer questions or for technical help, please contact us through brigade.info@hondurasgoodworks.org

Honduras Good Works

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