Medical Missions Go Digital

The pandemic blew up the concept of medical missions parachuting into poor countries.
 
Medical sociologist Judith Lasker estimates that 90% of the fly-in missions shut down amid the crisis.
 
After an initial shock, many are rebuilding differently, refocusing on training in-country staff digitally, and redirecting would-be travel funds to local staff and equipment—all while lowering their projects’ carbon footprint.   
 
For ReSurge, the pandemic disruption could have meant halting training for procedures like cleft palate and burn repair in Latin America, Africa, and South Asia—instead a digital pivot allowed them to expand. The year before the pandemic, the group was working in 17 countries; that has now swelled to 31, with far more young surgeons participating in virtual training.  
 
NPR Goats and Soda

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