Medical Missions

How Do We Know International Medical Missions Are Effective?

International medical missions have existed since at least the 1800s, but the need and those willing to serve increases daily. Whether or not they are effective comes down to several factors.

According to an article in Globalization and Health,[1] there are nine best practices for medical missions:

  1. Assessment of the area to be served
  2. Partnership and Alliance with those already in the area
  3. Governance of the trips being sent
  4. Code of Conduct set up for all working
  5. Preparation for the conditions and culture
  6. Implementation of best practices
  7. Training and Capacity Building of the missions teams
  8. Sustainability of future missions
  9. Monitoring and Evaluation of every team sent

“It is recommended that managers of STMM teams work in conjunction with managers with the host partners to complete a needs assessment before arriving. This practice, as well as working alongside local healthcare staff, will promote collaboration throughout the entire mission and ensure improved quality of care for patients including care that is integrated into long-term systems which can support patient needs when a STMM is gone,” the study advised.[2]

GFA World engages in all of these practices, not just for its Medical Ministry but for all its work across education and service. GFA missionaries and workers are from the country where they serve, which helps break down cultural barriers and bring collaboration faster than for someone with a different language and culture. GFA always trains and supports its workers wherever they go and into whatever field God calls them.

You can be sure of the effectiveness of the thousands being served yearly. In 2019, nearly 1,300 medical camps were put on by GFA World. Each camp serves between 200 and 1,000 people. These people often line up and wait for hours to receive the free medical care, advice and medicine they need. Those served by GFA are often living at or below the international poverty line of $2.15 per day.

You can help make sure these precious souls are served by financially supporting GFA Medical Ministry. Any amount keeps GFA workers trained and gets them the equipment and supplies they require to serve those in deep need. Without medical care, many face being disabled, unable to work or unable to go to school. This is devastating for someone already struggling to survive. Your gift will make a meaningful, even life-saving difference.

Learn more about GFA’s Medical Missions programs

[1] “Guidelines for short-term medical missions: perspectives from host countries,” Globalization and Health, February 19, 2022,
[2] Ibid.