Returning Home

It is hoped that with prior proper preparation, diligent attention to infection prevention throughout the mission and a commitment to the patients and community served, the mission will be a success. The team should take time after the mission to evaluate lessons learned including the challenges and successes encountered during all phases of the mission, accommodations, logistics, healthcare delivery, equipment, supplies and transportation. Also at the end of the trip, assess the health of the team and ensure that patient follow-up and any necessary precautions are completed as necessary. The information gleaned from this analysis can help ensure that the mission is a success and to implement any necessary changes for future mission trips.

Follow-up for Team Members

A daily log can serve as a helpful reminder of incidents that may have affected team members’ health. If any such incidents occurred, appropriate follow-up may be indicated, such as a physician visit. Remember: team members who had taken malaria prophylaxis need to continue the medication as prescribed by their healthcare professional.

Patient Follow-up

The team may need to follow-up with the local mission director on specific patients who have been treated either to ensure that they have been able to continue their medication or have managed to obtain any consultation that was recommended. Keeping in touch also can help people at the site remember instructions. It can be a continuing support for health workers in isolated communities and provide them with a resource for assistance and information in the future.