The Medical Mission originated in 2007, in response to the numerous requests for professional training voiced by healthcare professionals working in clinics in underserved areas of Egypt. The aim was to facilitate establishment of new partnerships between American and Egyptian medical professionals in order to address the gaps in access to good quality healthcare in very remote and poor urban and rural areas in Egypt. A number of American healthcare professionals have traveled to Egypt to volunteer their services and conduct training sessions for local healthcare professionals and community volunteers. Most Egyptians who participate in this program are from the community-based clinics that HANDS supports in Egypt and from public clinics and universities in Cairo and Minia. These clinics regularly participate in our local partner’s healthcare improvement campaigns targeting poor and disadvantaged people in Cairo and Minia governorates.
The Medical Mission program is organized and implemented in cooperation with our Egyptian partner organization, CEOSS, which is one of Egypt’s leading development organizations. CEOSS has worked in community healthcare for over 50 years. As a result, it has very strong working relationships with the Egyptian Ministry of Health, as well as deeply rooted relationships with over 150 marginalized communities in Egypt.
In 2010, USAID featured HANDS as one of partners in their newsletter issued in celebration on International Volunteers Day. Our Medical Mission program was highlighted and included a video interview with HANDS Director of Programs, Ivana Smucker, and one of the veteran Medical Mission volunteers, Dr. Nancy Maaty.