The mission of Doctors for Global Health is to promote health and foster other human rights with those most in need by accompanying communities, while educating and inspiring others to action.
- To work with its partner organizations to bear witness for human rights and against human rights violations.
- To educate and inspire others, especially students, by providing them information, opportunities for service, a human rights perspective, and "world citizen" role models. This objective is accomplished through lectures, presentations, publications, hand-on experiences, mentoring, and person-to-person discussion.
- To directly sponsor non-profit, non-governmental projects deemed compatible with the principles of DGH. These include emphasizing Community Oriented Primary Care, Human Rights Promotion (Liberation Medicine), Volunteerism and a Democratic approach to the project''s administration. Such projects provide interested individuals with the means of putting their volunteer spirit and ideas directly into action.
DGH believes in accompaniment and community empowerment. We only work in areas where we have been invited and welcomed by the communities. We also believe in participatory investigation, which we define as investigating with the communities what their health needs are and then working with them to help meet those needs. These strongly held beliefs have to led to a variety of projects, illustrating that "health" encompasses a lot more than the absence of disease and the availability of medical treatment.
For example, in El Salvador DGH helps provide primary health care services through clinics and a network of local Salvadoran health promoters in Morazan. For many rural Salvadorans these services are the sole access to health care services. Using training and support from DGH volunteers, the health promoters extend critically needed basic health care to thousands of people each year. DGH has helped support several Centers for Integral Child Development (CIDIs) in El Salvador that serve more than 180 children a year. The CIDIs or kindergartens were begun as a project of preventive mental health for children. They now also help combat malnutrition by providing at least one healthy meal each day. Parents and volunteers help prepare the food and are learning recipes using soy beans as a source of protein and other micro nutrients. The children also receive classes on human rights and non-violence.
In Chiapas, Mexico, DGH is working with Hospital San Carlos in Altamirano, a small rural hospital run by the Daughters of Charity. DGH Volunteers provide medical care to a mostly indigenous population in the zone of conflict in the state of Chiapas. DGH is also running a project to support the work of Hospital San Carlos in community health through a community health promoter project. This work has been very difficult to maintain since 1994, due both to the political tensions in the area and to the lack of resources. DGH is providing financial support and volunteers to help strengthen work in the communities.
DGH also currently works in Burundi, Guatemala, Peru and Uganda.