Doctors for Global Health

About Doctors for Global Health

DGH Mission Statement:
"To improve health and foster other human rights with those most in need by accompanying communities, while educating and inspiring others to action."

Doctors for Global Health (DGH) is a private, not-for-profit organization promoting health, education, art and other human rights throughout the world. Our principles of action outline the basics of our organization's values. Read more about our history.

DGH is comprised of hundreds of health professionals, students, educators, artists, attorneys, engineers, retirees and others. Together we build long-term relationships between people and communities around the world to find effective solutions to social justice issues.

Though many of us are health professionals, our solutions extend far beyond the medical. We volunteer our time and expertise in communities that invite us to join them. We fund and support local projects that build on the energy, creativity and passion of local leaders. We educate and advocate for domestic and foreign policies that promote justice and peace. We accompany communities in fulfilling health and other human rights.

Since its inception, DGH has accompanied communities in Argentina, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, Mexico, Nicaragua, Peru, Uganda and the United States. We are improving the health and well-being of these communities by increasing access to quality health care; developing educational opportunities and avenues for artistic expression; and raising awareness of health and other human rights.

Every community we accompany has unique strengths and needs, but they all share a common thread: the health inequities they face are symptoms of larger social, economic and political injustices. Malnutrition, poverty, preventable death and violence all violate basic human rights. As global citizens, we must name and challenge these injustices.

What does community accompaniment mean?

Amplifying voices, responding to invitations, sharing risk and responsibility--in short, accompaniment means being there; working side by side with our fellow human beings to create conditions that demand and facilitate social justice in the understanding that the same chains bind us all, even if some have had more opportunities and easier lives. As Dr. Jack Geiger put it in his keynote speech at the 2002 DGH General Assembly: "What we are really saying to the people we work with is that their lives are as worthy as our own; that their lives are as worthy of life as everyone else's; that all life is equally valuable. And what we, by our presence and our work, demonstrate is a commitment to the idea of equity, not as an abstraction, but as something that has to do immediately and directly with the lives of the people we work with."

Why do we work in some communities and not others?

As part of DGH's strong belief in community empowerment, we only work in communities where we have been invited. However, we have not been able to respond to all the invitations we have received from communities around the world because our resources are limited. The DGH Board has the difficult task of deciding where our resources can do the most good.

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