WHAT WILL I BE DOING?
This is a fantastic small rural hospital about 1.5 hours from Mombasa, the surroundings are beautiful and the local people are exceptionally friendly. Volunteers' activities will depend on their qualifications and experience, but there is something for all healthcare devotees on this hands-on medical project.
You may find yourself working in one of many departments within this small hospital. These include the HIV clinic, which involves both in-hospital work and outreach clinics working with local communities, support groups, paediatrics, inpatients, outpatients clinic, laboratory, pharmacy and theatre. More experienced medical practitioners and students will be able to help with blood tests, malaria tests, vaccines and other activities and there is certainly a lot of scope for learning. Even pre-med volunteers can gain fantastic experience looking after patients, helping in the pharmacy and lab and observing various procedures. All volunteers can also take part in the inspiring community outreach programme and support groups.
Volunteers taking part on this project are able to make a huge difference to the morale of both staff and patients working in this rural community. By bringing their enthusiasm and energy, volunteers are able to motivate those around them while learning an incredible amount. One surgeon said "volunteers are a blessing and it lifts our spirits and enthusiasm to have them here working with us".
Volunteers are asked to remain flexible and use their initiative in order to get the most out of this placement. You may be dealing with anything from common complaints like headaches and toothache to more serious ailments such as malaria and typhoid. You may be assisting the doctors in taking vital measurements, such as blood pressure and temperature, as well as dispensing medication and assisting with nursing duties. The most common complaints of patients are tropical diseases, but many patients have the secondary complication of HIV/AIDS, which has a prevalence rate of up to 40% within the area. Part of your work will be to educate the local community, reduce the stigma associated with HIV/AIDS and provide support to those afflicted.