WHAT DOES THE PROJECT DO?
Major health problems in Senegal include measles and meningitis along with such water-related diseases as malaria, trypanosomiasis, onchocerciasis, and schistosomiasis. Malnutrition is common in many children below the age of five, as is goitre. Infant and maternal mortality rates are both high, with infant mortality at almost 60 per 1,000 live births. Life expectancy for the Senegalese population is currently only 57 years.
With 54% of people living below the poverty line this project provides an essential healthcare service to those who would otherwise be unable to receive treatment for even the most minor complaints.
WHAT WILL I BE DOING?
During your first two days we will give you local orientation showing you how to find internet cafes, cash machines and use the local transport before starting your placement.
The project is best suited to medical students and healthcare practitioners, as the work will involve carrying out medical duties within the hospital or clinic where you are based. Your internship will give you invaluable preparation for a career in medicine. The placement will allow you to observe medical practices and give you the opportunity to take part in the day to day delivery of medical services within a hospital or clinic. Those with determination, enthusiasm, aptitude and the right inclination may be able to assist the doctors and nurses in their duties and gain hands on experience of administering healthcare to the Senegalese people.
Your work may consist of basic healthcare activities such as making beds, observing procedures, shadowing medical staff, taking histories, administering prescriptions, diagnosing ailments and assisting medical staff. However, please note that your level of involvement will depend upon your own previous experience and qualifications as well as the needs of the hospital/clinic at the time of your visit. It is therefore important to remain flexible. Volunteers with little experience could be given the opportunity to get involved with various community outreach programmes such as medical camps, health education, community visits and other relevant activities or shadowing the in-house nurse at a local orphanage.