WHAT DOES THE PROJECT DO?
Madagascar’s socio-economic demographic is changing fast. It is clear that the healthcare industry needs to change with it and have a clear plan to address the negative effects of urbanisation and modernisation. At the same time the cost of healthcare and medical treatment is becoming increasingly expensive and is often unaffordable for the wider community, where dietary problems are widespread and the most vulnerable suffer as a consequence.
It is the young and the old who lack access to appropriate medical attention and support programmes. Even the few patients who can afford to go to hospitals find the overcrowded system only addresses the symptoms of the disease through reactive drug treatment and is unable to provide comprehensive care and advice to tackle the cause of illness within the community.
The work of this project looks to lead by example with a range of positive healthcare initiatives and outreach projects to bring about this change, including providing primary healthcare, promoting hygienic practices and encouraging active and healthy lifestyles.
WHAT WILL I BE DOING?
This is a fantastic opportunity for volunteers who are studying, recently qualified or wanting a challenging work break from medicine to come to a developing country and experience local healthcare provision in stunning Madagascar. Qualified doctors or nurses are always a major asset to healthcare departments in this under funded sector and your knowledge and experience would help immensely to build local human capacity.
Volunteers' activities will depend on their qualifications and experience as well as the availability of local staff working at the hospital at the time of your placement. With all placements we will endeavour to accommodate your own previous work experience, interests and skills while taking into account the changing needs and priorities of the healthcare organisation to which you are attached. Their priorities range from nutrition, health and fitness to general health check ups.
You may find yourself working, assisting or observing in various departments within the hospital. This could include helping with the education and training of wellness officers, health and disease screening, raising health and nutrition awareness through talks and presentations or taking part in local community outreach services. Volunteers are asked to remain flexible and use their initiative in order to get the most out of this placement.
You may have the opportunity to integrate within the wider community by providing mobile care and teaching and training at local schools and villages. This aspect of the work would focus on nutrition and health awareness. However, please be aware that this aspect of your work cannot be guaranteed and is dependent upon the needs of the project at the time of your visit.
More experienced individuals, such as medical practitioners, qualified doctors and final year medical students, with determination, enthusiasm, aptitude and the right inclination may be able to assist the doctors and nurses at the clinic in their duties and gain hands-on experience of administering healthcare to the Malagasy people.
Medical placement working hours can vary immensely. This can include making outreach calls and providing surgeries in the evenings and on weekends. The key to your success will depend on how much you are willing to contribute and how hard you are able to work. With an open mind and flexible attitude you will enjoy an experience to remember, make friends for life and gain valuable work experience on important health related programmes.