WHAT DOES THE PROJECT DO?
Madagascar’s socio-economic demographic is changing fast and 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 by 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 hospital 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 promoting hygienic practices and encouraging active and healthy lifestyles.
WHAT WILL I BE DOING?
Volunteers' activities will depend on their qualifications and experience as well as on the availablility of local staff working at the project sites at time of 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 local community.
You may find yourself working, assisting or observing in various areas at our project sites. This could include raising health and nutrition awareness through talks and presentations or teaching practical skills, such as handwashing and basic first aid. While working at the Centre Stella Maria your work will be focused on the education and rehabilitation of young children aged between 2 and 15 who are recovering from corrective surgery for serious physical handicaps. 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.
Healthcare placement working hours can vary immensely. 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.