Namibia Medical Volunteer
Why choose this project?
Join the team caring for marginalised and poverty-stricken communities. Work in the clinic and provide outreach services in rural villages and farms. You will provide hands-on support at this remote clinic and dispensary in Eastern Namibia and work closely with patients from the local San community. Learn about their way of life and the diseases which affect them.
The marginalised San Bushman community is one of the oldest cultures in the world, who now live in extreme poverty - many trying to survive on USD$0.60 per day. Medical volunteers are always needed to support the resident Doctor and Nurses and contribute to outreach clinics in local schools and villages. Volunteers may also get involved with training Community Health Workers to learn new first aid skills and healthcare techniques for them to impart to their communities.
You will be a key member of the team providing care to the local community and, depending on your experience and background, can expect to undertake basic clinical skills, history taking and patient examinations as well as obstetrics, family planning and counselling, all with the support of local translators.
What sort of things will I be doing?
Depending on your medical skills and experience your daily duties may include:
The clinic is a free medical centre open five days a week catering for the rural communities in eastern Namibia. There are approximately 7,000 patients registered at the clinic of which 5,500 are San.
Student medical volunteers will receive training on basic clinical skills, history taking and patient examinations. Trained and professional volunteers will run consultations with patients and assist during outreach work, all with the support of local translators.
Your daily duties may include:
Primary healthcare - observations, patient reassurance, treatments and emergency referrals
Observations, pregnancy tests and urine testing plus recording results
Weighing babies and recording growth charts
Blood pressure and glucose testing and recording
Working in the pharmacy with stock control, inventory and ordering
Record keeping, budgeting and data capture
Family planning and substance abuse counselling
Only 20% of patients come from the main town so many patients have a difficult journey to see the doctor. For many with children or mobility problems, the up to 100km journey is just not possible.
Join doctors on monthly outreach clinics to six locations
Provide accessible medical care
Provide medical care via outreach clinics to rural schools where you will treat chest infections, diarrhoea, scalp infections and sometimes TB
Give nutritional supplements and vitamins to young children
Depending on the length of your volunteer programme, volunteers may be encouraged to undertake a research assignment to assist the clinics long term planning. Examples of current projects include:
- TB research
- Bushman Co-operative
- Community Health worker Programme
- Studying poverty-related healthcare problems
Interested in this; ready to enquire?
Find out more by filling out the form below and clicking send. Conservation Travel Africa should then be in touch
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More information about this gap year opportunity...
- Work alongside the permanent team and learn about the common diseases affecting the local population
- An opportunity to work on your own initiative and develop new clinical skills
- Make a real difference to the lives of the San Bushman as you provide medical assistance to those most in need
- A real hands-on medical volunteer programme where you can see first-hand the impact you are having
- Students: receive training on basic clinical skills and examinations
- Professional volunteers: run consultations and assist with outreach work
- Opportunities for personal research to benefit the clinic and patients
- Assist with daily duties such as primary healthcare, observations, tending to wounds and in the pharmacy
- Help with family planning and substance abuse counselling
- Work with the nurse in the local community carrying out basic procedures
- Help with community feeding programmes
- Programme fee - financing which goes back into the programme your are involved with; this includes funding for equipment, supplies, vehicles and foodstuffs etc
- Transfers from Windhoek Hosea Kutako Airport the clinic on alternate Sundays, returning on alternate Fridays
- Accommodation at the clinic (includes towels and bedding)
- Three meals per day
- Full 24 hour support and training from your programme co-ordinators during your stay
- All programme-related transport and equipment required to do your work
Do I need experience?
The project welcomes volunteers from a wide range of backgrounds:
- Healthcare professionals: doctors, nurses and allied health professionals e.g. pharmacists, physiotherapists, optometrists, occupational therapists and paramedics.
- Other professionals: e.g. gardeners, engineers, plumbers, architects, painters and decorators, joiners, teachers, statisticians and data analysts.
- Students: e.g. medical and nursing students, as well as those who are thinking of applying for a healthcare professional career.
Although it is true to say that ‘the more experience you have, the better’ — what is more important than your qualifications and experience is your attitude and approach to life. We are looking for volunteers who are self-motivated; flexible; able to work both independently and in a team; patient, kind and considerate; able to cope with setbacks; and of course have sense of humour!
How old do I need to be?
Volunteers must be at least 18 years old.
Do I need a visa
All volunteers in Namibia need to get a work visa before departure. We can arrange this for you.
What will the weather be like?
During the Namibian summer (October - March) temperatures average 30°c and often go to over 40°c. A light waterproof jacket is essential for sudden downpours! Average lows are around 17-20°c.
During winter (April - August) daytime temperatures average 25-27°c with no rainfall at all. Temperatures during the night and in the mornings and evenings regularly go below 0°c and volunteers are advised to bring lots of layers including fleeces and a warm hat with a wide-brimmed hat or cap and loose light clothing for daytime.
When can I arrive?
Volunteers will be transferred to the clinic on alternate Sundays (please enquire for start dates).
Conservation Travel Africa was established to help restore Africa’s wilderness areas, working with existing organisations and conservationists to achieve long term goals through conservation, education and wildlife research. These projects need volunteers to support their work and we pride ourselves on providing meaningful and responsible volunteer programmes which are beneficial, necessary and, most of all, fun!
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