- Assist in under resourced local clinics, supporting doctors and nurses in their work
- Visit ill patients in their rural village homes, assessing their condition and administering basic treatments to help them in their road to recovery
- Help organize HIV/AIDS education classes, workshops and support groups
- Be part of highly successful nutrition and physiotherapy programs
- Spend your free time spotting elephants, lions or rhinos on safari in the African bush or join in on some of the many optional sightseeing tours this area has to offer
- Live in the home of South Africa’s largest population of hippos and crocodiles! St Lucia is a bustling tropical tourist town, only a short walk away from the beautiful and warm Indian Ocean, long stretches of beaches and surrounded by nature
Working at the remote rural clinics will give you a chance to learn about the healthcare system in South Africa and gain valuable work experience abroad as you support local nurses and doctors with triage (which includes taking patients’ blood pressure, temperature, weight and other measurements). Extremely under resourced and overcrowded, this frees up time for nursing staff to help in the procedure rooms. This program also provides a great way to get to know some of the local people through interacting with patients, making them feel comfortable and at ease and is extremely rewarding knowing you have had an important role in their recovery.
VISITS TO PATIENTS’ HOMES
As part of our home-based care initiative, you’ll go out into the rural villages with our staff and visit patients, some of whom are critically ill, in their homes to assess their health, administer basic treatment, give healthcare advice and refer them for a clinic visit if need be. These visits can be a real eye-opener and also very sensitive in nature as you will work in some extremely impoverished and rural areas.
You may also help with delivering donations such as food and blankets to sick and ailing patients in need and these home visits are something patients look forward to, as it is quite often the only healthcare support they receive.’
NUTRITION AND PHYSIOTHERAPY
One of the most successful programs volunteers have been a part of is our Nutrition and Physiotherapy treatment plans. With many villagers financially and physically unable to find healthy sources of nutrients, access to water limited and many often recovering from previous illnesses, accidents or on-going medical issues, our home-based programs aim to provide a service which is otherwise unavailable in the local area. You will visit our patients to record and report their progress, monitor weight gain and BMI and deliver nutritional food supplements, while also working with individuals to improve their conditions through structured physiotherapy exercises.
HIV EDUCATION AND AWARENESS
During your time on this project, you’ll have plenty of opportunity to organize medical campaigns and workshops. One of our regular workshops is on Adult HIV Education. This is an interactive program where you’ll be able to engage with local people and, working alongside a Zulu coordinator, assist in delivering key educational sessions.
Further to these educational classes, you will also play a very active role in facilitating HIV/AIDS Support Groups for sufferers, discussing topics such as healthy living, prevention, living with the virus and even touch on topics such as future income generation for the family, sustainable food sources and support the support group members in their interests and what they would like to learn about.