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Landlocked between the East African countries of Tanzania, Zambia and Mozambique lies the home of Africa’s warmest people; Malawi. Malawi is a country filled with national parks and game reserves, lush highlands and tropical forests split by the Great Rift Valley and the clear waters of its main attraction – Lake Malawi.
This project is made up of a number of community outreach, health care and medical projects. Placement will depend on your experience, interests and the primary need at the time.
Opportunities may include:
Following a government-sponsored program, and with the help of experienced translators, you will plan and present training sessions to groups of local volunteers on home-based care subjects for the purpose of capacity building. Past topics include HIV/AIDS and malaria prevention, personal hygiene, drug administration, recording information, first aid, wound care, bed bathing, infection prevention, sexual health awareness, nutrition and digestion, TB and recovery.
On this project you may also visit the homes of chronically ill patients. This forms an essential part of the training for local volunteers, helping them become home-based care providers.
This placement requires volunteers to clean wounds and aid in basic dressing and bandaging, as well as making recommendations for hospital transfers for more serious injuries, or if further action or antibiotics are needed. This is vitally important in areas where wounds would otherwise go unattended, often ending in serious infections.
Education and awareness is integral in the management of one of the greatest pandemics on the African continent today. Help to increase community understanding of HIV/AIDS and lessen the stigma related to the disease, as well as educate the local population about prevention and treatment.
Rural community hospital
This work on this project is primarily suited to volunteers with previous medical experience, medical professionals, as the center provides primary medical care and treatment.
The center has a number of departments in which volunteers with relevant experience may assist, including an outpatient ward, female ward, male ward, maternity ward, nutrition unit, laboratory, pharmacy and basic dental treatment. Typically, qualified volunteers will assist the local nurses and doctors in their everyday duties. This may include midwifery, ward rounds, cleaning and dressing wounds, minor medical procedures, etc.
There is also some lab technician work available, carrying out vital tests, such as haemoglobin, malaria, syphilis and pregnancy testing. Less experienced medical students will have the opportunity to shadow local nurses or doctors and assist with more administrative duties, but will gain valuable insight into medical care and treatment of tropical and infectious diseases in an emerging country.
Please note: The minimum duration for this project is 6 weeks.
Malaria Prevention and Awareness
The high material costs of this project means that this option is not always available. If the placement is running during the time you are volunteering, work may include:
Nurseries for Abandoned Children
This project work takes place in the mornings and is for volunteers with little medical experience, or anyone with an interest in pre-school education and child-care.
Internet: Internet is available at the volunteer house on a ‘Pay As You Go’ basis. There is also internet available in Mangochi, which you can easily get to at weekends on local transport.
Laundry: Laundry facilities are not available, but on site staff are happy to do your laundry for a small fee per bundle.
Accommodations: You will stay in a comfortable, shared volunteer house in the Mangochi District. The bedrooms are large shared rooms, with single or bunk beds. Mosquito nets are provided and the rooms either have en-suite facilities, or an adjacent bathroom; all with western style flush toilets and showers.
Food: Three meals a day are provided. Breakfast is self-service and usually consists of toast or pancakes, and tea and coffee. Lunch is usually made up of sandwiches, pasta, soups or salads; or a packed lunch if you are not returning to the house in the middle of the day. A hot dinner will be prepared for you in the evenings.
Please take note of this project’s minimum requirements:
Project Orientation (Included):
The day after your arrival at the project site, you will receive a comprehensive orientation, including:
In the afternoon you will be taken on a tour of the local area and nearest town, including the local market there. This will provide you with the opportunity to buy cheaply priced local material for wrap-around skirts if you need to.
Travel Extras (Not Included):
Weekends are free and you may spend them as you wish. The project coordinators can help arrange day trips and weekend excursions including the following at an additional cost: