Malawi – Medical and Health Care Support

Please Note: This program is temporarily unavailable. Check out our alternative programs in Africa or schedule a one-on-one call with one of our expert volunteer advisors.


Offer your medical expertise to some of the poorest communities in Malawi by becoming involved as a medical volunteer. Learn more about the health crisis in this African nation and make an impact as you serve and educate the community.

Program Highlights:

  • Assist in implementing programs aimed to educate locals on disease, hygiene, nutrition and HIV/AIDS awareness
  • Qualified volunteers can carry out tasks such as assisting in male and female wards, providing wound care and carrying out vital tests
  • Gain experience in treating people with TB, HIV/AIDS and other infectious diseases prevalent in Africa
  • Provide care for patients that are living below the poverty line
  • Have the weekends to travel to other parts of Malawi and enjoy its quiet beauty


Your Schedule at a Glance (Minimum four-week commitment):

Arrival Day, Monday: Arrive at Lilongwe International Airport (LLW). You will be picked up at the airport and taken to your new home in a rural village within the Mangochi District. Spend some time resting and getting used to your surroundings.

Day 1, Tuesday: Today you will receive a comprehensive orientation aboutMalawian culture, the project and its expectations. Afterwards you will have a tour of the village and a nearby town to familiarize yourself with the area and do any last-minute shopping at the markets.

Days 2-4, Wednesday-Friday: Volunteering will begin today. Tasks vary depending on your placement, but generally follow a routine of volunteering in the mornings and then again in the afternoons (Friday afternoons are free).

Days 5-6, Saturday-Sunday: Weekends are free for you to rest and take excursions. Go snorkelling and scuba diving in the nearby village of Cape Maclear or enjoy a safari at Liwonde National Park.

Remaining Weeks: The remaining weeks will follow a similar schedule of volunteering Monday-Friday and having Saturday-Sunday off. Use your weekends to relax by Lake Malawi or check out the craft stalls for some souvenirs to take back home. Departures are on Monday.


Location icon Location of the Project: Mangochi District, Malawi

Project length Project length: Min 4 weeks – Max 12 weeks

Arrival Airport Arrival Airport: Lilongwe International Airport (LLW)

Volunteer Work Volunteer Work:  Medical aid, wound care, health care education

Age Age:  18 – 60

Number of Volunteers Number of Volunteers: Up to 12 international volunteers

Important Note Important Note: For rural hospital placements, a licensing fee is required to be paid locally and the cost is dependent on volunteer’s qualifications. The fee can be between $200 – $450 USD.


What’s Included

Accommodations Accommodations: Shared room in a volunteer house

Food Food: Three meals per day are included

Airport Transfers Airport Transfers:  Airports transfers are provided on both arrival and departure days

Orientation Orientation: One-day comprehensive orientation including local culture and greetings, health and safety, money and transportation, and a tour of the local town and market.

Support Support: Comprehensive and professional pre-departure travel guidance, 24/7 GoEco emergency hotline, experienced local field team.


What’s not Included

Flights, entry visa ( $75 cash), travel health insurance, vaccinations, personal expenses

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:

Home-Based Care
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.

Wound Care
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.

HIV/AIDS Awareness
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.

  • Provide support and counseling through community groups for those living with HIV/AIDS. This may also include nutritional advice and information about other related diseases.
  • Encourage and help with drama workshops and presentations created by those living with HIV/AIDS. These productions will then be performed to audiences in the surrounding villages in order to aid with understanding and education regarding the disease.


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:

  • Assist with malaria prevention techniques, education and awareness to help minimize occurrence.
  • Conduct valuable malaria project data collection and organization at various stages of the project.
  • Distribute mosquito nets and spray homes.


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.

  • Get involved with pre-school teaching to prepare the children for school.
  • Promote the importance of health and nutrition, including assisting with our feeding scheme.
  • Help the local volunteers improve their English and teaching skills.

Internet icon 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 icon Laundry: Laundry facilities are not available, but on site staff are happy to do your laundry for a small fee per bundle.

Accommodations icon 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 icon 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:

  • Minimum age of 18
  • Good command of English
  • Police clearance
  • Physical fitness
  • Motivation to work with children
  • CV/Resume
  • Volunteers interested in working at the Rural Hospital will need to provide documentation ( Including: a letter of reference, proof of registration with the medical council in your country of residence or proof of registration at your place of study) and must be either a medical student or professional nurse (for a minimum duration of eight weeks) or doctor (for a minimum duraiton of six weeks). Nursing students do not qualify for this placement.
  • Volunteers interested in working at the Rural Hospital will also need to pay a licensing fee that is required to be paid locally and the cost is dependent on volunteer’s qualifications. The fee can be between $200 – $450 USD.
  • Immunizations (please consult your local travel clinic)

Project Orientation (Included):
The day after your arrival at the project site, you will receive a comprehensive orientation, including:

  • An introduction to Malawian culture
  • Basic local greetings
  • Your health and safety whilst in Malawi
  • An introduction to some of the project staff
  • Money and transportation in Malawi
  • An introduction and background to the teaching project
  • Workplace ethics
  • Weekend excursions and free time

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:

  • The nearby village of Cape Maclear has a number of small tourist lodges, offering great snorkeling, kayaking, scuba diving and craft stalls.
  • Liwonde National Park is a popular safari destination and offer game viewing drives, boat rides on the Shire River, and walking tours.
  • Zomba Plateau is a good place for walking and enjoying the views, relaxing in the cooler climate, or horseback riding.
  • Other highlights that are a bit further away, which you may like to see in your free time, are some of the other impressive National Parks, Salima or the Mulanje Massif. Alternatively, you may wish to just relax by Lake Malawi.

Volunteer Experiences

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