Health Care Assistant

Assist at local hospitals and clinics in Malawi to support the health of the local community.

About the Program

This diverse medical volunteer project has huge potential to improve the level of primary health care that is currently provided in the rural communities in Malawi. The project focusses on improving the health care through education and awareness, as well as supporting medical treatment. Volunteers with different levels of experience and knowledge can be of great importance in assisting either in community work or within resourced medical clinics.
Experience in the medical field is not a pre-requisite for this project. However, only medical professionals and medical students may be registered with Medical or Nursing Council to assist at a local rural hospital as part of their programme. The hospital placement is most relevant to medical students, wishing to gain some additional hospital experience during their programme or as part of their elective; nurses specifically wishing to spend some of their time in a hospital environment; or midwives on a maternity ward. We recommend 6 weeks minimum for qualified nurses/midwives who wish to register (due to the additional 1 week orientation involved), but nurses also find the outreach areas particularly rewarding.

Typical Tasks

Volunteer tasks will be dependent on experience, interests and the greatest need at the time. Qualified volunteers can split their time between these various tasks, or specialize in one area of interest & experience. Please communicate your interests & experience to our project leaders in advance of your arrival to create a personalized schedule for your volunteer stay. Volunteers will always be under the supervision of local professionals and have 24-hour support from their project leader. Below are various areas where volunteers’ help will be needed:

Home-Based Care
Based on a government curriculum and supported by our experienced translators, volunteers will plan and run training sessions to groups of local volunteers on home-based care topics, such as HIV/AIDS and malaria prevention, personal hygiene, drug administration, recording information, basic first aid, wound care, bed bathing, infection prevention, sexual health awareness, nutrition and digestion, TB and rehabilitation. Furthermore, you will carry out home visits to chronically ill patients. These visits are a valuable part of the training for the local volunteers to become home-based care providers.

Wound Care
Volunteers will be involved in cleaning wounds, basic dressing and bandaging, and referring patients to hospital for more serious wounds, or if further treatment or antibiotics are required. This is of great importance in areas where wounds would otherwise go unattended, often resulting in serious infection

HIV/AIDS Awareness
Help create and increase the awareness and understanding of HIV/AIDS, in order to educate local communities about prevention and treatment. Volunteers will also 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. Furthermore, volunteers will help encourage and assist with drama workshops and presentations by those living with HIV/AIDS to the communities in surrounding villages

Rural Community Hospital
This part of the project work is suited for volunteers with previous medical experience, medical professionals, or medical students, as the centre provides primary medical care and treatment. The centre we work in has several departments in which volunteers with relevant experience can assist, including outpatients, a female ward, a male ward, a maternity ward, a nutrition unit, a laboratory, a pharmacy, and basic dental treatment.

Qualified volunteers will assist the local nurses and doctors in their daily duties. This may include midwifery, ward rounds, cleaning and dressing wounds, minor medical procedures, etc. Certain lab technician experience is also available. This may include carrying out vital tests, such as haemoglobin, malaria, syphilis, and pregnancy. Less experienced medical students will have the opportunity to shadow local nurses or doctors and assist with more administrative duties, but will gain a valuable insight into medical care and treatment of tropical and infectious diseases in a developing country.

Malaria Prevention and Awareness
This part of the project includes assisting with malaria prevention techniques, providing education and creating awareness to help minimize the incidence rate. Furthermore, you will be conducting valuable malaria data collection and distribute mosquito nets and spray to the local homes. Unfortunately, this initiative comes with high material costs. This means that this part of the project is not ongoing and involvement is occasional, as it is dependent on available funding. If you would like to raise funds or make a donation to this specific program, it will be gratefully received.

Nurseries for Orphan & Vulnerable Children
This part of the project takes place in the mornings and is suitable for volunteers with little medical experience, or anyone with an interest in pre-school education and child care. Volunteers can get involved with pre-school teaching to prepare the children for their education ahead. Furthermore, by helping the local caregivers improve their English and teaching skills, volunteers will help promote the importance of health and nutrition, including assisting with our feeding scheme.

Project Highlights

  • Feel part of the community and experience the hospitality and culture of the friendly community
  • Assist with and gain valuable experience in the provision of primary medical care
  • Provide basic care health education to disadvantaged children and communities
  • Be part of a rewarding and sustainable project
  • Be welcomed as part of the community and help them to become more self-sufficient
  • Provide training to local volunteers, as part of a vital and sustainable community home-based care programme
  • Help create awareness of and help to reduce the incidence of epidemic diseases such as HIV/AIDS and malaria

Suitable for

Couples
Singles
Groups

Typical day

You will be involved in morning and afternoon volunteer activities 5 days per week, with Friday afternoon off to allow travel time for those going on weekend excursions. Hours vary a little between projects and season, due to temperatures etc. However, you should expect to spend between about 5-7 hours at activities each day. During your free time at lunch and evenings, you are also likely to need to spend some time planning sessions and activities to ensure they are well organised and of value.

Program Requirements

Minimum Age
18 years
Language Skills
You need to speak English (intermediate level)
Health Declaration
required
Criminal Background Check
required
Education Requirements
Healthcare, Medicine at College/University level
Required Documents
police clearance, application form, proof of travel insurance, flight details, copy of passport, CV and educational details
Other Skills
Positive attitude, medium+ level of fitness, experience working in a medical establishment OR currently studying in a medical field.
Time Commitment
Your helping hand will be required on Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday and Friday from 08:00 - 16:00

Do you have any questions concerning this volunteer opportunity in Malawi? Volunteer World directly connects you with SAVE Foundation

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Free-time activities

During free time, volunteers can relax at the volunteer house, swim in the sparkling waters of Lake Malawi, and explore the local area. Weekend trips can be organized by the project staff. Some exciting places you can visit include: Liwonde National Park-Offers a variety of wildlife and large herds of elephant, where you can enjoy the combination of a vehicle safari, walking safari, and boat safari in search of the numerous hippo in the rivers. Cape Maclear-A popular tourist village at the edge of the lake. Enjoy snorkeling, boat rides on Lake Malawi, exploring the craft stalls, and sunbathing on the beach during the day. In the evening there are a couple of lively bars to let your hair down. Zomba Plateau-Is a cool forest where you can relax, take in the great views, trek, and even go horse riding if you wish. *Although organized weekend excursions are not included in the program price, we do recommend doing a couple of these group trips during your stay. This way you will be able to see a little more and make the most of your time in Malawi.

Swimming
Concert/Music
Diving/Snorkling
Climbing
Safari/Zoo
Hiking
Sports
Riding
Yoga/Meditation

Services

What's included?
Airport pickup - Accommodation - Orientation - 3 meals a day - Transport to and from projects - 24 hour support and supervision - Donation to project - Certificate of appreciation
What's NOT included?
Visa, flights, travel insurance or vaccinations are NOT included in the program fees.

No worries, Volunteer World supports you in raising funds, checking your visa regulations and travel insurance. We also assist you in finding the cheapest flights for your journey.
Airport Pickup

You need to arrange your flights to arrive at Lilongwe Airport in Malawi prior to 2pm on the date specified. Upon arrival, you will be met by a project representative and will be transferred to the project, which is about three and a half hours drive from the airport. If you cannot find our representative, please wait at the information desk & give us a call if there is more than a 15 minute delay.

Accommodation

Volunteers will stay in a comfortable, shared house in a rural village in the Mangochi District. The volunteer house is located on the shores of the stunning Lake Malawi. The volunteer house area (and Malawi in general) is very safe; however, the house is fenced and gated for additional security and privacy. The bedrooms in the volunteer house are large shared rooms (2–4 volunteers per room), generally with single or bunk beds. Bathrooms all consist of western style flush toilets and showers.

Dorm Room Bedroom (Double)
Food & Beverages

Three meals a day are provided: Breakfast usually consists of french toast, eggs, porridge or pancakes, and tea and coffee. Lunch usually consists of sandwiches, pasta, soups, wraps, or similar; or a packed lunch can be provided if you are not returning to the house in the middle of the day. Dinner will be a hot meal prepared for you by our cook. *Please let us know of any dietary requirements in advance.

Internet Access
Limited access at the project site
Costs
4 weeks (min. stay)
$1303
5 weeks
$1525
6 weeks
$1748
7 weeks
$1970
10 weeks
$2638
12 weeks
$3082
16 weeks (max. stay)
$3972

You can volunteer at the project site in Mangochi/Malawi between 4 weeks and 16 weeks. Please note that the above shown program fees are estimated and subject to exchange rate fluctuations. SAVE Foundation will tell you your final price during your application process.
Average Fees
$287/week
Deposit (15%)
The deposit is simply to reserve your volunteer placement. Payments are handled by PayPal, our trusted global payment provider. If you don't have a PayPal account, you can also pay using a credit card.
Final Payment (85%)
Your final payment will be agreed with SAVE Foundation during the application process. Common solutions are either via bank transfer or a cash payment at the project site.

Get ready to volunteer in Malawi

Check out first

Visa Regulations
Depending on your nationality, you have to arrange your visa for Malawi. Please check the visa regulations for Malawi.
Budgeting
Generally, volunteering abroad involves certain costs. In case you need financial support, we will assist you to fundraise your volunteer program in Malawi.

What's next?

Airport
The nearest airport is Kumuzu International Airport (LLW) in Lilongwe. We assist you to find cheap flights to Malawi.
Travel Insurance
Going abroad is an adventure and it is always best to be prepared. Sudden illness or injury, cancellation or theft - a travel insurance for Malawi provides security and is a plus to have.
Vaccine Checker
If you are intending to volunteer in Malawi you should seek medical advice before starting your social journey. Check your required vaccinations for Malawi.
Packing List
Packing our bags is important to prepare your trip, but often turns into a last minute horror. Make sure you don't forget the essentials by creating a personalised packing list for your volunteer program in Malawi upfront.
Lake Malawi, Mangochi District, Malawi, Mangochi, Malawi