We need professional volunteers at local healthcare facilities where they volunteer their clinical skills caring for a group of patients.
So what exactly is medical volunteering?
It takes truly committed people to this abroad! With medical volunteering, you will be volunteering to work with patients or in a healthcare specific area on a voluntary basis. Unlike other types of volunteering, medical volunteering is a difficult, challenging and profound area. Medical volunteers will witness and experience things other volunteers never will or what they never would have at home. This can be a huge challenge as often times volunteers experience situations that can leave them feeling sad, shocked or confused. But for the most part volunteers are often left amazed at the resilience of their patients and at the skill and dedication of their new colleagues. It truly is a hugely moving experience and one most Medi Trippers never forget.
Many Medi Trippers will not have ever visited Africa, much less Tanzania and often don’t really know what to expect. At Medi Trip, we try not to build any particular expectations as every Medi Tripper’s experience and perception is very unique and individual, however none are let down or left anything less than amazed by Tanzania. Tanzanian’s uphold a strong reputation of being incredibly gracious, kind and warm people. You will often find yourself involved in an extended greeting or a long conversation of someone getting to know you or just simply finding out how you are and it is considered very rude not to greet people appropriately. Don’t be shy and enjoy the warm welcomes you will be greeted with walking down the street, socializing or at work!
Hospitals in Tanzania are unlike those back home. Many times you will come across patients sharing beds, hospitals unable to provide food for patients, adequate medication or enough staff to deal with all the cases. There will be times when you are shocked by the conditions you see people have to endure to recieve what we might view as sub par care or basic care. Remember, that the country is poor, with limited funding and very few resources therefore they suffer from a high mortality rate and frequent outbreaks of disease. You will see a lot of suffering and you must have the ability to maintain your professionalism and remain strong minded and compassionate.
Depending on your area of interest and your skills, you will be matched with an appropriate clinical area/hospital. The learning opportunities are bountiful as long as you stay focused and flexible in your approached.
Although most Tanzanian's speak and understand basic English, language may be a barrier when communicating with your medical colleagues and your patients. It is important to remain open and confident while working as at times you may feel isolated and lost. Remember that you will always have your supervisor at hand to assist you and help guide you along the way. Many people find once they get to know their colleagues and get into the flow of things, this isn't much of an issue, however this is another challenge that you will have to be prepared to overcome.
Medi Trip Placements
At Medi Trip we are distinguished in being able to use our healthcare experience and expertise to pick the most suitable settings for our professional volunteers to experience. When you volunteer with Medi Trip, your volunteer placement would have been chosen specifically to suit your area of interest. Each of our placements are carefully assessed and selected for suitability to our professional volunteers, as well as how much contribution goes into the local health and social welfare. When you volunteer with Medi Trip,you will be placed in one of the following health care facilities:
1) Mount Meru Regional Hospital
This is Arusha City's main referral hospital.It is located within Arusha City Council and serves all 7 districts of Arusha City. There are more than 500 workers working in multidisciplinary teams.
2) St Elizabeth Hospital
It operates in partnership between the government and Catholic Church. It is located within the city council and serves the people of this district. It has at least 250 workers.
3) Levolosi Health Centre
One of the busiest and most popular health center in the city. This facility serves almost half the city population and is regarded as the district hospital because of the population it serves. It has approximately 100 workers.Regarded as the best health centre for health scholars or young professionals. Levolosi has a strong reputation for obstretics and gynaecology. It neighbours St.Elizabeth Hospital.
4) Kaloleni Health Centre
It is also popular health center in the city. This facility was set up to serve as an outpatient department for Mt.Meru hospital in 1980s,because of this it serves large part of the city population. It has approximately 90 staff. One of the best health centres for health scholars or young professionals.
5) Ngarenaro Health Centre
Most popular health centre for paediatric vaccinations, antenatal care, labor and delivery and postnatal care services. The staff here vaccinate more than 500 children (0-5 years) and care for more than 150 pregnant women per day. They deliver more than 600 babies per month. It has 120workers.The best health centre for Gynaecologists and midwifery.
Tanzania belongs to the East African community, neighboured by Kenya, Burundi, Uganda, Rwanada, Democratic Republic of Congo, Malawi and Mozambique. Arusha is in northern Tanznia; a very unique and vibrant city at the base of Mount Meru, about an hour away from the tallest mountain in Africa Mount Kilimanjaro. The city is surrounded by natural beauty being in close proximity to several national parks including Tarangire, Ngorongoro, Serengeti, Lake Manyara, Olduvai and Arusha National Parks.
Interestingly, Arusha hosted the international criminal tribunal for Rwanada and sits as the de facto East African Community capital. Despite being in a conservative and religious country, Arusha is regarded as more liberal and very open to foreigners. Perhaps due to it's historical significance in the 1961 Arusha Declaration, which gave independence to modern Tanzania from the British Commonwealth. The city is very much a melting pot, multicultural and populated by people from all different backgrounds. The main language spoken is Swahili and a visitor would do well by learning a few of the many greetings.
Where will you stay?
We have local partners who will provide safe, clean and comfortable accommodation. You will be accommodated on a sprawling gated estate in one of Arusha's prime locations. This will be a quiet and friendly neighbourhood only 15 minutes from the main hustle and bustle of town. You will have 24 hour gated security, a domestic/cook (who will happily do your laundry for a small fee) and a coordinator who will ensure you settle in quickly and comfortably into your new town. These are shared houses where you will be staying with other volunteers from across the world, so you will never be on your own in your new environment. The homes are impeccably clean, well kept, modern and spacious.
There is a cheap internet café in town, but there are many cafes and restaurants that provide free wifi!
How will you get around?
You have the choice of local taxi’s (we have contacts of affordable, trusted drivers) who can chauffer you around town or you can use the famous ‘dala dala’ mini buses that most Tanzanian’s use to travel locally everyday. Some people adapt very fast and choose to walk around, it is safe to do so however like with any new environment we strongly advise you to be aware of pick pockets and thieves. Always be safe and ask your coordinator before going anywhere new to you.
Please be aware that volunteers are required to make arrangements for their visa to visit Tanzania. New laws require all foreign visitors entering Tanzania for the purposes of volunteering to declare this at the point of entry and obtain a "business visa" at the price of $250 USD.
Your typical day will usually begin very early, receiving a general and bedside handover of your patients. You will then be given supervised charge of a group of patients/patient list for the day and either observe or assist in managing the care and needs of those patients for the day. You day can be either very hectic and extremely challenging or slow and very quiet. You will need to be motivated, resilient and work well in a team in order to get the best out of your experience.
What will your schedule look like?
09:00 Report to placement
12:00-13:00 Lunch Break
15:00 Placement ends
The rest of the day will be yours to relax and enjoy what the town has to offer you!
Medi Trip Adventures provide a unique opportunity for our special volunteers to experience more of Africa's beauty. Take a scenic weekend walking tour of the lush rolling foothills of Mt Meru or a breathtaking day trips to some the world's most admired national reserves. Arusha is packed with opportunity to experience unique and unforgettable outdoor adventures.
What else can you get up to in Tanzania?
There are endless possibilities. Most volunteers rave about climbing Kilimanjaro. This usually takes about a week, so ensure you organise this with us before you arrive.
An oasis in the middle of a barren landscape. The hot springs are truly magnificent. This can be organised as a day trip at any time.
Another hot favourite. Hiking across lush vegetation to the spectacular waterfalls.
Ah yes, what Tanzania is world famous for. Safari is once in a lifetime adventure that is unique to the Africa experience. Unforgettable and jaw dropping landscapes is what is promised. This will need you to sacrifice some days, so please ensure you organise this long in advance.
Tanzanian’s are famous in East Africa for their partying. They really do know how to have a good time. Their DJ’s and musicians are some of the best in Africa and there are many bars, clubs and restaurants popular amongst tourists and volunteers where you can let your hair down and socialise with locals and people from across the world.
We can transfer you to the airport on your departure date for $75. Please mention this in your application
PICK UP POINTS:
Arusha Bus station
Our volunteers stay in great B&B's close to town, top rated on trip advisor and popular amongst tourists. We make regular visits and inspections of the accommodations to ensure they remain suitable for our Medi Trippers.
Breakfast and dinner. During orientation you will be shown tasty and affordable places to get lunch during your work day. You will have a good variety of local and western food places.