At this program in Missionvale Township, medical personnel or/and medical students are highly needed.
About the Program
The Missionvale Care Centre operates in the extremely poor informal shack land township of Missionvale in Port Elizabeth, South Africa - part of the wider Nelson Mandela Metropole. Sister Ethel Normoyle, founded it from humble beginnings, under a tree donated by a resident of Missionvale. It has grown into a Centre, which provides love and care for the poor and destitute, with particular emphasis on those living with HIV/AIDS.
Missionvale Care Centre is a non-profit organization committed to providing quality care and support to improve the life of the people of Missionvale through love, consultation, participation and self-development. They respond to the many needs of the people in the circumstances in which they live in a variety of ways.
Missionvale Medical is a program that focuses on the medical side of the Missionvale Care Centre. Within the care center there is a clinic and a pharmacist. Besides this, Missionvale’s medical team provides home visits and homebased care within the surrounding township.
The clinic offers a one-step facility where the people of the surrounding community can get a general check-up and additional care with possible illnesses, especially TB and HIV/AIDS related illnesses. The caregivers need help from nurses or doctors (both qualified as still studying) to offer proper care during the daily home visits into the township. There are qualified nurses working at Missionvale but not enough can be done and we call out to anybody with a medical or nursing background to come and make a difference. Previous volunteers with a medical background have been able to assist the doctor and provide much needed services. Missionvale also runs its own small pharmacy to hand out needed medication.
Due to the complexity of some illnesses and incapacity of patients to come to the Care Center, Missionvale goes out of their way to visit such patients in their own homes; homes that sometimes consist of little more than a homemade shack providing challenging living conditions for anyone living here. The Caregivers do their rounds through the township on a daily basis and provide basic medical care to those in need; changing dressings, checking blood pressure, administrating medication and other medical services.
Missionvale Medical is a program in need for volunteers who have a medical background. Fully qualified doctors, general practitioners, pediatricians, dentists, nurses but also medical students are more than welcome.
Besides volunteers, the program is always in need of medical equipment, supplies and financial donations. Some items there is always a shortage off are betadine, antibiotics, surgical gloves, cream for allergies, bandaging and gauze and all kinds of other basic medical supplies so if you have the chance to bring any; they will be put to good use.
You can be helpful in various ways and medical related activities such as seeing patients, cleaning wounds and taking blood as well as non-medical activities such as administration and helping in the pharmacy. On Thursday the focus is on medical help for women only. Help is needed in breast research, performing pap smaers and taking pregnancy tests.
You will work Monday-Thursday from about 8h00-15h00, while Friday is from 8h00-12h00 and weekends are off. Some days might start earlier or later and in summertime, due to the heat, hours can change.
The clinic opens at 8h00 and closes when the last patient leaves the clinic, however after 12h00 no new patients are accepted anymore.
Please be aware that Missionvale has huge challenges in providing continuous medical services and that your active role can help them to help more people. Some days however there is no doctor available and volunteers should expect to also be involved in other activities the center provides such as helping in the soup kitchen, clothing warehouse, school and feeding programs. This diversity however gives volunteers the great opportunity to see the bigger picture and assist with the care Missionvale provides in all its diversity.
The Eastern Cape and the surroundings of Port Elizabeth show a large variety of natural beauty and make PE a great central place to visit the variety of South Africa. To the East you will find the Wild coast (former Transkei and Ciskei) which is mostly rural and undeveloped, but closer you will find Addo Elephant Park and great coastal villages such as Port Alfred. To the North you will find the great Karoo; a semi desert area with wide open spaces, large nature areas and long open roads with historical places such as Graaff Reinet, the Baviaanskloof Wilderness and much more. To the East towards Cape Town, you will be amazed by the Tsitsikamma National Park, holiday villages such as Plettenberg Bay, Knysna and natures Valley or the surf mecca of Jeffrey’s Bay. This gives you plenty to see and visit while you are here.
During the weekends or after work there are a few beautiful places in Port Elizabeth as well that you can visit. Such as SAMREC, where you have the biggest penguin colony in the world, Sardinia bay, or catch a boat and go sandboarding on the Sunday river.
Included in the full volunteering fee: