As the majority of Malawi’s population lives in rural areas, access to health care facilities is difficult and expensive as half of Malawi’s population lives below the poverty line. Malawi faces constant food uncertainty, high levels of malnutrition leading to a high infant mortality rate. Furthermore, Malawi is one of the countries most affected by HIV/AIDS and malaria. This Medical Volunteer Project aims to address some of the above mentioned issues at a local level through education, awareness and improved access to primary and palliative health care
Volunteer tasks will be dependent on experience, interests and the greatest need at the time. Below are various areas where volunteers’ help will be needed.
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.
Volunteers will be involved in cleaning wounds, basic dressing and bandaging 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.
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 counselling 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 minimise 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 carers improve their English and teaching skills, volunteers will help promote the importance of health and nutrition, including assisting with our feeding scheme.