Namibia Medical Internship

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1. In Brief

This programme is perfect for those with an interest in the medical field or trained medical professionals who would like to take part in a challenging project at a small rural clinic in Namibia. At the remote rural clinic you will take part in hands-on clinical service while assisting the resident doctor and nurse. You will be immersed in the health and development programme while providing care to patients living in extreme poverty. You may also have the rare and exciting opportunity to work with the animals of Africa and care for them in your spare time or as part of your stay, assisting in their rehabilitation and creating a large natural habitat in which they can live.

By taking part in this programme you will be helping to improve the lives of the Bushman community by providing primary healthcare. Working in a variety of capacities, this exciting programme will challenge you and open your eyes to the reality of working as a medical professional in a developing country, as well as giving you the chance to discover this land of glorious visual spectacles.

Namibia is a land of breathtaking sunsets, a place where you will find African wildlife roaming and an African nation that has a proud and fascinating cultural heritage, preserved in the form of thriving indigenous communities imbued with the customs and traditions of their ancestors. Visit Namibia for an adventure into some of Africa's most dramatic terrains and enjoy an unforgettable project experience that will stay with you forever!

PROJECT HIGHLIGHTS

  • Visit unique & beautiful Namibia
  • Help to improve the lives of the Bushman community
  • Experience the African wilderness

PROJECT REQUIREMENTS

  • Minimum age of 18 years
  • Intermediate level if English
  • CV required

FAST FACTS

Location Namibia
Activities Assisting the doctor
Community care work
Patient consultations
Medical observation
Keeping medical records
Learning about traditional medicines
Transport Met from the airport
Accommodation Shared house

WHAT'S INCLUDED

Before you go Pre-departure support
Travel & medical advice & documentation
Equipment advice
Discounted medical kit
Free Frontier t-shirt
In-country Food
Accommodation
Ground transfers & in-transit accommodation
Local orientation
Project training
In-country emergency support
24-hour international HQ back-up

QUALIFICATIONS

A variety of qualifications are available on many of our projects. For example, BTEC certificates and diplomas on our Group conservation projects and TEFL certificates and BTECs on most of our teaching projects. You may also be able to gain a CoPE to support your university application. For more information on these qualifications, please see the qualifications section of our website or ask your volunteer advisor.

2. The project

WHAT DOES THE PROJECT DO?

  • Bushman are treated as third class citizens and live in extreme poverty
  • Adult onset diabetes, cardiovascular disease and cancer are sharply increasing in Bushman and alcoholism has become prevalent
  • Many Bushman children suffer from malnutrition, disease, discrimination and abuse

The medical outreach project was set up in 2003 to help marginalized local people and provide accessible affordable primary healthcare to those living in this remote region in the east of Namibia. The clinic is dedicated to the health and welfare of the Bushman community. The demand for a basic but comprehensive health service became apparent to medical professionals working in the area when they witnessed the tragic and unnecessary death of a child because of the failure of ambulance provision, which they attributed to the fact that the child was a Bushman. The clinic runs on the principle that invests money earned from the provision of healthcare to well off communities to support free healthcare for the Bushman. The service is a unique, deserving and valuable resource that is heavily reliant on the contribution and commitment of a dedicated volunteer force. By joining this project you will help make a difference to the lives of Africa's Bushman community and experience the harsh realities they face.

WHAT WILL I BE DOING?

This programme provides you with the unique opportunity to contribute to the medical welfare of the local community while experiencing African wilderness and the chance to work with Africa's fascinating wildlife. As part of your placement you will also undertake a research project or assignment in a subject that is of personal interest to you, which will not only aid your personal development but will be of benefit to the clinic and the people who use it, now and in the future. You will be based at the sanctuary for some of your time and you will have the unique opportunity to work with the animals for a few days. The clinic is approximately a 4 hour drive from the sanctuary and transfers are arranged for you.

You will spend the rest of your time at the clinic learning from the fulltime doctor and assisting the nurse with local community carework. You may also have the opportunity to visit the local Bushman village and undertake walks to learn about the traditional use of plants for food and medicinal purposes. This programme is ideal for prospective medical students who can expect teaching on basic clinical skills, history taking and patient examination. Trained professionals may be asked to run consultations with patients. There is also the possibility of weekly outreach projects to communities that may not be able to access the clinic in order to screen for cataracts, TB, and any other medical problems that come to light. This will represent a great opportunity for trained professionals to have a greater impact on the people who are most in need of help.

Established in 2003, the Bushman clinic brings vital primary healthcare to remote communities, presenting diverse and interesting challenges to those offering healthcare solutions. At the clinic, you will work with the full time nurse and be involved in everyday clinic duties, assist with medical needs and share the positive impact the resource has on the health of the local community. Primary healthcare is the first point of call for sick residents in the area and it's usually very busy. A decision is made as to whether patients need reassurance, treatment, observation or emergency referral to the clinic. Your daily schedule will be varied and you may carry out duties such as making and recording medical observations, keeping medical records, monitoring the progress of pregnant women, helping with wound dressings, working in the pharmacy, and even assisting with community projects such as planting and cultivating vegetable gardens to help encourage good nutrition amongst the community. You may also help carry out research projects such as looking into drivers of disease such as alcoholism in the area. This project benefits from being very hands on; you will be working at the forefront of primary health care provision in the area and as a result you will increase your own skills and confidence as you participate, as well as being challenged by the variety and intensity of the activities. In addition to working at the clinic, depending on the schedule of the other volunteers, patients and transfers, you may have the possibility of working with a variety of African animals at the sanctuary.

3. What to expect

WHAT HAPPENS WHEN I ARRIVE?

Upon arrival at Windhoek on a Thursday you will be collected by a member of the project team who will take you to the project base. On the Sunday you will transfer to the project site, where you will stay for the duration of your placement. Once there you will receive a full induction to the project. All in-country project-related travel is included in your contribution. Upon completion of your project, you should look to book your departing flight on Saturday.

WHERE WILL I BE STAYING?

While at the clinic, your accommodation will be shared with the doctor, nurse and volunteer coordinator. The accommodation is basic but clean and you will be in a room that sleep two to three people.

At the sanctuary you will stay in one of two clean, comfortable and basic volunteer houses. Rooms are single sex and sleep three people, with bedding provided. Electricity and hot water are usually available, but restrictions and interrupted supply can often occur. Mobile phone reception may be limited and only available at certain points around the camp.

WHAT WILL I BE EATING?

Three basic meals are provided for the whole part of the project and typically include meat, vegetables, pasta and rice. A vegetarian option will be available. Breakfast is self service and includes toast and cereals. Lunch varies from sandwiches, wraps and burgers. Dinner is typically a hot meal or on occasion a braai (barbeque). Vegetarian and other dietary requirements are catered for, but please advise any special dietary requirements on arrival at the project.

4. The reviews

Trip of a lifetime  | 5 Sep 2016
My experience in Namibia was one of a life time. Both the Bushman Clinic and the wildlife experie...

Read more


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5. Gallery

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6. Extras

ADDITIONAL OPPORTUNITIES

Namibia contains a wealth of activities and sights to explore either before or after your project. Travel to the Namib Desert to experience the sparse beauty of this extreme environment, and see the wild horses of Namibia. Go dunes surfing down the vast sand-scape – a truly exhilarating rush! See the Kolmanskopp ghost town, an eerie place steeped in history, or venture to Cape Cross to catch sight of the vast seal colony that resides there. Admire prehistoric rock art, or take a hot air balloon ride where you will get the chance to view Africa's big five: lion; buffalo; leopard; rhino and elephant from above, or even try a plane ride above the stunning landscapes. Adventure sports such as biking, trekking and climbing are also readily available. Your project coordinator will tell which are the most reliable and affordable of the local tour providers and you can book these direct.

7. Dates and Costs

COSTS

2 weeks $1,745

4 weeks $3,445

Extra week $895

DEPARTURE DATES

Transfer to the clinic is every other Sunday in the month. You will need to arrive on the Thursday before this day in order to transfer to the programme.

There is currently no availability until April 2017.

2017 transfer dates

15th January

29th January

12th February

26th February

12th March

26th March

9th April

23rd April

7th May

21st May

4th June

18th June

2nd July

16th July

30th July

13th August

27th August

10th September

24th September

8th October

22nd October

5th November

DURATION

4 weeks

WHAT'S INCLUDED

Before you go

  • Pre-departure support
  • Travel & medical advice & documentation
  • Equipment advice
  • Discounted medical kit
  • Free Frontier t-shirt

In-country

  • Food
  • Accommodation
  • Ground transfers & in-transit accommodation
  • Local orientation
  • Project training
  • In-country emergency support
  • 24-hour international HQ back-up

AIRPORT INFORMATION

Nearest airport(s): Windhoek (WDH)

WHAT'S NOT INCLUDED

Flights

Flights are not included in our trip costs. However, we have partnered with an experienced and professional team of travel experts to help our volunteers find the best flight deals for their trips with us. This travel specialist operates in the tailor-made, long haul multi-stop travel market, arranging complex airfares and transfers for independent travellers. They provide expertise, security and a vast product range along with a Travel Butler service which is a single point of contact and support whilst you are overseas.

We recommend that you obtain a quote using the following contact details rather than book online, as our partner will offer you the most competitive fares. To receive your quote or to seek any advice for your flights, please contact our dedicated team of travel experts on 0800 082 9994 (or +44 800 082 9994 outside the UK) or email frontier@flightcentre.co.uk .

Visas

For fast, efficient and up-to-date visa advice please contact our recommended visa consultancy partner:

Depending on your destination country and your country of origin, you might require a visa. Please see the appropriate country consular website for details or contact our affiliate visa consultancy service. Please note that your visa will usually start on the date that you enter the destination country regardless of when it was issued. Please check with the relevant embassy or high commission. If you are purchasing your visa or paying entry/exit fees in-country you will probably need to pay in US Dollars. If you have any questions please consult the relevant embassy or high commission. Please check the visa information regularly, as changes often happen without warning.

Insurance

You'll need to buy appropriate travel insurance covering your participation on the project. You won't be able to go without the right travel insurance so double check to avoid disappointment. Please make sure that you're covered for the whole duration of your trip – from the day you leave the UK to the day you return. It's also best to get your travel insurance at the same time as paying the deposit for your project. Depending on your policy, this will cover you for any unexpected cancellations.

Your insurance should include the following:

  • Medical cover, including medical emergencies and medical evacuations (up to USD$3,000,000 / GBP£2,000,000);
  • Personal liability (up to USD$1,500,000 / GBP£1,000,000);
  • Cancellation and curtailment of your trip (up to the value of your project contribution).

If you are going to be scuba diving you should get coverage for scuba diving up to 30m, including hyperbaric therapy treatment (unlimited). You should consider obtaining insurance to cover you for any additional activities which you plan to do during, before, or after your Frontier project. We recommend that you obtain cover for your baggage and personal effects.


LEGAL STATEMENT
Frontier Partner Projects and Frontier group projects are run in partnership with in-country NGOs, small community based organisations, local research institutes, academic organisations and conservation agencies. Project descriptions and information are supplied directly by our partners or field staff and are accurate at time of publishing.

We aim to keep information up to date and accurate, however, the nature of our projects and in particular the fact that they are constantly evolving and developing in response to changing needs means that project activities, travel schedules, tour itineraries and daily timetables can change overnight and without notice.

8. How to apply

To apply for this placement, click on "Apply Now" below. Fill in the short application form and one of our advisers will then call you back to answer any questions and make sure this is the perfect placement for you. Applying doesn't cost a penny and you won't pay anything until you're completely happy and you're ready to reserve your place.


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