What will I do at my Public Health placement in Belize?
On this Public Health internship, there’s plenty of opportunity for practical work and learning. Here are some of the tasks you’ll help with:
- Assist with basic health checks for people in local communities
- Raise awareness around key healthcare issues affecting the community
- Shadow nurses at a private clinic
- Attend medical workshops to learn skills necessary for mobile clinics
- Promote nutrition for school children by building greenhouses and planting vegetable gardens
Your work will focus on the following areas:
Health checks at mobile clinics
A big part of your project work is going out into communities and running mobile clinics. You’ll work alongside a local nurse, and check blood pressure, blood sugar, and weight. Nurses can then use this data to make referrals or recommend lifestyle changes that could prevent illness.
When you get back to the office after a busy day at the mobile clinic, you’ll input this data into our Global Impact Database. We use this to monitor patients’ progress and give them continued support over time. Many community members return to mobile clinics regularly to monitor and stay on top of their health.
Healthy lifestyle awareness campaigns
You’ll also help with healthcare awareness campaigns in schools and local communities. Conduct research and create eye-catching posters about common healthcare problems in San Pedro. Then go to local communities and give talks or lead workshops to get students thinking about health. Awareness campaigns are an important part of preventing illness and creating a community of healthier individuals.
We occasionally organise larger health fairs where you can develop your project management skills.
Shadow nurses in a private clinic
Spend some of your time shadowing nurses at private clinics. You’ll get the chance to see a different side of healthcare in Belize. When combined with the outreach work you do, this will give you a broad idea of how medicine is practised in a developing country.
Learn the skills required for the mobile clinics and awareness campaigns during regular workshops. You’ll learn about different diseases and assessment techniques.
Build green houses and vegetable gardens
Nutrition plays a big part in overall health. That’s why you’ll be involved in improving access to healthy foods by building greenhouses or planting vegetable gardens. This is particularly important in Belize, a country that struggles with illnesses like diabetes and heart disease.
Where in Belize will I work?
This internship is based in San Pedro, a town on Ambergris Caye, the largest island off the coast of Belize. The town is home to over 15,000 people. As you make your way around San Pedro, you’ll see locals whizzing past on golf carts and bikes, the most common forms of transport.
You’ll be conducting health checks in local communities. This is where most of your work will take place. You’ll also conduct awareness campaigns in local schools and shadow nurses at a small healthcare clinic. It’s a great way to gain public health work experience while in Belize.
San Pedro has beautiful beaches, giving you the chance to experience authentic island life. But the communities where you work will be less developed than you’re used to. They’ll typically have muddy terrain and the people don’t have regular access to healthcare facilities. This makes your role as a Public Health intern particularly important.
We set out the aims and objectives of our projects in documents called Management Plans. We use them to properly plan the work you’ll do. They also help us measure and evaluate our achievements and impact each year.
Ultimately, our Management Plans help us make our projects better. This in turn means you get to be part of something that makes a real impact where it’s needed. Read more about our Management Plans.
Measuring our impact
Our projects work towards clear long-term goals, with specific annual objectives. Every volunteer and intern we send to these projects helps us work towards these goals, no matter how long they spend on our projects.
Every year we take a step back and look at how much progress we've made towards these goals. We put together a Global Impact Report, which documents our achievements. Find out more about the impact our global community of volunteers, interns and staff make, and read the latest report.
Leisure activities and free time
Belize is a beautiful tropical country bordered by the clear, blue Caribbean Sea. There are plenty of ways to spend your free time here, whether you’re a beach lover, a culture buff, or an adventure seeker.
During your free time, you can go snorkelling along the colourful Belize Barrier Reef. For a more relaxed atmosphere, you can spend time on one of the white-sand beaches, sipping freshly squeezed papaya juice in the warm sun.
There are also plenty of cultural activities, so you can get a glimpse into the history and heritage of the country. You can visit Mayan ruins or spend the day wandering through an art gallery or museum.
During your trip, you’ll be surrounded by volunteers from around the world. So you can choose to explore independently or with volunteers from our different projects in Belize.
Safety and staff support
Your safety and security is our prime concern. We have many procedures and systems to ensure you have the support you need to enjoy your trip with peace of mind. Our Projects Abroad staff are available 24 hours a day to help, and will be on-hand to make sure you settle in well at your accommodation and placement. If you encounter any problems, they will be available to help at any time.
Find out more about safety and backup.
Meet the team in Belize
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