Public Health Internships in Madagascar
- PLACEMENT LOCATION: Andasibe
- ROLE: Increase awareness of key healthcare issues affecting the rural population
- TYPES OF PLACEMENTS: Medical clinic
- ACCOMMODATION: Host families or guesthouse
- LENGTH OF PLACEMENT: From 1 week
As a Public Health volunteer, make a difference in Madagascar helping improve basic healthcare, by improving the understanding of key health issues in underprivileged communities. People living in rural villages have limited access to medical care and information. Important health issues, such as understanding the need for vaccinations, basic hygiene, and seeking medical treatment when ill, are among the important health issues that Projects Abroad volunteers build awareness around.
In rural Madagascar, families are often not able to afford healthcare, and as a result, many children do not receive necessary vaccinations. Diseases such as malaria and dengue are among many that continue to cause serious illness, and knowledge of their causes, preventions, and treatments, are not always fully understood.
By raising awareness on outreach and vaccination campaigns, you will directly improve the current and future quality of life of people who are without basic resources. Your work will therefore have a lasting impact on the communities you serve during your placement.
What responsibilities will I have as a Public Health Volunteer in Madagascar?
During your placement, you will work alongside local medical staff who have many years of experience working in healthcare in Madagascar. You will be trained at a clinic equipped with a maternity ward and local dispensary, where you will also spend time assisting local doctors and nurses with their work.
The following includes some of the work activities and tasks you will take part in during your placement:
- Go on community outreach campaigns to raise awareness around important health issues. On these outreaches you will deliver presentations and talks to local communities and villages
- Prepare and distribute healthcare information resources, such as posters and leaflets
- Compile and update outreach reports
- Analyse data to help identify key areas of need within the communities
- Assist local medical staff in a clinic
By working alongside local staff and spending time with patients, you will learn more about Madagascar and its healthcare system. The medical team is there to support and assist you during your placement, but will also look to learn from you. Any knowledge and experience you bring to the workspace will help them improve their own service. As English skills are often limited in rural areas of Madagascar, you may even be asked to teach English lessons once a week.
Joining this project will not only allow you to serve communities in need, but it offers a cultural exchange that will expose you a new society with different ways of life. By spending time with patients, your host family, and visiting rural communities, you will get to immerse yourself in local Malagasy life, with all its traditions, customs, and beautiful natural scenery.
You will have plenty of time to explore some of the wonderful attractions that Madagascar has to offer. On weekends, or after finishing your placement work, you can explore the lush rainforests and beautiful extensive coastlines, and there are a number of national parks you can visit. On these adventures you will be able to see plant and animal species that are only found in Madagascar, like the famous lemur and indigenous Grandidier's baobab trees.