Public Health Internships in Sri Lanka
- PLACEMENT LOCATION: Colombo & Kalutara Disctrict
- ROLE: To work in a variety of healthcare areas, including community outreaches and public health campaigns
- Requirements: None
- ACCOMMODATION: Host families
- LENGTH OF PLACEMENT: From 2 weeks
- START DATES: Flexible
In Sri Lanka,conditions are slowly improving: the gap between income equality has shrunk in recent years and more communities have access to electricity and clean water. There are still, however, communities which remain severely disadvantaged, and one of the biggest problems they face is a lack of access to health services and basic treatment. Improved economic conditions have also seen a rise in the number of cases of non-communicable diseases due to lifestyle changes.
An aging population and more people earning a higher income has resulted in non-communicable diseases like diabetes, high blood pressure, cardiovascular disease, and high cholesterol, now together making up 85% of of the total disease burden in Sri Lanka.
As an intern, you will offer assistance at a healthcare organization, including focus on helping local healthcare services in increasing their capacity to focus on the treatment and prevention of non-communicable diseases. You will also raise awareness of preventative measures that local people can take through running intervention programs, where you will address major risk factors like:
- an unhealthy diet
- lack of exercise
This placement is suitable for everyone interested in medicine and healthcare, and is especially useful for pre-med students building resumes for medical school, healthcare graduates interested in adding to their skills, or professionals already working in the field.
To participate in this project, you need to be at least 18 years old.
Interning in Public Health in Sri Lanka
In Sri Lanka, we work alongside a government medical health organization that falls under the Preventive Health Sector of the Regional Director of Health Services (RDHS) in Colombo. The organization was established in the early 1950s and offers maternal and child health services, including a training center for midwives. There are 5 full time doctors and 3 nursing sisters who cover work at 17 clinics.
Your placement will involve the following activities:
- Assisting doctors and staff at the centers and help mothers fill out their child’s health development record.
- Collecting and entering data.
- Assisting public health midwives during field and house-to-house visits.
- Assisting the public health inspector on government school visits during medical inspections.
- Participate in medical outreaches. This involves taking vital signs, checking blood pressure and blood sugar levels, and observing consultations.
- Organize and run awareness programs in areas where we have identified a specific need (such as a specific community, a school, or a home for the elderly).
- Run intervention programs when requested by specific communities and our project partners.
- Observe and assist midwives and doctors and doctors at clinics. You can only assist with the permission of local staff.
- Conduct research and write reports on important public health and medical-related topics.
If you have a background in dentistry, you will be able to assist dentists during visits to schools and dental clinics.
During your internship, you will also have the opportunity to attend monthly medical camps, seminars and workshops with the other medical interns in Sri Lanka. You will also get to visit hospitals and attend workshops where you will be able to learn about local healthcare systems and traditional medicine.
If you are a high school student and first-time traveler you may want to consider our High School Special programs in Sri Lanka.
You can read more detailed information about the aims of the project in our Sri Lanka Medicine & Healthcare Management Plan.