Medical Placements in Malawi

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Group Size: Max. 12

Trip code: MAVM

Duration: 4-8 weeks

For the people of Malawi, access to adequate medical support is not always possible and this project will give you the chance to help medical care in Malawian communities. With an emphasis on education, awareness, and building medical support, this project works to increase standards and levels of primary health care for rural communities on the shores of Lake Malawi. This project is a must if you have a desire to help people in one of Africa's least-developed regions.


Trip highlights

  • Provide communities with the precious gift of healthcare, helping to relieve and improve individual suffering on a day-to-day basis
  • Feel the satisfaction and pride as you train the community, helping to build an improved, sustainable and more self-sufficient healthcare system
  • If you’ve got a passion for medicine then this is the trip for you – Assist with daily healthcare and medical provision and care, gaining valuable experience while you work
  • An ultimately fulfilling, memorable and life changing experience both for you and your patients, here you’ll feel the true welcome of the community you help
  • Stay in our beautiful volunteer house accommodation, and enjoy incredible views out across Lake Malawi
Further trip information

Introduction and Orientation

After you’ve settled into our volunteer house and recovered from your jetlag, we’ll provide you with a welcome orientation and local tour so you can prepare for your Malawian life. This will cover all the basic things you’ll need to know about the area, and help you find your feet at the start of your placement.

Covering a range of topics, this introduction will let you know about the following –

  • Malawian culture and values
  • Give you a few handy phrases and local greetings to keep up your sleeve
  • Introduce you to a few of the project staff (so you can try out your new linguistic skills!)
  • Teach you a bit about money and transportation in Malawi
  • Tell you a little about the medical project’s background and discuss what to expect in the way of your role and workplace ethics
  • Let you know some good places to go in your spare time
  • And most importantly discuss your health and safety whilst you are in Malawi

After lunch you’ll take a tour of the local area and the town so you have a chance to familiarise yourself with the area. At the local market you’ll have a chance to begin your Malawian trip in style and blend in to your new surroundings, with the chance to buy some local material to make a wrap around skirt.

Daily Routine

As your levels of experience and expertise vary, you should expect a varied daily routine as no two placements are exactly the same – it’s all part of the fun of working with unpredictable patients!

The co-ordinators will always try to place you in the area of greatest interest to you, though flexibility here is a virtue as the continuity of certain projects and activities is dependant on maintaining a certain number of working volunteers at any one time. Because of this, understaffed projects will take the priority when we allocate placements.

On an average day you can expect an early start, leaving for your medical project at 7.30am. Returning around midday for lunch to escape the hottest reaches of the sun, your afternoon of doctoring begins again between 2 and 2.30pm, carrying on till 5pm on weekdays. Friday afternoons however, are designated free time, so you can use this as an opportunity to enjoy an early start to your weekend! As your volunteer house is right on the banks of Lake Malawi, swimming through the sparking waters after a hot day is especially popular, otherwise you’ll have the chance to kick back at the house or get out into the open with the chance to see a little more Malawi and complete your African experience! Optional weekend excursions are available, though not included in the price, and for around (£100 / USD150) you will receive transportation, 2 nights accommodation, three meals a day and have a staff member with you to act as a guide for the weekend. Trips can be paid for locally, and include wildlife spotting in Liwonde National Park, water sports, boat rides and beach relaxation at Cape Maclear - a popular tourist village, and a forest and horse trek experience in the forests of the Zomba Plateau.

Some areas that the project may include:

Home Based Care

  • Planning and presenting lessons to groups on HIV/AIDS, malaria prevention, personal hygiene, drug administration, recording information, first aid, bed bathing, infection prevention, sexual health awareness, TB and rehabilitation.
  • Carry out home care visits for chronically ill patients.
  • Wound Care
  • Administering dressing and bandages, cleaning wounds and referring the more serious injuries to hospitals. 

HIV/AIDS Awareness

  • Increase awareness and understanding by educating local communities about prevention and treatment.
  • Provide support and counseling, including nutritional advice and information on related diseases, for patients suffering with HIV/AIDS.
  • Facilitate community drama workshops in nearby villages.

Local Community Health Care Centre

  • Best suited to those who have medical experience
  • You may be able to assist in departments such as outpatients, female ward, male ward, maternity, laboratory and basic dental treatment. Suitably qualified volunteers can assist local nurses and doctors in duties such as rounds, minor medical procedures and midwifery.
  • Some lab technician experience is available where volunteers carry out tests such as hemoglobin, malaria and syphilis. 
  • Medical students will also have the opportunity to observe clinical consultations and gain an insight into tropical diseases.
  • You will generally spend the morning from 8am until 12pm at the centre.

Malaria Prevention and Awareness

  • Help minimize incident rates by raising awareness and education of malaria
  • Collect and analyse valuable data on malaria during the project
  • Distribute mosquito nets and spray homes to protect against malaria
  • This project involves high material costs and therefore the level of involvement is dependent on available funding at the time. If you are able to fundraise and make a donation to this project then please let us know!

Nurseries for Orphan and Vulnerable Children

  • Great for those with limited medical experience
  • Volunteers can assist at local nurseries
  • Prepare children for their future by teaching in pre-schools
  • Promote the importance of health and nutrition
Malawi flights from: £621
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