Volunteer for Medical Care in Arusha, Tanzania

Arusha, Tanzania Health & Medicine

Program

Description

Travel to Tanzania and gain insight and experience into medical and healthcare practices at a clinic or hospital! There are two different placements that you can be part of with Plan My Gap Year’s Tanzania Medical Volunteers program, including a government hospital in the town of Tengeru, or a community clinic in Arusha. While you do not need previous experience to sign up for this program, your level of involvement will depend on your background and skills, the duration of your stay, and the doctor that’s supervising you as a volunteer. While previous volunteers have been able to take part in hands-on activities such as administering IV injections or dressing wounds, if you do not have adequate experience or the supervising doctor deems it safest for you to observe only, your role will be more focused on learning from shadowing.

Impact

During your stay in Tanzania, you will have the opportunity to learn about different healthcare practices at either a clinic or a hospital. You will volunteer under the supervision of a local doctor, who will teach you about their day-to-day work, and let you observe treatments and patient care. Depending on your background and experience, you may be able to assist with hands-on activities as well, though this is at the discretion of the local physician.

Field conditions

During your time in Tanzania, you will work at one of two different placements: a government-run hospital in Tengeru, or a community clinic in Arusha.

Government Hospital: Located in a neighboring town of Arusha, this hospital started as a women’s health center and has expanded to treat other general health issues. As a volunteer, you can be placed in departments such as dental, general medical consultation, HIV awareness and testing, midwifery and labor, newborn care and immunizations, optical, pediatrics, pharmacy, radiology surgery, and others. This hospital treats 50 to 80 patients each day, and delivers about 500 babies each month. Other common cases treated at the hospital include malaria, pneumonia, and tuberculosis. As a volunteer, you’ll work alongside local staff and receive an orientation upon arrival.

Community Clinic: As PMGY’s secondary medical placement in Tanzania, this clinic offers affordable healthcare to those living in poverty throughout Arusha and surrounding areas. This clinic sees 3,000 patients per month, and has departments for general medical consultation, minor surgeries, laboratory, pharmacy, x-ray, and ultrasound. The head doctor will mentor you throughout your volunteer program, and will find ways for you to learn and be involved with simple procedures such as circumcision, abscess/cyst/growth removal, and drainage and stitching. At the pharmacy, you will learn about different medications, particularly antibiotics, anti-worm medications, and anti-malarials.

This program is open to people of all medical backgrounds, including first- and second-year students, and is a great way to learn about medical care and cases such as malaria, obstetrics, typhoid, and others.

Arrival and orientation

If you are traveling to Tanzania for less than 90 days, you will need to obtain a work visa, which costs $200, and if you are staying longer, you will need a different work permit, which costs $550. These both will be processed in-country by the PMGY staff once you arrive. As well, you must provide proof of having been vaccinated for yellow fever before traveling to Tanzania.

This program starts on Sundays. You will arrive to Kilimanjaro International Airport on your selected start date, and be greeted by a local staff member or appointed driver holding a sign with your name on it. From there, you’ll head to the volunteer house in Arusha, where you will get settled in before starting your volunteer program.

Your stay

Accommodation

  • HousingVolunteer house

  • Provided mealsBreakfast, dinner

Accommodation description

The volunteer house that you’ll stay in during your time in Tanzania is in a quiet neighborhood a 10-minute walk from central Arusha. The house is basic but comfortable, and each room can accommodate up to eight people, with mosquito nets provided. The bathrooms have western style toilets and warm showers, though you may expect the showers to be cold depending on how reliable the warm water access coil is.

It’s important to note that power cuts are somewhat commonplace countrywide, and wifi access is not very reliable at the volunteer house - so you should be prepared for a more rustic or basic living experience than you might be used to. You’re encouraged to purchase a local SIM card for internet access, and you can sign up for laundry service at a small extra fee, or hand wash your clothes. There is a night guard at the house, and a member of the PMGY local team will visit each day to make sure everything's running smoothly.

June through September are PMGY’s busiest volunteer months, so you may be placed at an alternative location such as a nearby guest house or a different volunteer house. You will be provided with breakfast and dinner each day at the volunteer house. Breakfast usually consists of pancakes, eggs, toast, jam, and coffee, while dinner often includes veggie burgers, pasta, beans, rice, chapati, and sweet potato.

Location

Volunteers will stay in a volunteer house.

Cost

from $394 USDper week

from $394 USDper week

Costs...

What’s included

  • Certificate of completion

  • Regular program inspection

  • 100% financial protection

  • Live pre-departure webinars

  • Comprehensive volunteer handbook

  • Unlimited email and telephone support

  • Dedicated pmgy travel mentor

  • 24-hour us-based emergency support

  • 24-hour in-country support

  • In-country orientation

  • Airport pickup

  • Breakfast and dinner

  • Accommodation at volunteer house

What’s not included

  • Criminal background check

  • Volunteer work permit

  • Visa

  • Return airport transfer

  • Travel insurance

  • Airfare

  • Transport to project

  • Lunch

Start dates

This program starts on the first and third Sunday of each month year-round.

Founded in 2011 by volunteers for volunteers, Plan My Gap Years works with local communities in the developing world towards long-term sustainable goals. We know there is no better way to travel and make a positive impact in the world. Our structured programs create the perfect platform for you to see the world, meet like-minded people and engage in meaningful volunteer work. We have teams in the UK and in your host destinations who will support you 24/7 throughout your time with them. Furthermore, every project on our network is regularly risk-assessed by our UK team to ensure their setup is safe and that their volunteers are making a positive impact. There is also a great social element to our programs. We put you in touch with all of your fellow volunteers via Facebook before you set off. Our projects receive volunteers from around the world throughout the year, so even if you’re travelling solo, you’re going to meet heaps of people along the way.

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