Public healthcare facilities are vastly different across the globe. While people in developed nations enjoy the latest in medical care, communities in underdeveloped countries often struggle to get basic health check-ups and access to life-saving drugs. To compensate for this great disparity, thousands of medical practitioners as well as people without a medical background choose to volunteer abroad in healthcare programs. These volunteers work in hospitals, clinics and special medical camps in Africa, South America, Central America and Asia. There are several healthcare nonprofit organizations that routinely organize health check-ups, dental camps, and even perform surgical procedures in some of the poorest parts of the world. The local communities rely on these medical services due to the severe lack of public healthcare facilities in these areas.
Even people without a medical degree can be an ethical volunteer in healthcare programs abroad. While they cannot prescribe or practice on patients, they can work behind the scene and do things like organize medical camps and spread awareness about diseases. One of the primary benefits of volunteering in healthcare is the opportunity to work with doctors and nurses. Volunteers gain valuable experience in the medical field and also get to travel to remote rural destinations. Beautiful and unspoilt locations in Asia, Africa and South America present a great and meaningful travel opportunity.
The first step to making a valuable contribution is partnering up with the right nonprofits in the area. A good healthcare program should be able to provide accommodation and meals to the visiting volunteers and to have access to medicine and medical equipment. It’s highly recommended to read blogs and reviews about the organizations to learn about the experience of people who have worked for them in the past. Volunteers should also check if the nonprofits charge daily fees for accommodation and meals.
Volunteers are often required to work in hospitals, clinics and makeshift medical camps. Projects in healthcare can also involve lending support to HIV/AIDS programs. Promoting health awareness about topics like malaria prevention and safe sex by visiting local schools is another popular healthcare activity. Caring for disabled and elderly patients in hospitals and nursing homes is also a common volunteering activity. Nurses and doctors with a recognized degree can perform medical procedures and help with the diagnosis and treatment of patients.
Volunteering in healthcare requires participants to take a lot of responsibility. This is why some nonprofits need applicants to send a detailed CV along with their qualifications. Volunteers may also be required to take local language and orientation classes before starting the program. Most volunteer projects abroad in healthcare organize homestays or apartments for visitors. Much like anywhere else, medical help is needed all year long. This is exactly why volunteer opportunities in healthcare usually require people to stay for a long duration. It’s highly recommended to read the minimum and maximum duration of stay allowed by the nonprofit before applying.