Healthcare is neither easily accessible nor affordable for many Ugandans living in the rural communities. As a result, an overwhelming number of Ugandans never receive proper medical care. People in villages, slums, and semi-urban areas face health concerns that diminish their ability to improve their lives whereas the quality of health influences the quality of life for any individual and subsequently impact development for a community. HIV/AIDS, Malaria, childhood illnesses such as measles, tetanus, parasitic diseases and malnutrition devastate communities.
Beacon of Hope Uganda strives to improve the health conditions of children and adults in these communities through various medical and healthcare volunteer projects. Beacon of Hope Uganda has set up activities with both small health clinics and large government hospitals in Uganda, including but not limited to Village Health Talks Outreaches (VHTO), Mobile Clinics Camps and so many other interventions. All our projects have one similar goal of improving the provision of healthcare and of preventative health education to under-served populations across Uganda.
If you are a medical professional or student looking for a volunteering opportunity in Uganda, Beacon of Hope Uganda offers medical volunteer work in Uganda and internship opportunities to Pre-med, nursing, and medical students and professionals interested in a volunteering in Uganda medical opportunity.
Medical and Healthcare volunteering placements are offered across the country. This medical volunteering project in Uganda offers diverse experience as volunteers can be placed in a variety of medical settings, including public and private hospitals, clinics and community outreaches in under-resourced locations.
We offer short and long term medical volunteering placements in hospitals, clinics, outreach centres and slum community projects in Uganda. Placements are available in areas of Dentistry, HIV & AIDS, Medicine, Midwifery, Nursing, Pharmacy, Physiotherapy, Psychology, Radiography and Veterinary.
If you are currently studying or recently graduated we have medical volunteer programs and internships which will boost your resume / CV and allow you to help people in the developing world. Lots of people apply every year and this healthcare volunteer program is perfect if you are planning a career in healthcare. Volunteers with professional credentials, or those currently enrolled in medical/nursing school are welcome. The type of hands on work you will be allocated will depend to an extent on your own abilities and capabilities, which is understandable given that you will be dealing with patient health and safety.
Role of a Volunteer
Volunteers/Interns are not allowed to perform the major identification or surgery works. Most of the time volunteers help doctors or work as an assistant to doctors. You will be involved in aspects of the day-to-day running of the hospitals, observing or directly assisting, where possible. You can help out in simple but practical ways, vastly increasing your own knowledge and understanding of medical practice.
Volunteers measure BP, temperature, height, weight assist doctors and medical staffs with health center tasks. You also help in health camps (if any), distribute medicines, provide tips to patients on health, nutrition and sanitation and counseling patients, and involve yourself in the treatment for minor injuries or wounds and keeping patient records.
Your exact role within the hospital or clinic will be determined by your level of medical experience as well as by the enthusiasm and effort which you show to the local staff. Pre-university interns usually start by observing the doctors and nurses. You may find more practical opportunities arise once you get to know the local staff and if you can demonstrate a good understanding of local medical conditions.
Facilities within the hospitals and clinics are basic and treatments are sometimes not of the standard we would expect in developed world. You should be prepared to see some shocking cases, and try not to get emotionally involved with the patients. Your working hours will usually be decided on a weekly basis and most volunteers work from Monday to Friday and have the weekends free.
- Shadowing professionals medics and assist whenever needed.
- Assist patients (getting them from one service point to another)
- Treating minor injuries, vaccinations etc. (depending on skills)
- Getting actively involved in the daily work of the hospital, taking rounds of the wards, maintaining files, and doing routine patient checkups like measure Blood pressure, pulse, check fever etc.
There is an obvious lack of manpower and resources in the local hospitals, which are located in the outer city areas and sub-urban areas. Since many health centers lack modern facilities, or have broken equipment and lack of staff, the placements are very challenging. Volunteers need to bring their own medical equipment, gloves, lab coat, medical scrubs and appropriate shoes.
Volunteers must be:
- Willing to work with patients.
- At least 18 years or older at the start of the program.
- Have an open mind and flexible attitude towards working in new and different environments.
- Prepared to do some manual work in their placement.
What do we provide?
Airport Pickup/ Transportation:
- Volunteers are picked up from the Entebbe International Airport by an appropriate BoHU representative.
- Volunteers who will already be in Uganda will be met by a staff member at a pre-arranged location.
- For volunteers arriving by bus from neighboring countries, meet and pickup will be arranged at agreed bus stop.
Orientation Day in Uganda:
All volunteers are provided with an orientation covering topics such as safety and security, transportation, language, local culture, project details, staff as well as a one day guided city/community tour.
Volunteers are provided accommodation in a volunteer house or in a homestay accommodation managed by the local coordinating team. The accommodations are neat and clean. Accommodation is shared amongst volunteers on the ‘same gender sharing’ basis rooms. Wifi internet, warm water is not guaranteed. ( private room can be provided by prior arrangement.)
The homes are close to useful amenities like banks, ATM’s, currency exchanges, restaurants, cafes and shopping places. All placements are around 10 – 30 minutes from the accommodation. Over the weekends or evenings, participants are free to eat out and explore the different delights that Uganda has to offer.
Some volunteers are also provided accommodation in the project premises itself. For example – Volunteers working in orphanage project can be provided accommodation in the project premises itself in a separate room that is allotted for volunteers.
Three meals a day (Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner) are provided to the participants from Monday – Sunday. Breakfast served is hearty and well balanced. It includes tea and coffee, bread, jam, fruit and a main dish, depending on the wish to prepare that day (Ex. eggs, bacon, pancakes, French toast, cereal, porridge, etc.).
Lunch is typically the main meal of the day in Uganda and volunteers will often eat their meals on-site, prepared by local families or community members. If not, Project Leaders will bring volunteers to a local restaurant, which will offer several traditional options. A typical Ugandan lunch features beef, chicken or fish coupled with potatoes, rice or beans (usually rice).
Dinners at BoHU offer a vegetarian and non-vegetarian option each night.
Always be wary of street vendors’ food, which is more susceptible to contamination, undercooked meat and raw fruits or vegetables. DO NOT drink water straight from the tap. Brushing your teeth with it is usually fine, but, for personal consumption, be sure to buy bottled water from a store or boil tap water before drinking (though the later is far less practical).
The project placements are located across Uganda, and you will be placed according to your interests and chosen program. Program regions include: Central, East, North and Western regions of Uganda. Regardless of where you are placed, you will be placed in a program run by Beacon of Hope Uganda.
It is essential that volunteers are able to speak English.
24 hour support is provided by our staff members. Once you arrive in the country you are in the care of BoHU, so try to follow guidelines, tips and utilize all support provided.
After being accepted into the program, payment of booking and placement deposit all participants are provided with a pre-departure information booklet by e-mail which will contain all the vital information about your program, such as: details of the country, project location, Visa requirements, Immunization requirements, details of accommodation, contact information and suggested packing list.
What you are paying for?
The program fee, placement booking and airport transfer fee is used to provide a professional and welcoming volunteer program, as well as providing some financial support for the project you will be supporting.
The following are included in the cost:
- Pickup from the airport, transport to your placement.
- Project donation
- Sightseeing guided tour.
- Comprehensive Pre- Departure Information.
- 24 hrs Assistance and support from BoHU Staff.
- 2 T-shirts
- Ground Transport
What is not included?
The following costs are NOT included in the above fee and will need to be covered by the volunteer:
- Airfare / travel to Uganda
- Visa and Visa extension fees. Tourist
- Any personal expenses
- Any other donations