Dr. Emmanuel Ehiwe, a consultant sonographer and public health practitioner from Birmingham, England talks about his volunteer program in Ethiopia. The interview was published on GoOverseas, find the full interview here.
Dr. Ehiwe served in different NHS Hospitals and currently teaches public health with health and social care courses in higher education colleges and universities in the United Kingdom and Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. He works as a clinical instructor for reproductive health (maternal and child) ultrasound program for obstetricians and gynecologists.
I was inspired to undertake this program as part of the need to give back and contribute to human development and society. My experience of working and providing care to patients gave me the inspiration to meet obvious gaps in practice and level of medical training among youths who are future leaders of the African continent.
The program organizers provided me the forum to meet with some youths who are members of the indigenous communities in Addis Ababa. They helped with local arrangements of lodging and accommodation, as well as guidance on moving around the city of Addis. The organizers also provided me with the training environment.
One piece of advice I would give to anyone considering this program is to be very open minded and prepare to meet new people. This is because I found the Ethiopian community locals to be friendly and warm towards volunteers and tourists. I would also advise that you make detailed enquiries about the specific roles and duties you would be involved in before you set out for the program.
An average day in the program was filled with one tutoring activity or the other. A typical day involved helping the kids review their school home work and getting involved in one public health advocacy seminar or the other in the evenings. Each workshop focused on teaching the youths life saving skills in emergency situations where there is no doctor. We also worked on learning first aid treatments for common injuries and accidents amongst other things.
I did not really have any fears or negative expectations before setting out for this program. This was because I knew and read from the web that Ethiopia is a peace loving and friendly country, particularly when you stay and work within the capital city of Addis Ababa. I had planned and limited my visit to this part of the country.
I participated in the Thailand Medical Volunteering project in Surin province and was placed at Takook Community Hospital. I had initially intended to stay 2 weeks in this program. Yet, since the first week I was there, I knew instantly that I wanted to stay longer which I did. Felipe from Iko Poran was incredibly helpful in sorting out pre-departure fees and was also available to answer all my questions.
As for the program, I was astonished at how hands-on it was and how incredibly lovely and welcoming the Thailand team was. I got the opportunity to partake in wound-dressing on locals of a rather indigent part of the countryside. The team gave us training in the first week, but by the second, we were given a lot of autonomy for house calls, obviously accompanied by one of the nurses. The people of the village were also incredibly friendly and giving.
Furthermore, we had plenty of time after volunteering hours and on our three-day weekends to discover other parts of Surin as well as the beautiful islands such as Koh Samet, Koh Chang, and many others.
I highly recommend this program to anyone who has not previously had much medical experience or anyone who wishes to extend their current skills to communities that cannot usually access such care. – Valérie Pierre-Louis, from France
At first I was feeling kind of afraid because of the distance and the new culture… But the experience could hardly have been better. Since we arrived, Kelly, Jenny and Felipe were taking care about us, helping with transport and giving us security tips. Truly, the city is quietter, but there are also lot of things to do. The trips in Cusco are so special, with beautiful and unique landscapes you wouldn’t see anywhere else. Moreover, being accommodated with a local family has upgraded our experience to a different point, counting on their help, their interesting conversations and their typical dishes.
Talking about the project, I’ve been in a little health centre in Cuzco. It was a less-favoured area, where I could learn a lot about diseases I hadn’t seen before so frequently and I could perform some procedures that I hadn’t tried in my country of origin. For sure, this has been a great oportunity for my personal and professional growth. It is always very enriching meeting a new health system and a different way of working, making the best with the little resources that they have and knowing the individual patient very well. The doctors were kind with us and let us explore and help them in their daily practise.
So, after all, I am really happy to have been a part of this adventure:-) – Cristina from Spain (23 years)
Read more testimonials from our volunteers in Peru:
Rita from Portugal spent six weeks as a medical volunteer at the Children Hospital in Kathmandu. She enjoyed living with a Nepales family, and soon overcame the language barrier. At the hospital, she learned about the practises of treatment, and found her way to help the children:
It was a wonderfull experience this 6 weeks in Kathmandu, a unic experience that I will never forget. I had an opportunitiy to learn first hand about Nepalese family life and to share everything with them, like it was my own family. Be a volunteer in Konti Children Hospital it was a rewarding experience. However in the beginning I felt little frustrated. Because of the language barrier, the diferent practices from what I used too, I felt that I didn’t help as much I desire.
But then I take the opportunity to observe, discover, learn about the health cares, most common diseases in Nepal and listen all the experience and dificulties of the parent’s and all the staff of the hospital.
I start to be able to help slowly according to my capabilities.
After this experience I felt lik the Nepali people did more for me than I did for them. – Rita Gomes da Silva (Portugal)
If you choose to travel as a medical volunteer in Nepal, you will be working at the Pediatric Hospital in Kathmandu. At the Children Hospital, you will have both the opportunity to improve your medical skills and share your special knowlegde from your hoem country. While you are working at the clinic, you will discover the most eminent health issues that Nepal faces today. You will learn a great deal while also doing really valuable work.
Find all the detail necessary at our page with the volunteer programs in Nepal, and how to apply.
From start to end, from coming off the airplane to leaving on the last day, we had the support of Felipe and his close friend, Regina. On the days that we volunteered at the clinic, one of them would greet us early in the morning at our hostel to pick us up and help us get there. On the days that we did not volunteer, they would still drop everything for us if we needed them. The program itself really allowed us to immerse ourselves in the culture and get a sense of the Brazilian healthcare system when we volunteered. It was a very good learning experience and a great opportunity to shadow doctors and learn some basic medical techniques, such as taking blood pressure. The doctors and nurses were all very nice and willing to work with us despite the language barrier. I was very happy with my experience with Iko Poran in Rio. – Jason Simonides
HenceYouCheck out the HIV/AIDS prevention program in for medical volunteers in Uganda. Since the country has been greatly affected by the AIDS epidemic, Uganda is home to more than 1 million AIDS orphans. Therefore, you will provide much-needed services through HIV/AIDS education and awareness, counseling and training, testing, and other duties. To apply, you must be a medical student, EMT or paramedic, or a nurse or physician. This program starts from $250 for your first week in Uganda.
Volunteer in Uganda in our health awareness projects. Uganda is at the heart of the sub-Saharan HIV/AIDS pandemic. Hence, an estimated 25.4 million people are living with HIV and approximately 3.1 million new infections occurred in 2004. In 2004, an estimated 2.3 million people lost their lives to the disease. Widowed mothers and elderly widowed grandmothers are the predominant heads of households.
HIV/AIDS results in a progressive depletion of the immune system leading to immune deficiency. This is why the weakened immune system is vulnerable to secondary diseases. However, access to medical care is non-existent for many Ugandans where almost half the population lives in absolute poverty.
Since most rural areas are severely lacking in services and HIV/AIDS awareness, nearly every family has had someone who is sick or has died from AIDS. Hence education continues as a primary weapon in the fight against HIV/AIDS. Therefore, awareness programs are provided at the community level, to schools and institutions, and at the personal level with individual counselling and home visits. Music and dramas by people living with HIV/AIDS can greatly contribute to educate local people. Also educational films help to enhance the awareness.
You may choose to participate in one or more of the folowwing areas: HIV /AIDS Education and Awareness; HIV/AIDS Counselling Training (TOT); Voluntary Counselling and Testing (VCT). Please note: volunteers need to have a certification or proof of experience in a medical field, such as a medical student ID, EMT or paramedic certification, or nursing or physician’s credentials to participate in this Project.
We offer a medical internship at a hospital in Surin to work as a medical volunteer in Thailand. The small community hospital is similar to most western clinics, and provides for the health of the population in one of the poorest provinces of Thailand.
Since the clinic is responsible for maintaining the health and well-being of the local village community, your contribution as a medical volunteer is so important. Around 7000 people live in the vicinity of the clinic, most of them from the poorest backgrounds.
The medical staff at the hospital will select your medical internship assignments according to your experience and specialist knowledge. Medical volunteers with formal medical experience will have the opportunity to undergo non-invasive treatment to the patient under the supervision of the Thai medical team.
The medical volunteer program is not designed to interfere with the Thai healthcare system or bring about major changes. The goal is to raise awareness of the complex health issues facing rural Thai communities and to support local staff in their work.
In addition, the experience as a medical volunteer in Thailand provides a wonderful and culturally impressive experience. Since, of course, the Thai culture will be new to most, we encourage you to be open to new impressions!
The medical internship in Thailand is very popular with the volunteers. That’s why volunteers can be grouped during peak periods to do medical internships at multiple locations.
Please allow US $ 10-15 a day for basic meals and also keep in mind, you’ll spend a little more on group excursions and evening outings.
Bangkok International Airport, Suvarnabhumi – BKK.
Learn all about Volunteer Programs in Thailand, detailed program details, accommodation and fees.
From this page you can access the application form. If you submit the form, we will contact you within 48 hours and arrange everything for your voluntary stay.
It´s been a childhood dream of mine to visit Nepal and the neighboring region of Tibet.
Ikoporan in association with FDIP allowed me to join the wishes of helping others and getting to know such a different culture as the Nepalese is from the European.
During my 3 week stay in Nepal I was very fortunate to be welcomed in a host nepalese family that not only demonstrated utmost kindness and generosity to me and my boyfriend, but also with whom I was able to learn about many customs and their meanings, cultural inheritance, frustrations and dreams in the heart of Kathmandu. I thank them for having enriched my experience in countless ways.
At the hospital I was able to exchange experiences and knowledge that was beneficial to both sides and was also extremely well integrated in the hospital routines. Thank You Manmohan Cardiothoracic Vascular and Transplant Center for this opportunity!!!
The final days in Nepal I spent trekking in the Annapurna region and was blessed with the most breathtaking mountain landscapes I have ever seen!
All of these things were perfectly orchestrated with the help of Ikoporan and FDIP, and I will always be extremely grateful for that!!! Keep up the excellent work!!!!!
If you feel ready to go, sign up as a Nepal volunteer.
We will take you step by step through the enrollment process, you will learn about everythin provided with the program, costs and requirements.
Read about more volunteer experiences in Nepal: