The Medical Internship
Zambia has reopened to international arrivals and our local team are looking forward to welcoming volunteers! See the 'Additional Info.' section for procedures in place during the pandemic.
Volunteers wishing to make a real difference to some of the most vulnerable people in the world should look no further than this amazing program. Qualified Health care professionals have the opportunity to volunteer in remote areas of Zambia at a Mission Hospital in Mwandi District. This is a 100 bed hospital which was established in 1984 and has a catchment area of around 35,000. It is the largest health facility in the area and handles cases from all corners of the district, some coming in from very remote health centers. This hospital currently has only two doctors and 55 nursing staff who preform surgeries and manage a Maternity ward, Physiotherapy, Children's ward, Women's and Men's ward, Outpatient department, HIV clinic, Pharmacy and a Mother and Child clinic. The hospital is basic compared to what volunteers with medical experience would be used to. Volunteers need to be prepared to learn new ways to complete tasks and be willing to think outside of the box when working with patients due to lack of resources. Volunteers play an essential role in assisting the staff at the hospital and help to deliver quality health care to this severely disadvantaged local community.
Goals of this Project:
- Improve the future prospects of the people of Zambia
- Provide quality medical care to the impoverished people of Mwandi District
- To offer practical medical experience to volunteers
- To create cultural understanding between volunteers and locals
How You Can Help
Volunteers on this wonderful program will gain an amazing opportunity to provide care to some of the most deserving people in impoverished Zambia. Duties assigned to medical volunteers will be dependent on the individuals’ interests and expertise. Local doctors and nurses will always be onsite and are happy to teach and share experiences with volunteers. It is common for rounds to take place in the morning, while the afternoon shift can be much quieter. Due to this, medical volunteers can also assist on the construction project in the afternoon, or depending on their skills and qualifications, can give presentations to the staff at the hospital or the community on any area they are equipped to handle. This might include: Nutrition, Hygiene, Addictions, Counselling, HIV/Aids, Sexual and Domestic Abuse, Tropical Diseases, Building Self-Esteem in Children or Working with Children with Special Needs. The list is endless depending on the volunteer's area of expertise.
Volunteers contribute in a number of ways on this medical program and can expect to undertake the following tasks:
- Assist with day-to-day medical care, as appropriate for experience and training
- Network with program staff and medical staff
- Help with other Love Volunteers programs such as the Construction program or present information to hospital staff on areas of expertise
This program offers an amazing opportunity for suitable applicants who are 18 years and over to work alongside qualified medical professionals and gain first-hand insight into the Zambian healthcare system. It is open to qualified Doctors and Nurses. Volunteers must submit their CV’S at least 3 ½ months prior to their volunteering so they can be sent to the Medical Director. This is to enable qualified volunteers to work in the hospital as professionals. Ideally, volunteers on this project will have at least a basic knowledge of the local language in order to communicate effectively with patients and staff, though this is not a pre-requisite. Naturally, all applicants must also have a genuine willingness to help, show drive and initiative, and bring a positive 'can-do' attitude. If this sounds like you, we want you on the team!
Additionally, volunteers applying to join this program will be required to supply to following documentation:
- Emergency contact
- Medical Qualification
- Police check
Mwandi is a very traditional Lozi village and was not part of Zambia until its independence in 1964. The residents have retained their customs and are very happy, gentle people. Mwandi is not a “tourist village” it is the real thing, therefore be prepared for a very cultural/traditional experience. They may not have much, but they always have a smile for you! You will be welcomed into the community on your first Sunday, at the United Church of Zambia service. The service is quite different from western church services; there is lots of great singing and past volunteers have found it to be very enjoyable.
Mwandi, like all of Sesheke District, is in an area with a very high (>300/1000) incidence of Malaria. As road infrastructure has improved, HIV has also spread to the village. The village is the site of a large health center (the Mwandi Mission Hospital) which serves both its people, and the surrounding area. Average life expectancy as estimated by the United Nations is 59 years.
Two hours away, the historic town of Livingstone is now becoming known as the ‘Adventure Centre’ of Southern Africa, with various adrenaline sports, unmatched scenery of breath-taking proportions, and many other leisure options for outdoor lovers.
Start Dates & Duration
This project is available year-round and programs start every FRIDAY. Volunteers can choose to participate for periods ranging from 1 week to 12 weeks. Longer stays can be arranged directly with the local team, but will be subject to availability and individual visa conditions.
Spaces on this project are limited and therefore subject to availability. Early booking is recommended.
For current available start dates please check the calendar on the right.
Arrival & Orientation
Upon arrival in Zambia, volunteers will be collected at Livingstone Airport by a representative of the local project team and driven to Mwandi (approximately 2 hours away). If your flight arrives after 3 pm, you will need to spend the night in Livingstone and you will be collected the following morning and delivered safely to the Volunteer House. Here volunteers will receive a full orientation to help them settle in, find out about their volunteering placement, the local surroundings and meet their fellow volunteers. A representative from the local team will fill them in on local and regional customs, traveling, rules and recommendations, and of course, what to expect from their volunteering experience. This is a great opportunity to get to know the hosts, meet the other volunteers, and ask any last questions they may have.
- Program Arrival Day: FRIDAY
- Program Departure Day: FRIDAY
- Arrival/Departure Airport: Harry Mwanga Nkumbula International Airport, Livingstone, Zambia (CODE: LVI)
Accommodation & Meals
Accommodation for this project is provided onsite, in purpose built dormitory- style shared chalets with en suites or within a large canvas safari-style tent.
The safari tents have wooden doors, mosquito netting on the windows, beds and electricity.
Western style bathrooms with flushing toilets and outdoor hot and cold showers are also available.
You will need to provide your own sleeping bag or sleeping bag liner only in the warmer months however mosquito nets and fans are provided. Wifi is not available, but you can purchase a local SIM card in the village, which is a short stroll away. As the local project manager is an American who has spent the last 20 years in Zambia, volunteers in this location have a ready–made source of local information and someone on hand at all times to show them around.
Three meals per day are provided by the onsite cook who generally prepares western food. Breakfast consists of cereals, bread and spreads, coffee and tea. Lunch is usually sandwiches and salads and dinner is usually a hot meal like cottage pie, curry, pot roast and vegetables.
As is common in developing countries, the standard of infrastructure is probably lower than in your home country. You may experience power cuts and interruptions to the water supply but this is part of the challenge and experience of volunteering in a developing country. With a little patience, and a flexible attitude, you will quickly get used to your new surroundings.
*In addition to the program fees listed above a Registration Fee is payable to secure your place. The registration fee is USD 299 for those volunteering with Love Volunteers for the first time or USD 149 for any subsequent volunteer placements. The registration fee includes: lifetime LV Alumni Membership, fundraising support & advice, dedicated pre-departure support, certificate of completion (on request), and exclusive access to the LV Trip Planner.
Some things are not included in the program fees listed above, such as flights, visas, vaccinations, travel insurance, additional foods and snacks, spending money, local transport, in-country trips and excursions, return airport transfer (unless mentioned above).
Please note that prices are subject to change without notice. Please ensure you have read the Love Volunteers Terms and Conditions & Refund Policy.
All international arriving flight passengers will need to adhere to the following:
- Provide a negative Covid-19 PCR or serology test result, taken no more than 72 hours prior to their departure.
- Follow social distancing, masking and sanitation guidelines.
Safaris and Excursions for Volunteers
During your time in Zambia, why not use the opportunity to explore what this amazing region has to offer! If you're looking for an authentic adventure that takes you ‘off-the-beaten-track’, you can take an excursion directly with our local partner organization. As a Love Volunteer, not only will you get a discounted price, but every time you take a trip with them, a portion of the fee is donated to one of the Zambian development projects!
- Botswana 4-night/5-day Guided Safari Tour - This is truly a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to visit one of Africa's best safari regions and witness first hand many of the iconic African wildlife species. Participants will stay in lodge style accommodations and get to experience some wonderful activities including a 3-hour safari drive through Chobe National Park and a 3-hour river safari. What a way to cap off your volunteering experience in Africa!
Cost: $850pp (twin share room) or $900 (single room) (prices includes all meals, tea and coffee, transport, game drives, river safari, park entry fees, accommodation, ice for your cooler box, water and some snacks)
Interested? Ask us for the full itinerary of this once-in-a-lifetime Safari!