“As a junior doctor I attended the local district general hospital – Itojo, which is 0.5miles away from the lodge, easily travelled to either by foot or by hitching a quick ride. This experience gave me a great insight into the workings of a local hospital, and I got some great opportunities to be quite hands on in the emergency department.
I returned to the lodge in 2017 as a GP and spent some time in the McNeil medical centre – situated in the grounds of the community project. It provides primary health care services to the local community and school. There were opportunities to screen and treat the children in the consulting rooms, and has a small dispensary attached to it as well with a few basic medications.
Both trips to this community project provided me with not only a great holiday (the safari is a definite ‘must do’) but also an opportiunity to develop my skills as a medical professional and to do some charitable work. In the process I have been lucky enough to meet some of the most beautiful people not only in the locals but in fellow volunteers who have become lifelong friends.”
Amna Ahmed (November2017)
We can facilitate anyone who is fully qualified (nurses, midwives, doctors, dentists, opticians, lab technicians) volunteers who has some medical experience or just an interest as well as those wanting to experience Africa while doing their official Electives.
You will get hands on experience …
The Medical Centre hosts a permanent nurse and regular visits from a local qualified doctor and has a number of roles within the community, including:
- Basic primary care for villagers
- Regular screening for the children in our own and nearby schools for the early signs of malaria and other life-threatening diseases
- A First–Aid post for passing traffic
- An ongoing vaccination programme for the villagers
- Training to local health officers and trainee healthcare professionals from the surrounding area
- Disease prevention and education addressing, amongst others, HIV/Aids and malaria
- Advanced training of medical staff from surrounding areas and medical electives placements
Volunteers from around the world have worked within the rural setting of Ruhanga in south-west Uganda for a number of years helping develop community projects that support young people and their families establish a better future. The projects to date include a successful development school, now attended by over five hundred local children, workshops and a gravity well bringing clean, piped water into the community.
One of the pressing concerns has been to match this quality education, life/employment opportunities and safe water with a health centre for the village to provide community based care for the villagers and children at the school and help to change attitudes towards illness and provide early-intervention in illness such as Malaria and HIV. This is in a community where hospitals are associated with dying and often shunned due to traditional beliefs.
Since 1990 the Human Development Report has published the Human Development Index (HDI) which provides a composite measure of three basic dimensions of human development: health, education and income. Uganda’s HDI is 0.456, which gives the country a rank of 161 out of 187 countries with comparable data, placing Uganda below the regional average (see chart)
McNeil Medical Center
A village health centre was funded by donations mainly from the UK and it finally opened early in 2014. We are currently soliciting expressions of interest from those seeking medical electives placements abroad. Such students can get some idea of what they might be doing by shadowing in the nearby government hospital & at our medical centre. We require that medical elective placement volunteers provide copies of their educational standards and results i.e. to confirm they completed senior school and at what level and also details of any relevant experience such as first aid courses or St Johns ambulance cadets etc. Testimonials from relevant people will also help secure a placement. We can put your tutors directly in touch with the Administrators or Doctors at the hospital if required.
Qualified medics on placement may also like the opportunity to train local staff as well as working with them, and also offer some basic health advice to local villagers. In order to make the most of the placement we strongly recommend that such volunteers stay for at least a month and preferably longer, although shorter periods may be available subject to negotiation. Successful candidates will stay at our Uganda Lodge guest house which is literally directly opposite the centre for a daily fee (£15 pp) including all food, facilities and accommodation with hot showers in each room.
If you would like to register an interest, please contact us using the form providing as much detail as possible. All candidates must speak English and applications are welcomed from any country
Good to know
When you volunteer at Uganda Lodge this is the rural type of community you will be working within. Few have access to money, almost none have access to electricity or water in their homes, homes are lit by candle but there is a warmth and spirit often lacking in so called ‘developed’ communities. Why not visit our project and experience it for yourself?