Medical Electives ...

Medical Electives Uganda

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 four 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 opposite.). As such, the need for these developments is pressing and the current system of rural healthcare in Uganda is explored in the video opposite.

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 small daily fee including all food, facilities and comfortable accommodation with hot and cold showers in each room.
If you would like to register an interest, please contact us using the form below providing as much detail as possible. All candidates must speak English and applications are welcomed from any country

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Above: How work on the health clinic has developed.

The health centre will host a permanent nurse and regular visits from a local qualified doctor and will have 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

Above: The Human Development Index for Uganda 1990 – Present.


For many, the landlocked country of Uganda in east Africa will be indelibly linked with former President Idi Amin and his authoritarian rule that resulted in severe loss of life and political turmoil. Yet, since 1987, the country has in many ways transformed with the coming to power of the National Resistance Movement that has led to an enduring peace and stability throughout the country save for sporadic outbreaks of conflict in northern Uganda far removed from our own project in the distant south-west. During this period the population of Uganda has nearly tripled, there has been ongoing economic growth and many have achieved a better standard of living as liberalisation and privatisation opened up new opportunities particularly in urban areas.

However many Ugandans( 42%) still live on the land and, as of 2011, Uganda ranked in 161st place out of 187 countries in terms the three basic dimensions of human development; health, education and income, placing Uganda below the regional average for sub-Saharan Africa as the graph below shows. 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?