What is the Work in a Rural Health Clinic in the Philippines project all about?
Volunteer in a rural health clinic in the Philippines and gain experience supporting a local team in a free medical care for a local community. The clinics are supported by the government serving the impoverished of Leyte province in the Philippines. Poor people living in this developing country often receive 100 percent of their medical care from free clinics and since the devastating Typhoon Haiyan on 8th November 2013 these clinics tend to be under-resourced. An increase in poverty due to the loss of homes and livelihoods has left these clinics struggling for clinical basics as well as finding it difficult to meet the demands of their patients. Local doctors and nurses are in need of assistance to continue supplying basic medical care and education to these disadvantaged Filipino communities. Come and join the local team and work in a rural health clinic and contribute to the ongoing recovery of Tacloban and the surrounding communities.
Why choose this Work in a Rural Health Clinic project?
By volunteering, you can participate in administrative and other clinic-based duties as well as assisting local qualified staff with their duties to help reduce their workloads. Most volunteers learn quite a bit about tropical diseases and parasites, which they may not come across in their home country and will also become familiar with common diseases facing those living in poverty. Sometimes of the year are busier than others. But if you volunteer during an “off-season”, you will have the opportunity to help on other local initiatives or have some free time to explore the local area. Qualified staff can share their knowledge and skills through training local staff. All healthcare volunteers will benefit from working in a different setting with restricted resources as well as developing communication, team working and patient skills which are a great addition to any CV/Resume.
Role of the Healthcare Volunteer
Duties vary from clinic to clinic and depend on the needs at the time of your placement. You will be supervised by a locally trained medical professional and are expected to help the local team with day to day clinical duties. Volunteers will interact with patients by registering them and recording medical histories, and by taking their blood pressure, pulse and respiratory rates. Volunteers may also have the opportunity to participate in medical outreach help with vaccinations and deworming. Medical students will shadow doctors while volunteers with higher skill levels may be able to assist local doctors with treatments and procedures. All volunteers will be expected to only participate to their level of training and indemnity insurance coverage.
Volunteers may choose to organise activities based on their specialities following consultation with the project during their placement. In the past volunteers have organised first aid lectures and health awareness lessons. Experienced professionals are sought to help build the capacity of local staff through running workshops and helping with materials for community health sessions.
What skills do I need to be a Healthcare Volunteer in the Philippines?
Volunteers must be a medical student, nursing student, nurse, doctor or other specialists to be accepted onto this project. You must be willing to learn and help where needed in the clinic as part of a team. Good communication skills are required. Resilience, flexibility and an understanding that this is a challenging placement are needed. You will be asked to provide copies of your medical certificates and to have a short interview to secure your place on this project. And you will also be asked to send your CV/resume before being accepted onto this project. Please note that qualified medics are required to register their details with the Philippines Medical Council.
WHY JOIN THE PROJECT
You wish to support an under-resourced medical clinic
Take on a challenging but rewarding project
To help build the capacity of local medical staff
Where will I work in the Philippines?
About the Location
The project is located in Tacloban City which was devastated on 8th November 2013 when Typhoon Haiyan (or Yolanda as it is known locally) hit and destroyed homes, livelihoods and community spaces. Tacloban is located on the island of Leyte, about an hour by air southeast of Manila. Tacloban is a former World War II site, where American General Douglas MacArthur liberated the Philippines in 1944 from Japan. It has a population of over 300,000 and the local language is Waray-Waray, but many people speak English. Volunteer in Tacloban and gain an insight into the realities of surviving and rebuilding lives. You will surely be touched by the gentle nature and resilience of the people.
Whilst volunteering in The Philippines, you will be staying on the border of Tacloban City with a homestay family within a close-knit community. We can assure you that you will be welcome into the community with open arms, as these families are very familiar with receiving volunteers all year round. The homestay houses have electricity, toilets and running water, but the setup is quite basic. One great aspect of this accommodation is that you are only a 2-minute walk away from other volunteers and the community centre (which acts as a home base for volunteers in the area). This will be useful in your spare time since you, and other volunteers, can head down to the community centre outside working hours to have some fun with the locals.
What to do in your spare time
Those of you who are into sports can take part in a variety of different activities during you time in The Philippines. One idea would be to head downtown where yourself and other volunteers can use the badminton court or climbing walls. Alternatively, why not join the gym located in the astrodome? Not only will you be keeping fit, but you can also enjoy a nice hot shower after you workout! Alternatively, you can take part in a few friendly basketball games with the locals in your homestay community alongside other volunteers.
If you want to go further afield outside your working hours then we propose that you visit the remarkable islands of Bohol and Malapascua. Trips like these are great over 2-3 days, so the weekend would be the ideal time to visit these islands. Typically, volunteers will go in a group on trips like this, which is a good way to get to know others and make new friends.
If you want to stay closer to home then you can still visit some of the beautiful white-sand beaches with crystal clear waters in The Philippines. We would suggest that you take a trip to Tadjow Beach or Tanauan Beach as these are quite close to your accommodation.
Details & Costs
- Duration: 4 – 26 weeks
- Cost: £1172 / $1829 for 4 weeks
£109/$171 for each week thereafter
- Requirements: age 18+
- Location: Tacloban, Leyte, Philippines
- Project activities: Varies according to your training level but may include clinic consultations, public health drives, pre-natal seminars
- Working hours: At least 4 hours per day, Monday – Friday. If you wish to work extra, please ask an advisor about other options available to maximise your time.
- Project Availability: All year round, apart from the Christmas to New Year period and for a few days over Easter.
- Arrival day: Saturday
What is included
- Accommodation: Single or shared room in a homestay with mosquito net & clean drinking water
- Food: 2 meals per day – Breakfast and dinner
- Airport pickup and drop off from Tacloban Airport
- Training: Healthcare ethics & culture doc, pre-departure info pack, learning reflection manual, on-site orientation and project induction provided
- Support: 24 hour support from on-site coordinators
- Excursions: Staff may be able to help plan weekend excursions (activities may cost extra)
- Fundraising guide
What is not included
- Police/Government Background Check; US and UK citizens will be processed through Kaya (admin fee applies) all other nationalities must provide local police check.
- Philippines Medical Council Registration fees
- Any costs for COVID-19 PCR tests required pre-departure and in-country
Easy 4-step application process
Click here to apply online and pay your application fee to apply for your space on your chosen project. Our advisors will then contact you to guide you through the next steps.
Once we’ve received your application, we’ll review your details and be in touch to arrange your informal telephone interview with your Kaya Placement Advisor.
Following your interview, we will provide you a placement offer. Once you are ready to confirm your placement and dates, you can pay your confirmation fee to book and secure your space.
When you have confirmed your project dates we'll send you your Welcome Pack and lots of other helpful information to assist you with preparing for your placement.
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