Medicine Volunteer Projects in Senegal
- Placement location: St Louis
- Role: To gain a wide range of medical experience by working closely with trained local staff
- Type of placements: Hospital, medical centres and outreach workshops at centres for street children
- Requirements: Volunteers must have completed at least four years of medical related studies or have recently qualified and speak French to an intermediate level
- Accommodation: Host family
- Price: From
- What’s included? Food, accommodation, transfers to and from our specified airport, transport to and from work where required, insurance, personal webpage, induction and orientation, 24/7 support
- What’s not included? Flights, visa costs, spending money
- Length of placement: From 4 weeks
- Start dates: Flexible
Volunteering in Senegal on a Medicine placement with Projects Abroad is an excellent way to gain work-experience, combined with the chance to help people in some of the poorest medical institutions in the developing world. As a Medicine volunteer in Senegal you will have the opportunity to gain a wide range of medical and healthcare work-experience in a variety of departments.
All Medical volunteers in Senegal must have completed at least four years of medicine or healthcare related studies, or training by the time they join this project. Some of our placements will only accept students in their fifth year.
Volunteers also need to speak a good level of French. Most of the staff and patients do not speak English and it is vital that you can understand and communicate in French while you are working at a placement. A copy of your CV will be requested after you have applied, so each placement can be tailored to your level of experience and interests.
Options for Volunteering in Senegal
In Senegal we work with two institutions.
The first placement is at a regional hospital or in a regional health centre in St Louis. You will find yourself working in one or several areas of medicine – including Paediatrics, ENT, Gynaecology, Orthopaedics, Radiology, Surgery, Urology, Ophthalmology, Dentistry, Emergency, Laboratory and Psychiatry – such is the diverse nature of problems brought to the hospital.
The second placement is a Red Cross Medical Centre, which provides a drop-in service where local people can come for consultations on general healthcare issues. The centre can also offer minor surgery depending on the availability of staff, which can be a problem, given that it can only afford a complement of one doctor and four nurses.
In addition to these placements, volunteers may spend some time with healthcare workers on outreach projects at the local Talibé (street children) Centre. All volunteers live within a 30 minute journey of their placement.
Life as a Medicine volunteer in Senegal
All Medicine volunteers should be aware that the placements they will be working at are basic, and treatments are sometimes not of the standard you would expect, coming from a more developed country. You should be prepared to see some shocking cases and try not to get emotionally involved with the patients. Your working hours will usually be decided on a weekly basis, in cooperation with your supervisor and a Projects Abroad staff member.
When volunteering in Senegal, you will live with a local host family. You will be able to improve your French speaking skills and learn the Senegalese colloquialisms. You will also be able to pick up some Wolof, which is the local language. Many of our host families live in close proximity to each other so socialising with other Projects Abroad volunteers is easy.
You can read more detailed information about the aims of the project in our Senegal Medicine & Healthcare Management Plan.