Public Health Project in Sri Lanka
A Public Health placement with Projects Abroad in Sri Lanka is ideal for anyone wanting to gain practical experience in the field of healthcare, while giving back to communities in need.
Several tropical diseases (such as leptospirosis) are a significant problem and there has been a rise in the number of cases of non-communicable diseases like diabetes, high blood pressure, cardiovascular disease, and high cholesterol. This increase in non-communicable disease cases is a result of lifestyle changes. The population is aging and more people are earning a higher income. Local healthcare services are slowly increasing their capacity to focus on the treatment and prevention of these diseases, as they now account for 85% of the total disease burden in Sri Lanka - we are assisting with this process. Volunteers will help reduce cases of non-communicable disease by raising awareness of preventative measures and running intervention programmes. These programmes address major risk factors like smoking, alcohol, obesity, an unhealthy diet, and a lack of exercise.
You will also help provide vital basic medical services in these communities while gaining valuable practical experience. This placement is suitable for everyone interested in medicine and healthcare, and is especially useful for pre-med students building a CV for medical school, healthcare graduates interested in adding to their skills, or professionals already working in the field.
Volunteering on a Public Health Project in Sri Lanka
In Sri Lanka, we work alongside a government healthcare organisation that falls under the Preventive Health Sector of the Regional Director of Health Services (RDHS) in Colombo. The organisation offers maternal and child health services, including a training centre for midwives. There are 5 full time doctors and 3 nursing sisters who cover work at 17 clinics.
Volunteers on the Public Health placement will spend most of their time on the following activities:
- Assisting doctors and staff at the centres, where they will help mothers fill out their child’s health development record
- Collecting and entering data
- Assisting public health midwives during field and house-to-house visits.
- Assisting the public health inspector on government school visits during medical inspections.
- Participating in medical outreaches. This involves taking vital signs, checking blood pressure and blood sugar levels, and observing consultations.
- Organising and running awareness programmes in areas where we have identified a specific need (such as a specific community, a school, or a home for the elderly).
- Running intervention programmes when requested by specific communities and our project partners.
- Observing and assisting midwives and doctors at clinics. Volunteers can only assist with the permission
of local staff.
- Conducting research and write reports on important public health and medical-related topics.
During your time on the project, you will have the opportunity to attend monthly medical camps and seminars with all of the other medical volunteers in Sri Lanka. You will also visit hospitals and attend workshops, where you will learn about local healthcare systems and traditional medicine.
Volunteers must be 18 years or older to participate in this project.
You can read more detailed information about the aims of the project in our Sri Lanka Medicine & Healthcare Management Plan.