Projects Abroad looking for much needed medical volunteers

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Volunteer organisation Projects Abroad is encouraging new volunteers to take up medical placements in African countries. A recent article in the Irish Times highlighted how medical aid from Ireland is making a difference to the lives of Africans in need.

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As well as the assistance provided from governments through overseas aid, many more Africans can be helped by volunteers.

The heart-warming story of Zadia Marcelino, a 42-year-old grandmother from Mozambique who was diagnosed as HIV positive, shows how vital overseas aid can be.

“A lady visited me regularly and she used to take me to hospital regularly and help me go through the drugs,” Zadia explained. “I am now helping others. When I see somebody doing badly I get them to go to hospital.”

Zadia's story is a beacon of hope, but for many people in Africa healthcare, is still dangerously out of reach. From grandparents such as Zadia to tiny babies, many are in desperate need of help. As well as the assistance provided from governments through overseas aid, many more Africans can be helped by volunteers with organisations such as Projects Abroad Ireland (http://www.projects-abroad.ie).

Projects Abroad offers a wide variety of tailor-made elective placements overseas in developing countries, including many countries in Africa. These include medical electives that have been designed specifically to meet the needs of students training to be doctors, dentists, nurses, midwives, physiotherapists and occupational therapists.

The organisation has over 20 years’ experience of providing volunteers with medical placements, on which it provides training and experience that will be of enormous help to people in need overseas and also look good on the CV of any nurse, doctor or dentist.

These placements suit students who have already undertaken a substantial amount of training and have considerable skills under their belt. Elective placement volunteers will provide much needed extra hands at clinics in a range of countries, including Togo, Kenya, China and Mongolia. As well as learning from their placements, elective volunteers can also assist in the training of the less experienced.

Adam Spong was one of Projects Abroad Ireland's elective volunteers at a Mongolian hospital. He explained: “I have loved every minute of my time on my elective placement in Mongolia, at times it has been frustrating but I wouldn't change a thing. It's a unique place that as a friend once said ‘gets under your skin’ and I couldn't agree more.”

Adam also has advice for prospective volunteers: “The challenges won't be easy but for me the rewards were plenty.”

About Projects Abroad IE

Established in 1992, Projects Abroad is a leading organiser of volunteer projects, work experience and gap year placements. With a flexible approach and experienced in-country staff Projects Abroad has now helped over 50,000 volunteers achieve their goals by working with developing communities in over 25 destinations worldwide.

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Anna Mccarthy
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