DOCTORS WILL HELP AT THE RURAL HOSPITALS IN LIBERIA
VOLUNTEERS PROVIDE SUPPORT AT MULNUTRITION CLINICS
MEDICAL VOLUNTEERS HAVE TO ADAPT TO LIMITED RESOURCES
Nurses, Midwives, and Doctors
To be most useful in a rural health centre setting, healthcare volunteers need to be fully trained clinicians such as nurses, midwives, and doctors, and perhaps senior medical students. We are not able to consider medical or nursing students doing their electives as there are no sufficiently qualified staff at the Dispensary or other local Health Centres to supervise them. Areas of experience that would be particularly useful include General Practice, Tropical Medicine, Paediatrics, Infectious Diseases, HIV, Obstetrics and Gynaecology. Previous experience of working and/or travelling in a developing country would be of great benefit. Unlike the education part of our volunteering program where we can find projects for a number of volunteers, medical volunteering in Liberia requires fewer volunteers. Please be aware that the Health Centres have very few facilities, and some healthcare professionals may find working at these limiting and frustrating. Three healthcare volunteers (one doctor and/or two nurses) is the maximum number needed at any one time. In addition to working at the Dispensary and/or Health Centres, healthcare volunteers may also like to spend one or more days a week at the rural hospital in Liberia. A number of healthcare volunteers have also taught in the local secondary school and have found this very rewarding.
Currently, there is a shortage of physiotherapists in Liberia and, while there is a higher concentration of physiotherapists in the bigger centres, the rural areas tend to have far less assistance. In the rural areas, physiotherapy is dependent on community based rehabilitation providers, who are very often physiotherapy assistants, and operate out of organisations. Physiotherapists with experience working with people with a disability, neurological disorders, paediatrics, burns and amputees would find their skills and knowledge of particular use in this area of Liberia. However, anyone with general musculoskeletal and orthopaedic knowledge will also find plenty of work in the community.