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Nepal Disaster Relief

Nepal: Volunteer Medical Placements and Work-Experience

Medicine in Nepal

Volunteering on a Medicine & Healthcare project in Nepal is a unique experience. As a Medicine & Healthcare volunteer you will gain a great deal of valuable work-experience alongside some of the most skilled practitioners in the country. The facilities are generally quite basic when compared to facilities in the west.

Volunteer Medicine & Healthcare placements in Nepal are based in and around Kathmandu. You will be working on social and health development projects focussing on providing medical and healthcare for the underprivileged. This is a particularly important service in a country such as Nepal where the National Health System provides for only 15% of the population.

Work at the Hospital and Rehabilitation Centre for Disabled Children (HRDC), at Banepa in the Kathmandu Valley involves a unique combination of working with doctors and being involved with care activities, and is particularly relevant for those who wish to specialise in paediatrics. The Centre is a leading referral centre for the functional mobility of physically disabled children. Most of the cases are neglected orthopaedic conditions: TB, polio, post-burn contractures and cerebral palsy.

"We spent the majority of our time at HRDC with the children, playing and talking. Many of the children having orthopaedic surgery had to stay in the hospital anything from a few weeks to two years and were often very bored. I hope that in some way we relieved their boredom and gave them the affection and attention they deserved."
Katie Fuller, Medicine & Healthcare Volunteer in Nepal

Nepal Orthopaedic Hospital is Nepal's only charitable orthopaedic treatment centre. It is dedicated to providing the best available medical and healthcare in the field of trauma, orthopaedics and rehabilitation to Nepalese people who cannot wait for, or afford, treatment elsewhere. Under supervision, previous volunteers have been allowed to do clean and dress wounds as well as assisting with setting up traction, as well as with plaster and stitch removal.

At a Medical placement

At the Chatrapati Free Clinic you will come into contact with many diseases in acute stages of development, which you are extremely unlikely to have seen in the west. Many of these conditions, with symptoms such as diarrhoea and with their origins in malnutrition, are easily preventable and you can be involved in the Centre's campaigns to increase public awareness around health issues and to help to improve the quality of life by educating people about health and sanitation. You can also work in departments such as general health services, orthopaedics, ophthalmology, dental services, ENT, orthopaedics, x-ray and ultrasound, and assist with basic surgical and dressing services.

There are many opportunities. If you wish to let us know your particular interests or expertise we will try to arrange for you to work in that specific area.


Volunteer Physiotherapy in Nepal

Physiotherapy in Nepal

There is a real shortage of physiotherapy skills in Nepal. So we provide volunteers of all abilities to help local doctors and physiotherapists. Initially you'll shadow local staff, but as you become more confident and comfortable in the role you will take more of a hands-on role. You will find that the experience you can gain will really help you to get an idea of how a busy physiotherapy department works. If you are a trained physiotherapist, you will find yourself busy and in demand from your first day.

You might work in one of our placements which provide a rehabilitation centre for disabled children. These projects are located within the Kathmandu valley, from those found in the ancient towns of Bhaktapur and Patan to those based on hilltops beside quaint villages on the outskirts of the capital city. Here volunteers often see cases with children who have been born with polio or children who have had accidents that haven't been treated correctly. Many placements deal with children with physical disabilities.

You might intern in Nepal Matri Griha - NMG - which is based just 20 minutes from Thamel in Kathmandu. NMG runs several health and therapy clinics which provide services to the women and children who have been driven by poverty and displaced by conflict and can't afford health care by themselves.

We also work with Patan Community Based Rehabilitation Organisation. CBR is implemented through the combined efforts of disabled people themselves, their families and communities. It offers services to Nepali children to improve their standard of living and provide support and care.

Volunteers have often come across neglected orthopaedic conditions such as TB, polio, post-burn contractures and cerebral palsy. You might work with inpatients and with outpatients who attend a couple of times in the week, sometimes travelling many hours for a visit to the centre.

We also work with the Royal Nepal Orthopaedic Hospital. This was set up to provide medical care - in the fields of trauma, orthopaedics and rehabilitation - to Nepalese people who cannot receive these services through the standard government-run hospitals, due to overcrowding.

This programme is one where you can really improve your CV - gaining experience impossible to get in the west - and help out these short-staffed institutions.


Volunteer Nursing in Nepal

If you are part way through your training to become a nurse or if you're a qualified nurse you could volunteer with us on a nursing placement in Nepal.

Elective Placements in Nepal

Elective placement in NepalYou can do an Elective in Nepal in Medicine or Physiotherapy.

If you wish to do your Elective in Nepal, you will be working in and around Kathmandu. You will shadow one of our supervisors who are very experienced at working with western medical and physiotherapy students. They will be keen to test out your knowledge, as well as giving you the benefit of their training and experience.

Outside of the hospital you will live with a local host family, who will provide you with all your meals outside of your normal working hours. When you aren't at work there is plenty to keep you occupied in Kathmandu & nearby Patan: art, temples, architecture, bars and cinemas. The surrounding area is fantastic for hiking or cycling, and you can take part in a number of adventure sports. Projects Abroad staff and volunteers are always around too, in case you require some company that reminds you of home!

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