Medical Volunteering in Tanzania

I would like to feature on your website to share my experience of gaining medical experience in Tanzania with Gap Medics. I had a wonderful time and when I came home I met someone who is planning on doing the India programme so told her to go for it!

Prior to travelling to Tanzania, I completed a degree at the University of Aberdeen in Biomedical Science. I have also worked as an Auxiliary Nurse in Scotland for 5 years and carried out a number of work experience placements, therefore the Tanzanian method of treatment was very different to anything I had experienced across in the UK. The wards in Tanzania are more crowded than the UK and basic patient care and meals are provided by the family of the patient. Also, there are many tropical diseases in Tanzania such as malaria, which I had only ever read about therefore, it was interesting to see real life cases. I was also glad that the language didn’t present too much of a problem, all the medical staff were able to translate into English, however I did pick up a few words in Swahili!

There are 4 specialities which you rotate around during your stay; Paediatrics, Obstetrics and Gynaecology, Internal Medicine and Surgery. In addition to this, I attended 2 lectures per week and Wednesday was allocated as a rotation day where we may choose additional specialities to experience such as Psychiatry, Laboratories and the Mortuary. Throughout my stay I attended lectures on Malaria treatment, HIV management and Pre and Post Operative Management to name a few.

Lauren Dickson on Placement

The weekends are free for you to explore Tanzania. During my 3 week stay I went on Safari and visited Zanzibar. I have to say Ruaha Hilltop Lodges were beautiful and the staff there made Safari very enjoyable! The weekends also give you more time to spend with the other Gap Medics Students, I made lots of new friends during my stay some of whom were from all over the world.

I also have to say that the Gap Medics Staff do an excellent job both in the UK and in Tanzania. M’Doe does a great job getting you to your accommodation safely and helps plan any weekend activities you want to do during your stay. Deborah makes some of the best food I’ve ever tasted and is such a lovely person. John does a great job with the housekeeping and teaches you Swahili when he gets time. And, Mark and Dave do a great job planning your trip from England and are also on hand if you have any problems during your stay in Tanzania.

Lauren Dixon – Gap Medics Student

What preparations have I made for Tanzania?

Thanks to a very user-friendly website following packing instructions wasn’t very difficult, even if scrubs and surgical masks meant a few things were a little complicated to source! Vaccination-wise I have had to have Typhoid, Hep A and Hep B in addition to what I had already. Other things have included needing to look at a map to know where in Africa Tanzania is – causing a swift purchase of a Lonely planet guide book to read before I go!

Angus Paterson – Gap Medics Student

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