PUBLIC HEALTH INTERNSHIP

Quick Facts

  • Livingstone, Zambia
  • Harry Mwanga Nkumbula International Airport
  • Specific Start Dates
  • 4 weeks
  • Impact: Healthcare
from US$2,170

PUBLIC HEALTH INTERNSHIP

This is a 4-week global health program that takes place in the town of Livingstone, Zambia. The internship is designed to improve access to, and quality of, healthcare. You will do innovative work in a low-income area that includes determining the health of community populations, launching and running initiatives, and addressing context-specific barriers to effective healthcare. 

OUR RECENT RESEARCH PROJECTS

This internship provides invaluable on-the-ground experience where you will get the chance to do hands-on work while engaging with theories of African healthcare.

THE DESTINATION

Livingstone is a beautiful, rural town in southern Zambia just a stone’s throw away from the mighty Zambezi river and the border of Zimbabwe. It is a hub for visitors looking to experience one of the Seven Natural Wonders of the World - Victoria Falls, locally known as Mosi-oa-Tunya, 'the Smoke that Thunders'. Livingstone is the ultimate playground for adventure-seekers, wildlife enthusiasts, and lovers of the great outdoors. Whether you’d like to bungee jump, swim in the ‘Devil’s Pool’, white water raft down the Zambezi, join a river safari or enjoy an African sunset, every experience in Livingstone is unique. The town itself is relaxed and friendly with an intriguing culture and history. Here, you’ll find arts and craft producers, museums, colonial architecture, traditional village life, as well as delicious local food and laidback African lifestyle.

You’ll be staying in the heart of Livingstone at a private volunteer house within the popular and vibrant Victoria Falls Backpackers Zambia. This comfortable backpackers’ is 15 minutes from Victoria Falls and is a 5 minute walk from Livingstone’s town centre which has many stores and a great selection of cafes and restaurants for you to explore at weekends. You will have access to a swimming pool, lounge, bar, fire pit area and even a climbing wall! These communal areas offer the perfect space to get to know each other and relax at the end of the day. Bedrooms are dormitory style with bunk beds and shared bathroom facilities, as well as daily housekeeping. The staff can share knowledge about the area and are happy to help organize river cruises, canoe safaris, and trips to Chobe National Park. You won’t want to leave your “new home” as the staff will become your new family!

You will receive three fresh and delicious meals a day cooked by local chefs during the week. For breakfast you can expect cereal and toast, along with a cooked option such as eggs, pancakes or French toast. Lunch could be a wrap, pizza or sandwich paired with a fresh crispy salad. For dinner you might have a pasta dish, curry with rice or an authentic stew. Vegetarian options are available and we can cater to most dietary requirements. At weekends you will have access to the kitchen to make your own food, though most volunteers choose to visit local cafes and restaurants. Café Zambezi makes great traditional Zambian food and is a favourite amongst locals, while Maramba River Lodge is a popular spot for sundowners and Fez Bar is a popular place to hang out with locals and do a little dancing in the evenings!

To keep in touch with family and friends back home, Victoria Falls Backpackers has complimentary WiFi for you to use during your stay. You can also purchase a SIM card with data bundles if you wish.

Weather in Livingstone tends to be stable and sunny from August until late October when the "monsoon" rains start to hit. Either side of this time, the weather is very pleasant. The climate is tropical or sub-tropical depending on altitude, with a hot, humid, and rainy season from mid-November to March and a dry season from April to mid-November. October is typically the hottest month of the year.

PROJECT IMPACT AREAS

PUBLIC HEALTHCARE

By measuring success and working on challenges with African Impact, you are helping to share solutions and raise awareness. You will engage in research to provide support to often forgotten and over-looked demographics. Your work with pivotal groups contributes to your legacy while aiding their well-being.

You will work closely with members of the community in workshops that address issues including mental health, general nutrition, physical health, and other topics tailored according to age, gender, and income bracket. Providing opportunities to ask questions, provide resources, and share answers is always the goal.

WORKSHOPS AND INNOVATION

Effecting interventions at grassroots level can be highly useful in accomplishing change. That is why we work with groups that can go on to support each other. Through a series of workshops (that you will help deliver) on varying topics, you’ll find your internship experience to be dynamic and fulfilling in surprising ways. A structured delivery based on strong research will please any crowd. You will gain valuable skills during these workshops. You may present on HIV, talk to different schools or establishments, or compare the dynamics of rural vs urban medicine.

CLINIC VISITS AND HOME-BASED CARE

This will be a regular part of the program and gives you an opportunity to learn from others on the front line of public healthcare. Often the focus is on reactive care while looking to involve and speak to “at-risk” individuals. You may sit in on talks on teenage pregnancy from a local midwife or discussions on pre- and post-natal care, cholera, malnutrition, living with HIV, or medication protocols.

You will also work in a home-based care system on the outskirts of Livingstone to gain insight into the healthcare system and the difficulties and limitations faced daily.

PROFESSIONAL DEVELOPMENT

This is an area we specialize in as we recognize its importance. You will have 3 professional experts to support you as an individual:

Mentorship from the African Impact team on the ground who will add context to your specific interests within this field; this will provide a deeper insight into the history of Zambian public healthcare, as well as the challenges currently faced.

A highly qualified Personal Development Coach to work with you through one to one and group discussion. They support you with tools to use throughout your experience and beyond, exploring personal goals and opportunities for your future.

Monitoring and Evaluation Coaching in relation to global health. This area allows for development and training in social research method tools and analysing and reporting on data.

FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

Hospitals in Zambia

Which hospital is the best in Zambia?

Generally, one can find most of the best hospitals in Zambia in larger city centres, such as Lusaka, Kitwe, and Ndola.

Which is the largest hospital in Zambia? 

Similar to the above question, the largest hospitals in Zambia are typically in high-density urban areas. The University Teaching Hospital, located in Lusaka, is regularly considered Zambia's largest care centre. Beyond these hospitals in more populated urban centres, few hospital services are in rural areas and communities. With almost 10 million people living outside of urban city centres in Zambia, many residents don't benefit from the higher level of care provided at larger, better-funded hospitals and instead rely on smaller healthcare clinics or posts for their care.

Which country in Africa has the best healthcare?

Many African countries, including South Africa, Kenya, and Zambia, have a strong private healthcare system. If residents can afford private healthcare cover or treatment, the healthcare they receive is typically quite reliable. However, private healthcare is often limited to the wealthiest citizens, and most rural African communities simply cannot afford or access this level of healthcare, relying on public healthcare systems. In general, public healthcare systems across Africa severely struggle with a lack of funding, trained staff, and proper medical resources.

Does Zambia have good healthcare? 

Across the nation, but particularly in rural communities, the public healthcare system in Zambia is relatively poor. Underfunded and understaffed, healthcare clinics in Zambia struggle to extend high-quality medical care to local patients, leaving many residents without the care they desperately need. Our Public Health Internship combines fieldwork with social research opportunities to discover innovative solutions to tackling Zambia's public healthcare issues. As a public health intern, your work will explore how we can improve the quality of and access to healthcare in low-income areas in Zambia.

Which African country has the worst healthcare?

It's challenging to establish which country in Africa has the worst healthcare, as they all have individual strengths and weaknesses. While some may provide a higher level of hospital care than others, generally, most healthcare centres in Africa are simply not as efficient, modernized, or effective as those in higher-income countries. Across Africa, there is a great need for innovation, funding, and support in public healthcare systems. By joining us as a public health intern, your research will be invaluable to supporting sustainable development in healthcare systems in Zambia.

Other Activities

Livingstone is known as “Africa’s Adventure Capital” because there is so much to see and do. Take advantage of your proximity to the great and mighty Victoria Falls, as well as the other adventures the Zambezi has to offer. Zambezi boat cruises, white water rafting, and canoe trips are all ways in which you can encounter these great waters. You can also ride quad bike trails, swim in “Devil’s Pool” (seasonal) or view the breath-taking scenery from the air in a microlight or helicopter. For the adrenaline junkies, why not try the famous bungee jump or gorge swing?

Livingstone, Zambia is safari country. Here, you can spot a whole lot of wildlife, with elephants being particularly prevalent along the river banks. do rhino bushwalks or even take a boat safari to spot elephants off the Zambezi River. Mosi-oa-Tunya National Park offers a convenient safari where you can spot elephant, zebra and more, against beautiful backdrops of the Zambezi River. The real highlight of the park is the re-introduced white rhino, which you can track on foot in a thrilling wildlife encounter! A water safari is also a fantastic way to see wildlife grazing on the river banks – expect elephants, hippos and crocodiles. Across the border in Botswana is Chobe National Park, famed for its huge elephant population (currently estimated at over 120,000!). An overnight safari to this National Park is a popular weekend activity that many past volunteers have enjoyed.

Livingstone has a rich culture and you can embark on a walking or cycling village tour to a local African village, giving you further insight into the traditional way of life. You can also shop at some of the many markets and stock up on locally hand-made goods for your loved ones back home or find interesting local foods to try.

APPLY NOW

Once you have submitted your application, a Destination Specialist will be in-touch to discuss the project with you.

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Please note that an additional GB£20 | US$25 | EU€20 | AU$35 is added to the program fee as a mandatory contribution to the African Impact Sustainability Fund.