Starting daysStarting days are Monday to Friday all year around except December and Ramadan
Minimum Requirements4 weeks and longer subject to visa requirements. A minimum age of 18 years old and older. Studying or qualified in medicine, healthcare or related fields fields.
Cost£1430 for 4 weeks and £280 for each additional week
What is includedMeeting you at the airport in Zanzibar on arrival, airport transfers to and from the airport, shared accommodation at the volunteer house, registration and application of visa if needed, nursing permit for Zanzibar hospitals, pre-departure admin and support, orientation and induction, in-country staff with 24/7 support, three meals a day (Monday to Friday), drinking water at the volunteer house, WIFI at the volunteer house, transfer to and from the school you are placed and any additional running costs.
What is not includedFlights, visas costs, comprehensive travel insurance, spending money, weekend transport, recreational activities, vaccinations if needed, laundry and additional food when not at the volunteer house.
Best forCareer breakers, nursing and medicine students, qualified nurses and doctors and retired medical professionals.
  • Healthcare Experience in Zanzibar
  • Healthcare Experience in Zanzibar
  • Medical volunteers
  • Medical intern in Zanzibar
  • Healthcare Experience in Zanzibar

Project description

Our Healthcare Experience project gives an opportunity to interns and volunteers to assist in one of two local hospitals in Zanzibar, Tanzania, gaining practical experience on the ground while experiencing how the medical and healthcare system works on an island in a developing country with a very different culture.  

Many diseases are regularly found in most of sub-Sahara African countries including malaria, cholera, HIV/AIDS, accident-related injuries, mental illness, etc so volunteers and interns get opportunities to experience situations on the ground that they may not have access to in Europe, the UK, USA and other western areas.

Zanzibar presents a unique healthcare landscape, where interns may encounter diseases and conditions not commonly seen in their home country. This exposure broadens their medical knowledge and hones their diagnostic skills as they learn to recognize and treat tropical illnesses.

This Healthcare Experience project is designed to support treatments for these diseases and improve general public health for the well-being of the community of Zanzibar.

Participants get hands-on experience in a healthcare setting, working alongside experienced professionals. From conducting patient assessments to assisting in surgeries (under supervision), interns gain practical skills that are invaluable for their future careers in medicine.

Interning and volunteering in Zanzibar fosters adaptability, resilience, and cross-cultural communication skills – essential attributes for healthcare professionals in an increasingly globalized world. It also offers opportunities for networking and collaboration with professionals from diverse backgrounds. This project challenges interns to step out of their comfort zones, fostering personal growth and self-discovery. Whether it’s overcoming language barriers or navigating an unfamiliar healthcare system, participants develop resilience and resourcefulness that serve them well throughout their careers.

Interns and volunteers  of the following study fields and research are welcome: pharmacy, nursing, psychology, surgery, medicine and other related field.

The role of the volunteer and interns are to support a local hospital and assist trained medical staff, help protect and promote the health of the hospital patients and the visiting public, take care of the patients, contribute to teaching and training doctors and other healthcare professionals if qualified, act as a positive role model, engaging with hospital colleagues to maintain and improve the safety and quality of patient care and use healthcare resources efficiently for the benefit of patients and the public, etc.

Volunteers and interns assist Monday to Friday for roughly 6 hours a day in the morning shift.

The hospitals you will be appointed too has several areas that you could be assisting in namely a women’s ward, ICU (emergency) Paediatric (children ward) and others like radiology depending on the hospital. You will be assigned a hospital on arrival after discussion with the volunteer coordinator.

Your volunteer and intern duties could include these areas:

Clinical Duties:  Participate  in direct patient care under the supervision of attending physicians and senior residents. You may conduct patient assessments, perform physical examinations, and assist in medical procedures.

Patient Management: You may be involved in developing and implementing patient management plans, including ordering diagnostic tests, interpreting results, prescribing medications, and coordinating follow-up care

Medical Documentation: You may be responsible for maintaining accurate and up-to-date medical records, including progress notes, orders, and discharge summaries, in compliance with hospital and regulatory requirements.

Team Collaboration:  You may work closely with multidisciplinary healthcare teams, including nurses, therapists, social workers, and consultants, to coordinate patient care, address clinical concerns, and facilitate smooth transitions of care.

Quality Improvement:  You may be involved with improvement initiatives aimed at enhancing patient safety, healthcare delivery efficiency, and clinical outcomes. They may participate in root cause analysis, data collection, and implementation of evidence-based interventions.

Typical Hospital Day

06h00- wake up, have a quick shower and help yourself to breakfast

07h00- leave for the hospital

07h30- arrive at the hospital to start the day.

13h00- finish the morning shift

13h30- arrive back at the volunteer accommodation and help yourself to a late lunch

14h30 – enjoy the afternoon with a good book, take a beach swim, stroll the maze of alleys in Stone town or visit a local market. Or just catch up on laundry.

19h00 – Dinner time and a chance to watch a little TV and catch up with the other volunteers and coordinators how their day was.

Please be aware though as you are in Africa, things might run at a slight slower pace than what you are used too.

  • volunteer accommodation
  • volunteer accommodation
  • volunteer accommodation
  • Zanzibar Airport
  • Stone Town
  • Stone Town

Accommodation

The Healthcare Experience volunteer accommodation is in a house in Malindi on the outskirts of Stone Town. It has free Wi-Fi that volunteers are able to use, and the office of the local team is also located within the same building. It is well situated allowing easy access to all the various project sites- and not too far from the beach. Travel time from the volunteer house to project sites is therefore a maximum of 30 minutes’ drive.

The volunteer house can accommodate up to 15 volunteers at one time with a kitchen, living area and several bedrooms and bathrooms shared with other volunteers.

Bedrooms are shared with two to three other volunteers of the same gender. Married couples can be accommodated too, and single bedrooms are possibly with an upgrade charge. Bed linen and mosquito nets are provided and electric fans for the heat.

Bathrooms are equipped with western style toilets and showers. Volunteers will need to bring their own towels and toiletries. There is a washing machine to do laundry, but you will need to bring your own laundry detergent. Or you can do handwashing.

As the accommodation is a shared living space, all volunteers are expected to help keep the accommodation tidy. To assist with the cooking and cleaning there is a local “mama” who works several days a week. The accommodation also has a sitting room (common room) where volunteers can relax, socialise with other volunteers and the local team as well as watching TV, Netflix or just relaxing on the sofa with a good book. There is a curfew if volunteers go out in the evening to be back before midnight.

As volunteers become familiar with the project site, they are encouraged to use public transport (buses – dala dala) to experience local life.

Food

Volunteers are provided with three local meals per day during weekdays (breakfast, lunch and dinner). Breakfast is self-serve at the accommodation and includes tea, coffee, fruits, bread (with Nutella and jam), eggs, etc. Lunch and dinner are prepared in the volunteer house. Drinking water is provided.

Your stay will typically include daily breakfast and dinner (although self-catering may be arranged in some instances). Depending on your schedule and the location of your placement, self-served (“raid the refrigerator”) lunches will be available at home or you may want to take a packed lunch. You will eat traditional Zanzibari/Swahili cuisine (simple but healthful foods including fresh fish and chicken, rice-based dishes, chapati and bread, fresh vegetables and fruits and juices). We can accommodate vegetarians if you let us know in advance.

During weekend, volunteers are free to use the kitchen if they wish to cook but they can also go out with or without volunteer coordinators for meals.

Location

We simply love Zanzibar! It has so much to offer from nature, beaches, great food, culture and history! Added to the fact the weather is great and even in rainy season, you get a downpour and then the sun comes out again!

Your arrival and departure airport for the Healthcare Experience project, is Abeid Amani Karume International Airport in Zanzibar. You will be met warmly by our representative and taken to the volunteer house during daylight hours. Please wait at the arrivals entrance to be collected by them and do not leave the airport area. 

The airport is approximately a 17-minute drive (8km) from the volunteer house in the Malindi region outside of Stone Town. Airport collection and drop-off days are Monday to Friday with your arrival flight landing any time before 17h00 and your departure flight leaving any time after 10h00. 

If you would like flights outside of these guidelines, please confirm with us so we can make suitable arrangements for your airport transfers if possible.

Most of our Healthcare Experience volunteers and interns can enjoy the opportunity to swim every day and/or take part in the nightly community football games on the beach. Watching the sunset in the evenings (we have some spectacular ones) and visiting the beach at daybreak to watch the fishermen bring in their catch are special pleasures.

Weekends are the perfect time to take in some day trips to visit the turtle sanctuary in the northern parts of the island, take a boat trip to  see the giant Aldabra tortoises on Prison Island, hike Jozani National park to view endangered Red Colobus monkeys, visit the butterfly farm, tour the fragrant spice farms, take traditional dhow boat trips, visit the Freddy Mercury Museum at Mercury House, snorkel one of the hot spots like Mnemba Atoll, visit heritage sites like the old Slave market or House of Wonder or buy spices and other goods at Darajani market. 

Stone Town has been named a UNESCO World Heritage site -for good reason- and wandering through its maze of narrow alleyways, visiting its museums, marketplaces, gardens, coffee and tea houses and wharf is another pleasure and takes you back in time. Not to mention some of the best seafood and traditional local curries can be sampled in the various eating establishments doted around the town or at the night food market at Forodhani Gardens.

There are frequent outdoor musical events in the Old Fort and at various venues in the city and at the local dance clubs. Once a year there is the well-known Dhow Festival that takes place. 

Zanzibar has a wealth of beautiful beaches, world class snorkelling, diving, and fishing, spice farms and numerous other interesting places to visit while you are volunteering…a true African island paradise. 

For more information or to book, either fill in the contact form or please email info@volunteerinternationaladventures.com. You might also be interested in our Teaching project in South Africa