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Midwifery Volunteer Projects in Tanzania

Volunteer Midwifery Projects in Tanzania

If you are considering volunteering in Midwifery then Tanzania would be a great choice. You will not just learn a lot from your time here, but you will also be helping poor and disadvantaged women and their babies who will benefit from your time.

You will be placed in maternity units in either Dar es Salaam or Arusha. Most hospitals have maternity units, the largest experiencing up to 90 births a day. Your role will be mainly observational, but if you are enthusiastic and integrate well into the team, you may be given more to do.

The local midwives are very busy and you will have to be energetic and pro-active in order to keep up with them. You will be able to provide emotional support to women in labour, show them to their beds, and be an extra pair of hands for the midwives. You will observe C-sections take place and check babies, for example weighing them, once they are born.

Midwifery in Tanzania

According to hospital regulations in Arusha and Dar es Salaam, only volunteers studying midwifery or medicine will be permitted to observe cesarean sections and births. If you have no previous medical experience, or you are still a pre-med student, you will not be allowed to partake in observing cesarean sections and births.

Maternity practice in Tanzania will be different from what you are used to. You may find some births quite shocking and you should try not to become emotionally attached to the patients, but be on hand to support the women and the midwives. Maternity units in Tanzania will not have the level of equipment or resources that you are used to. You will learn a lot about birth in a developing country and learn how resourceful midwives have to be working with limited facilities.

You will live with one of our local host families who will treat you as part of their family. Our active Projects Abroad community will be on hand for you spend your free time with, when exploring the area and travelling at weekends. The standard Midwifery project is available from 2 weeks. 

You can read more detailed information about the aims of the project in our Tanzania Medicine & Healthcare Management Plan.

The Maasai Medical Project

Projects Abroad also works closely with a Maasai community hospital, which is under-resourced and under-staffed. If you have a keen interest or experience in the medical field and would like to work closely with a rural community, this is the perfect option for you. Volunteers work alongside local doctors and nurses in a variety of different hospital departments. Facilities at the hospital are basic and treatments are sometimes not of the standard one would expect in the West. You should be prepared to see some shocking cases and try not to become emotionally involved with the patients. Ninety per cent of the patients are Maasai and the hospital runs regular community outreach programmes in order to educate and treat the more remote members of the community. 

The Maasai Medical placement is available from 4 weeks. Given the private nature and often poor living conditions of the Maasai tribe, you will be living with other volunteers on the Maasai Community project in a communal house that has basic facilities.

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