Volunteers are welcome in the health care sector in Senegal where their assistance is required in clinics and hospitals. A wide spectrum of individuals can sign up to medical programs, including qualified medical personnel, medical students and pre-med students. Volunteer placements are tailored, where possible, to the level of experience and the interests of the individual, as well as to the size and type of hospital or clinic best suited to their preferences.
Opportunities exist in Nursing, Midwifery, Dentistry, Traditional Medicine and Physiotherapy. Volunteers in Senegal's hospitals get the chance both to observe and assist doctors and nurses directly, which includes accompanying them on their rounds. There will inevitably be a striking contrast between the medical service delivered in developed countries and that of developing countries. Volunteers in Senegal can encounter many medical conditions that have been left untreated over time and are in advanced stages. While this can be harrowing, it can also be instructive.
The hospital in Yoff is large and has many departments including maternity, child welfare, laboratory, pharmacy, inpatient wards, out patients, surgical theatre. Volunteers with medical experience are able to assist in any department depending on their skills and interests. The hospital caters to the local community and also villages that are further afield. The maternity ward is the busiest and in 2013 they delivered approx. 6500 babies - more than any other hospital in Senegal. Although it is a large hospital it is still rather basic and under resourced in terms of equipment. Volunteers need to be prepared to handle medical situations with the limitations that exist in African hospitals.