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First Aid and Public Health in Chiang Mai Province Featured

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Location:  Chiang Mai, Thailand 
Type of Assignment:  Social development
Project Duration:  Minimum 8 Weeks 
Activities:  First aid and public health assistance.

    

The Organization


How is the organization involved with the community?

In a district with 54,000 people, this project delivers volunteer doctors, physicians assistants and nurses, eye testing, hearing testing, vitamins, EMT and advanced first aid training and IT support.

This is a smaller project branching from a grassroots organization that empowers rural Thai villagers. It organizes community-initiated projects that provide access to improved education and basic health services, and creates jobs and sustainable incomes for the poorest in the community. Four doctors, two dentists, and seventeen clinics, operating five days a week during business hours, provide basic medical care like stitches, inoculations, bandages, and prescriptions to 54,000 people living in the surrounding districts.

Prevention and public health are equally problematic. Many village water-filtration systems don’t work. Mountain villages especially have high rates of gastro-intestinal infections, as well as very high alcohol, drug and tobacco use. These, combined with very low motorbike helmet use, create high levels of morbidity and mortality. Some population segments – the disabled, elderly and HIV+ - are simply left out of the health equation. In these communities, people with disabilities and the elderly are often left at home while the rest of the family works. Many times diseases and illnesses remain un- or misdiagnosed.

Prevention and public health are equally problematic. Many village water-filtration systems don’t work. Mountain villages especially have high rates of gastro-intestinal infections, as well as very high alcohol, drug and tobacco use. These, combined with very low motorbike helmet use, create high levels of morbidity and mortality. Some population segments – the disabled, elderly and HIV+ - are simply left out of the health equation. In these communities, people with disabilities and the elderly are often left at home while the rest of the family works. Many times diseases and illnesses remain un- or misdiagnosed.

 


Background to the project and its aims?

Prevention is always less costly than a cure. Luckily, much of the health issues ails that ail the region can be prevented and dramatically improved with better preventative measures. Small investments, even costless changes in attitudes and behaviors, can do far more here than large investments in additional doctors, hospital beds or fancy equipment. Changes that reallocate clinic staff time for village visits, village work days to refurbish water filtration systems, meaningful alcohol and drug abuse, domestic violence and safe sex programs, and enforcement of helmet laws could dramatically improve public health at little cost.

The organization unfortunately lacks the resources to undertake projects involving the Community Hospital or even the clinics. However, they do implement micro-projects that produce low-cost, high-impact results that improve local public health. The organization focuses on serving excluded rural and special needs populations that public institutions ignore. Overlooked public health issues are also addressed—such as clean water— that village officials, rather than health officials, administer. Programs for the disabled and elderly are offered that range from providing home modifications for safety and accessibility, reading glasses and wheel chairs to basic checkups and physical therapy. Corrective lenses are also provided to schoolchildren unable to see the black board. Pre-natal care and vitamins are also provided to all pregnant and nursing women.

 


What are the daily volunteer activities in this project?

The organization is actively seeking occupational/ physical therapists or nurses, public health managers, and data analysts/ technicians. With this in mind, health professionals in all fields should feel free to apply. The organization is trying to ensure access to critical public health services to everyone. Your expertise can easily be placed inside a niche assignment that can only lead to benefiting the community as a whole.

Experienced nurses and 2nd or 3rd year nursing students make a huge difference to these clinics, which also provide an extraordinary learning experience.

The project’s clinics offer the space and materials to provide emergency medicine in isolated mountain villages, but without local people well trained in first aid, they serve no purpose. There is a major need for individuals with advanced first aid/EMT training skills to run trainings in the mountain villages that surround this region of Chiang Mai.

The volunteer may work on various aspects of any one of these projects, and while expertise in any specific program area is a plus, the organization welcomes applicants with a general public health, management, or program design background to assist with one or more of its health projects.

Specific program details for occupational/physical therapists, nurses, public health managers, and data analysts/technicians are:

1. Occupational/Physical Therapist or Nurse: to provide mobile home visits to the elderly and persons with disabilities in the community.

Responsibilities:

      • Develop individualized plans for patients to help them function as independently as possible. These may include therapeutic and strengthening exercises, functional training, manual therapy techniques, and problem-solving, memory and coordination games.
      • Communicate (through translators) with individuals’ families to instruct as to how to better support, expedite and assess therapy progress.
      • Maintain clinical and administrative records to provide detailed reports on individuals, their disabilities, and their therapeutic needs.

Experience/Skills:

      • Innovative and well-versed in therapeutic techniques in order to provide assistance to an isolated community with limited resources.
      • Bachelor’s Degree or higher in Occupational/Physical Therapy or Nursing.
      • Organized and self-supporting.
      • English fluency.

2. Public Health Manager: to coordinate the day-to-day operations and planning of the Public Heath Program.

Responsibilities:

      • Work with management to develop a long-term public health regime, and track progress.
      • Design and implement a tracking and metric system to measure effectiveness of said regime.
      • Ensure that all public health volunteers have the resources and materials they need.
      • Assist with day-to-day activities including community surveys, mobile visits, data entry, etc.

Experience/Skills:

      • Passion for public health and community development.
      • Willingness to undertake a range of duties, from analyzing data to visiting villagers.
      • Previous experience in the health sector (i.e. nursing, emergency care, working with elderly or persons with disabilities, etc.) a plus.
      • Basic knowledge of epidemiology a plus.
      • Conversationally fluent in English.

3. Data Analyst/Technician: to help develop an effective data infrastructure that both protects the integrity of the data and utilizes data to further progress in developing an effective health program.

Responsibilities:

      • Manage the collection, storage, and analysis of data, including, but not limited to donors, elderly and persons with disabilities, and partner organizations.
      • Develop thoughtful and thorough surveys.
      • Assist with in-the-field data collection through various surveys.
      • Organize data into effective and impactful presentations.

Experience/Skills:

      • Strong PR background- experience implementing high-level communications strategies to successfully execute its plan.
      • Interest in promoting sustainable development.
      • Management experience.
      • Ability to think creatively and function in a diverse workplace.
      • Conversationally fluent in English.

In addition to these activities, volunteers are required to teach two hours of English a week at the local community center.

Program Details

Quick facts about the trip:

Project duration:  Minimum 8 weeks
Project Location:   Chiang Mai Province, Thailand
Airport of arrival: Chiang Mai (CNX)
Activities:  First aid and public health assistance.
Working Hours:  5 day work week, 5 hours a day.
Accommodation:  Volunteer house
Requirements:  This position requires a passion for public health, and a willingness to undertake a range of duties, from analyzing data to visiting communities. The ideal candidate will be:

  • A nurse, or 2nd-3rd year nursing or medical student
  • A community public health official
  • A graduating Public Health major or an MPH candidate
  • An EMT or EMT/first aid instructor
  • Someone with previous experience with the disabled and/or elderly
  • Basic knowledge of epidemiology a plus

Also, a criminal background check, or equivalent, since volunteers will have contact with children at the center.


What's included:

Accommodation:  Single or double in volunteer house with screens, western toilet, hot water, kitchen and internet.
Airport pickup
Local Transfers: a motorbike is provided for transportation between villages and the project site.
Pre-departure Orientation and Onsite Training: Volunteers receive a comprehensive workshop on being a volunteer in the project, safety and security in the destination country, culture shock, and pre-departure preparations.
Support: 24/7 during your volunteering time.


What's not included:

Flights, visas, insurance, meals.

Rates

Program Duration Cost (USD)
8 weeks 1,031.00
12 weeks 1,322.00
16 weeks 1,605.00
20 weeks 1,816.00
24 weeks 2,027.00
Additional weeks 153.00 per week

All Registration Fees are included in the prices above.