Public Health Internships in Belize
- PLACEMENT LOCATION: San Pedro
- ROLE: Focusing on a variety of areas, including community outreaches and public health campaigns
- REQUIREMENTS: None
- ACCOMMODATION: Host families
- LENGTH OF PLACEMENT: From 2 weeks
- START DATES: Flexible
A Public Health internship with Projects Abroad in Belize is a great way to gain practical experience in the field of healthcare while giving back to communities in need. Whether you are a student looking to gain experience in public health or already work in the field, you can contribute by helping local children and adults who would otherwise struggle to access healthcare or afford treatment. This internship is also ideal for students building a resume for medical school.
Based in San Pedro, the Public Health internship focuses on a variety of areas such as the promotion of healthy living and nutrition. Interns will raise awareness in local communities by going on outreaches projects and public health campaigns. Public Health campaigns will be a vital part of your work abroad and you will focus on issues such as sexual and reproductive health, HIV/AIDS, and communicable diseases. This will also allow you to enhance your medical knowledge a great deal.
Interning Abroad in Public Health in Belize
In Belize, interns work alongside qualified medical professionals, who will be on hand to train you wherever possible and to answer any questions you may have. It is important that you show local staff that you are enthusiastic and have a good work ethic. Developing a trusting relationship with local staff will allow you to gain the most out of this internship. We also encourage you to ask questions and take notes so that you can learn as much as possible in your time abroad.
The following are some of the tasks that you can work on during your internship:
- Provide free mobile clinics in parks to provide health checkups, including blood pressure, blood sugar, and BMI
- Assist with developing and leading support groups on hypertension, diabetes, and breast feeding
- Planning and executing health fairs together with the Ministry of Health and other health-related non-governmental groups
- Providing support to a Boys Group that deals with issues of respect, bullying, and other topics related to adolescent boys
- Providing support to a Girls Group that deals with self-esteem issues, bullying, and other topics related to adolescent girls
- Work alongside nurses in schools on a variety of topics, including drugs, alcohol, dentistry, Zika, and the flu
Interns usually work from 8am to 5pm from Monday to Friday and have the weekends free to relax or travel, unless there is medical outreach work scheduled on Saturdays or Sundays.
There are a number of other general project activities that you can take part in during your time abroad, including the following:
- Providing care and attention to animals at the SAGA Humane Society, such as taking the animals for walks
- Run campaigns on re-usable bag and straw to help reduce the amount of plastic used on the island
- Paint murals at schools
Did you know? Belize’s rainforests have thousands of trees, plants, fruits, and vines that were traditionally used for medicinal purposes by the ancient Mayans. To this day over 25% over the world’s pharmaceutical drugs are derived from substances discovered in plants.
There will also be community days that you can get involved in, such as helping with the cleaning and revamping of parks, taking part in community beach clean-ups, and enjoying community movie nights.
During your time in Belize, you will live with a local host family, who will welcome you into their home and introduce you to the culture. You will also be able to explore your surroundings with other Projects Abroad interns and volunteers. Projects Abroad staff also organize regular social events that you can join in with if you wish.
Public Health internships in Belize are available for shorter periods than 4 weeks. While you will be able to gain valuable medical experience on a short-term trip, we recommend staying for a longer period to allow yourself more time to get to know the local medical system, see more of a variety of conditions and procedures, and develop stronger relationships with local medical staff.
While you’re in Belize, you might also consider joining a 1 week Conservation & Environment Project. For more information, please visit our Diving & Marine Conservation in Belize Project page. Our Combinations Page explains how you can combine not only projects, but also destinations.