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Public Health Internships in Sri Lanka

Overview
Project Overview
  • PLACEMENT LOCATION: Colombo & Kalutara District
  • ROLE: To work in a variety of health care areas, including community outreaches and public health campaigns
  • REQUIREMENTS: None
  • ACCOMMODATION: Host families
  • LENGTH OF PLACEMENT: From 2 weeks
  • START DATES: Flexible

A Sri Lankan man has his blood pressure checked by a Projects Abroad Public Health intern.

In Sri Lanka,conditions are slowly improving: the gap between income equality has shrunk in recent years and more communities have access to electricity and clean water. There are still, however, communities which remain severely disadvantaged, and one of the biggest problems they face is a lack of access to health services and basic treatment. Improved economic conditions have also seen a rise in the number of cases of non-communicable diseases due to lifestyle changes.

An aging population and more people earning a higher income has resulted in non-communicable diseases like diabetes, high blood pressure, cardiovascular disease, and high cholesterol, now together making up 85% of of the total disease burden in Sri Lanka.

As an intern, you will offer assistance at a health care organization, including focus on helping local health care services in increasing their capacity to focus on the treatment and prevention of non-communicable diseases. You will also raise awareness of preventative measures that local people can take through running intervention programs, where you will address major risk factors like:

  • smoking
  • alcohol
  • obesity
  • an unhealthy diet
  • lack of exercise

This placement is suitable for everyone interested in medicine and health care, and is especially useful for pre-med students building resumes for medical school, health care graduates interested in adding to their skills, or professionals already working in the field.

To participate in this project, you need to be at least 18 years old.

Interning in Public Health in Sri Lanka

A Projects Abroad Public Health intern checks blood sugar levels during an outreach in Sri Lanka.

In Sri Lanka, we work alongside a government medical health organization that falls under the Preventive Health Sector of the Regional Director of Health Services (RDHS) in Colombo. The organization was established in the early 1950s and offers maternal and child health services, including a training centre for midwives. There are 5 full time doctors and 3 nursing sisters who cover work at 17 clinics.

Your placement will involve the following activities:

  • Assisting doctors and staff at the centres and help mothers fill out their child’s health development record.
  • Collecting and entering data
  • Assisting public health midwives during field and house-to-house visits.
  • Assisting the public health inspector on government school visits during medical inspections.
  • Participate in medical outreaches. This involves taking vital signs, checking blood pressure and blood sugar levels, and observing consultations.
  • Organize and run awareness programs in areas where we have identified a specific need (such as a specific community, a school, or a home for the elderly).
  • Run intervention programs when requested by specific communities and our project partners.
  • Observe and assist midwives and doctors and doctors at clinics. You can only assist with the permission of local staff.
  • Conduct research and write reports on important public health and medical-related topics.

If you have a background in dentistry, you will be able to assist dentists during visits to schools and dental clinics.

During your internship, you will also have the opportunity to attend monthly medical camps and seminars with all of the other medical interns in Sri Lanka.

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

If you are a high school student and first-time traveler you may want to consider our High School Special programs in Sri Lanka.

Sri Lanka Medicine & Healthcare Management Plan

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