Work / Volunteer Abroad
Apart from sending SOGC members to volunteer with the delivery of the ALARM International Program, the IWHP does not place members, students or others in volunteer or work positions overseas.
There are several organizations, however, who welcome work and volunteer placements and who are recruiting health care professionals with ob/gyn, nursing, and midwifery experience.
Here are a few suggestions, as well as links to helpful websites:
Médecins Sans Frontières / Doctors Without Borders (MSF) is the world's leading emergency medical humanitarian aid relief organization. Currently they are in need of Obstetricians, Gynaecologists, and Nurse-Midwives to fill overseas positions.
CanadaAid.ca is a useful website created by Member of Parliament Dr. Keith Martin, which lists various Canadian organizations who are working overseas and who offer volunteer or work placement opportunities.
NGOabroad.com is a unique service that helps people advance in international humanitarian work and provides frugal, customized international volunteer opportunities for people with skills. There are several opportunities for volunteering in medical, public health, nursing and midwifery positions.
CUSO-VSO is one of North America's largest international development non-profits that works through volunteers. They offer a vast choice of volunteer placements in Africa, Asia, Latin America and the Caribbean.
CESO offers Canadian volunteers an opportunity to work with public- and private-sector partners in Canadian communities and around the globe, to deliver impressive results with programming in social and economic development, governance, the environment, youth entrepreneurship and public engagement. Although currently there are no placements in the health sector, there are opportunities for working on gender equality and supporting women's associations.
The Canada-Africa Community Health Alliance (CACHA) is a volunteer-based, non-profit humanitarian organization that works to improve health in remote and isolated African communities. Every year, CACHA sends a team of approximately 12-25 health professional volunteers who work alongside a team of local staff to provide free or subsidized health services to underserviced rural communities in Sub-Saharan Africa. The CACHA volunteers consist of pharmacists, surgeons, nurses, physicians and logisticians.
Medical Missions typically consist of 8-9 clinic days across 2-3 weeks and the team works together to triage patients and offer primary health care services. Health services offered include: General medicine consults, OB/GYN consults, minor surgery, dentistry, ophthalmology, surgical referrals and onsite HIV testing, referrals, and pharmacy.
The Canadian Red Cross Society (CRCS) is a non-profit, humanitarian organization dedicated to helping Canadians, as well as the most vulnerable throughout the world. CRCS is seeking experienced medical professionals to be part of the Emergency Response Unit (ERU) to be deployed in the event of a disaster. If you are a doctor with experience in obstetrics and gynaecology, a nurse with experience in labor and delivery or in pediatrics or a midwife and you are interested to go on a 4 to 6 weeks paid missions at short notice, working alongside other humanitarians and specialized aid professionals, please visit www.redcross.ca/careers for more information and/or to submit an application.
GlobalMedic is a small Canadian NGO based in Toronto, Ontario. The organization strives to help people in need around the world by offering emergency relief services to aid victims of disasters and by training medical personnel and donating medicines to developing and war-torn countries. The GlobalMedic's Rapid Response Team has a medical component that involves emergency medical treatment, administering vaccinations and setting up temporary field hospitals. Occasionally there are also paid missions to support UN agencies in medical education.
Medicos En Accion is an organization based in Kamloops, BC, that draws volunteers from across Canada, USA and Internationally to provide ongoing medical and surgical treatment to underprivileged people in Guatemala. Medicos en Accion is currently recruiting medical personnel, including midwives and nurse practitioners.
The Rural Women's Network Nepal (RUWON) is an NGO that works for the promotion of women's, youth's and children's rights and social justice in Nepal. The organization has recently reached out to the IWHP for support and has expressed interest in receiving international volunteers to help with various community projects.
Maison de Naissance (MN) is a rural health center in the south of Haiti that specializes in maternal-infant care. Volunteer opportunities are available for health care providers and post-secondary students (midwifery, obstetrical nursing, medicine, pharmacists, public health, administration, computer science, etc) and volunteers may be involved in staff education, data management, statistical analysis, clinical or administrative systems improvement, community health programming, grant writing, etc, dependent upon the current needs at MN and the strengths and background of the volunteer.
Photo credit: Franςois Couturier
Photo credit: Hassan Shenassa
Photo credit: Christine Roy