Your Adventure Awaits!

Global Health Programs are perhaps the most engaging periods of undergraduate medical study; offering the opportunity for travel, new cultural experiences on the and an interactive and engaging learning experience. It’s a time for adventure and exploration.

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Guidelines For Participants on Our Global Health Programs

A lot of detail is put into planning and supporting these programs to maximize their benefit to participants who will be able to learn about some of the most challenging contemporary global health concerns and integrate into their education, work experience in resource-poor settings that are highly demanding. For participants travelling individually or in a group, the added benefit of new cultural and travel experiences cannot be gainsaid.

In typically resource-poor environments, participants are likely to find that the demands placed on them to participate and even intervene in medical situations that they may not be entirely competent or confident to attend to are likely to be overwhelming. This will raise ethical challenges and participants must be able to navigate them without unduly accepting the pressure to engage outside of their skill sets or competencies.

In addition, there is the added daily challenge of coping in an unfamiliar environment that may serve to add some degree of discomfort to participants during their time on the program. These may include language barriers and other challenges of cross-cultural communication, logistical challenges, differences in food and dietary style, challenges with acclimatization, health and personal safety among many others. This can be slightly disorienting.

The guidelines offered here are suggested as a means to align participants expectations to program deliverables as well as give participants a general reference for dealing with ethical challenges that may arise in the course of their program and so that there is no undue strain on either the participants or the program organizers. In essence, these guidelines seek to address issues relating to the well-being of participants and the efficient delivery of the individual programs.

What You Should Know About Our Programs

#1. Managing Expectations

We advise participants to clearly map out and enumerate their expectations for the global health experience they want and to communicate these to their assigned Student Liaison or Program Coordinator. These should include both the medical experiences whilst on the program as well as the social, cultural and travel experiences. You will have a limited amount of time and the Student Liaison can assist you to optimize your travel experience by offering suggestions to match your needs and expectations.

 

#2. Understanding Local Healthcare systems

We offer participants plenty of information and resources regarding healthcare in the different countries we work in. This includes information on demographics and health, medical research organizations, partner hospitals and even medical schools in the region.

Understanding how healthcare works in these countries is the best first step towards ensuring that your global health program will meet your expectations, and help you determine a threshold for ethical standards that you desire of the program while enhancing your overall experience. For instance, the public healthcare system in Kenya is tiered into six levels. Understanding the systems of the country will enable you to better understand where you are most likely to meet your objectives.

 

#3. Placement & Attendance

The program will be for the designated period as specified in participants’ respective applications commencing and ending on the dates specified. 

The period of placement can be changed by the organizer or the participant with the approval of the program provider.

Except with due reason and notification, participants should only alter their attendance to the program, for reasons that their attendance would be prejudicial to their health or well-being.

It is important to keep within the designated time-schedules of attendance as this will ultimately have an effect on your scorecard during and at the completion of the program.

 

#4. Clinical Rotations

Participants must undertake the global health program in the rotations specified in their application except where the application made was open, or where such alteration has been duly notified to the program provider and approved.

 

#5. Participant Conduct

Keep a regular schedule of attendance and show a keen interest in the work. Often, you will get instant feedback from your supervisors and the hospital staff just by the very attitude and conduct you display.

Your willingness to learn will most likely be met by a willingness to share and teach from the hospital teams.

Attempt to develop your communication skills and make every effort not to create any unnecessary burden on the program provider.

Keep the interests of the patient(s) central to the program you are in. Stay within your professional ability even where you are inclined to get involved in an assignment that you are either uncomfortable to perform, that is outside the scope of your training or professional competence, that you are not confident to perform or even in circumstances where you feel that you are inadequately supervised or equipped to perform the assignment.

In all these situations, we advise that a rational decision would either be to firmly insist on additional support or request to be allowed to only observe until the next opportunity where you feel capable to handle the assignment.

Remember that this period is one for you to learn and taking up hands-on learning opportunities and challenges, within reason, is highly encouraged.

 

 

#6. Contending with Language and Communication Barriers

In all our global health placements, except where stated otherwise, the English language is commonly used as the medium of instruction and communication.

Participants going to Kenya, Uganda, Tanzania, Burundi and Rwanda should gain a basic understanding of Swahili which is commonly used even as far as Zambia; and some basic understanding of French and Portuguese for those interested in the global health programs in Rwanda and Burundi, and Mozambique respectively.

#7. Access, Supervision and Orientation

The providers of our global health programs provide participants with access to use general staff facilities; proper orientation with the work-site including occupational health and safety, fire, emergency and evacuation procedures, privacy, quality of service, expected standards of behavior and disease infection control; adequate and professionally-supervised contact with participants in relation to their level of study or professional competence; assistance with communication and access to patients relevant to obtaining clinical information about patients; cultural sensitization to the norms and practices specific to their individual placements; information on any gear and materials that the participants will require, or otherwise providing such gear or materials.

 

#8. Discipline and Process for Complaints

If the program provider receives a complaint relating to a participant’s behaviour which adversely affects patient care and safety or amounts to misconduct, the provider reserves the right to exclude that participant from the program and will inform the participant’s referrer of its intentions.

Similarly, the participant reserves the right to withdraw from the program where the participant considers that s/he has experienced any form of harassment, discrimination or risk to safety, especially where such incidents are not sufficiently addressed.

 

#9. Travel & Health Insurance

For the duration of the program, participants are required to take out reasonable and sufficient insurance cover as to mitigate any unforeseeable or likely health, security or travel risks at their own cost.

Our program providers, where indicated on acceptance to a program, will only offer immediate in-country assistance for emergency medical evacuation in the event of an accident or other specified medical condition to a private medical facility in-country.

#10. Good Standing, Introduction Letters

Participants, at the time of application, must submit a letter of good standing/ introduction letter from their institution of study or employment, a letter introducing them and providing reference to their current status.

This includes details of their current level of study, confirmation of their status as current students/employees at the institution and any relevant references to their personal or professional attributes.

#11. Program Fees & Personal Costs

Participants are responsible for all fees due to the program provider and for their personal and travel costs including all costs incidental to the program such as travel costs, accommodation, insurance and immunizations.

Participants will be notified, on acceptance to a global health program, the costs of the program and the specific items that are covered and excluded in that cost. The provider will not compensate any participant for any services, except in cases where there are partial scholarships or grant funds available through any of the partners and program providers we currently work with.

Program Terms and Conditions 2019 - 2021

Our partners, hereinafter referred to as the “service providers”, accept placements for all our global health and student elective programs on the following terms and conditions:

  1. All participants requiring post-program support, or any support administrative support with any of the departments and organizations we work with MUST, during the course of the program, complete any and all program assessments, reports and/or surveys reviewing their clinical experience and travel incidence reports. This is MANDATORY for all placements.
  2. Except for anything not stated explicitly or otherwise confirmed to the participant in writing or via email, there shall be no mandatory obligation on the service providers to provide anything not explicitly stated as an inclusion for the purpose of the program.
  3. The Service Providers reserve the right to make refunds net of any bank charges, non-refundable costs incurred and any foreign-currency translation losses incurred. A valid cancellation shall be received no less than six weeks from the date of commencement.
  4. A non-refundable DEPOSIT of USD 475 (for single placements) and USD 575 (for multi-site placements); or such other sum as may be indicated on the Program Fee Note, must be paid immediately on confirmation/acceptance; or such application is forfeited. The balance shall be payable at least eight weeks prior to the commencement date. Deposits not received by the due date indicated on the Program Fee Note, lead to automatic cancellation of the placement. Each applicant shall receive a Program Fee Note indicating any variations to these terms and conditions, specifically as regards remittances and program fees.
  5. Prices quoted are based on prevailing exchange rates and operating costs at the time of placement. The Program Providers reserves the right to review program charges owing to currency fluctuations, incremental operation costs or such other circumstances. In the event of warranted price variation, program surcharges shall be limited to 5% of the program fee.
  6. In lieu of payment at the commencement of the program, the Service Providers reserve the right to retain the deposit paid in full and charge the entire amount to cancellation fees.
  7. The price quoted in the Program Fee Note covers the costs of the planning, organization and executing the elective. It includes equipment, supplies, accommodation, administration and staff.
  8. The price quoted in the Program Fee Note does not include inoculation costs, transport to point(s) of departure for travel to Kenya, air tickets, visas, travel insurance, prescribed medications, equipment of a personal nature, clothing, expenses of a personal nature outside the realm of the program for in-country travel, except as provided for within the program (such as hotel accommodations, drinks, laundry, telephone/internet charges).
  9. Where a program applicant is a resident in a self-catering student guesthouse or apartment, a program rebate of USD.300 per applicant per each 6-week interval to mitigate the cost of meals not provided at self-catering facilities.
  10. ALL cancellations must be made in writing via email.
  11. ALL program placement administration fees are non-refundable.
  12. All medical costs and costs incidental to the procurement of medical or such other personal and/or incidental services shall be paid for by program participants. The service providers will take all possible measures to ensure that, where necessary, medical attention is sought and provided to participants; and where possible; at their own discretion and with such information as to allow them to make an informed choice for their care. All costs incurred for and/or on behalf of the participant must be reimbursed.
  13. FULL REFUNDS are payable for program cancellations by the Service Providers except for reasons beyond our control as a result of hostilities, political unrest or other circumstances amounting to force majeure.
  14. Where the Service Providers cancels a confirmed placement for any reason except default by the client, the Service Providers, at their discretion, reserve the right to either make alternative placement arrangements or make a full refund at their discretion.
  15. The Service Providers disclaim liability for any accident, loss or injury unless caused by proven negligence on our part. The Service Providers disclaim any liability for consequences on account of delayed flights or other transport carriers owing to circumstances beyond our control.
  16. All program monies shall be remitted to the Service Providers in trust. Partners to the Medical Electives East Africa program shall meet their program obligations through waivers and/or program subsidies.
  17. Program coordination is vested in the Program Liaison Officer while the elective/ global health program is on-going and decisions taken in collaboration with other program partners by the officer MUST be adhered to.
  18. Participants agree to provide to the Program Liaison Office a schedule of any disruptions to their scheduled participation in the placement, including any private travel arrangements they may have in-country while undertaking the program.
  19. Where agreed upon, with the consent of any medical officer(s) at the placement facility, participants agree to log and notify the Program Liaison Office of any additional, unscheduled program hours that are outside of the regular/official working hours. This is a security regulation.
  20. The program may be cancelled by the Service Providers while it is on-going in the interest of the participant(s), where the participant’(s) presence is prejudicial, in cases of indiscipline or illegal activity, or even for non compliance with the code of conduct provided in the Orientation and Compliance Briefing. Specifically, participants who fail to adhere to security regulations; participants who create public nuisance at any of the program residences; and participants whose actions and behavior is unethical will be summarily ejected from the placement.
  21. Any expense or loss incurred by the Service Providers in the event of program cancellation MUST be indemnified by the participant(s).
  22. The Service Providers shall not be liable for any indirect or consequential losses or costs outside of the program inclusions, however they may arise. In addition, any losses arising out of the negligence of a participant, or as a result of non-compliance with the specific information contained in the Orientation and Compliance Briefing must be borne by the participant.
  23. The Service Providers will not be in breach for any delay in performing or failure to perform its obligations under this agreement where the delay or failure was due to an act of God or any other circumstance beyond its control. Nothing in this clause includes or limits the Service Providers’ liability for death, personal injury caused by negligence or fraudulent misrepresentation.
  24. All participants applying for the program confirm that they are in good health and are unaware of any reason regarding their unsuitability to participate in the program. Furthermore, they also confirm their personal liability for any costs arising from the need of hospitalization; and that they have undertaken to purchase personal travel insurance cover necessary for the travel; and that any misrepresentation of their suitability to attend the program shall elicit cancellation/termination of their participation in the program without the possibility of refund whatsoever.
  25. Participants are responsible for any and all documentation they may require to participate in the program. The Program Liaison Office provides custodial service for important documents at its discretion.
  26. All participants are required to attend the Orientation and Compliance Briefing prior to the commencement of their program and to thereafter sign the Attendance and Compliance Agreement. Any participant who fails to attend this session, but has already logged their participation on the program, will be deemed to have attended and agreed to comply with the terms set out in the Orientation and Compliance Briefing.
  27. All participants are required to attend the Exit Briefing & Survey with their assigned Program Liaison Officer to collect their Elective Log Books and provide any feedback which will be formally lodged in writing in the Final Elective Assessment, Report and Survey.

36 Of The Top Global Health Placements We Recommend in East Africa

This guide comprehensively lists 36 of our top recommended placements in East Africa in 8 destinations spread out across the region with a quick reference guide to each of the specific placements we recommend.

It was published to promote a robust, student-oriented approach at medical elective and global health placements that encourages open and independent organization, enabling interested participants to independently manage their placements and customize individual program experiences. 

This 46-page publication is free to download.

36 Of The Top Global Health Placements We Recommend in East Africa

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What Others Have Said About Us

Your compliments mean the world to us!

I took my elective in two separate locations; one in Nairobi,  Kenya, the other in Ndejje, Uganda via Student Exchange Africa and Community and Family Health Initiative, an NGO in Uganda, taking a  two-week travel intermission between the two sites. The travel experience surpassed my expectations. My Travel Coordinator was just exceptional at organizing everything for me!

Andrea Oelscheleg

Medical Student, Health School Hildegard, AUSTRIA

Both Lizzie and I couldn’t have asked for more. David and Victor were really helpful right from our arrival through to organizing and coordinating our work and travel arrangements; helping settle us into our daily routine, internet and phone service, banking and so much more. They even assisted us to run errands. It was really great to have someone there to ease into a new environment and help us find our feet.

Lizzie Connor and Georgiana Stanton

Medical Student, University of Notre Dame | AUSTRALIA

This was a great experience for us and we had the most amazing time in Kenya! We had a lot of doubts coming to Kenya but the trip was so well coordinated that we always felt so comfortable. We were very keen to travel widely besides the opportunity to work in the hospital and volunteer in the community and we got to do all this and much more! I am most grateful to John and David who were our TA’s – you guys rock!

Stephan Becker, Marco Augart, Robert Stade

University of Heidelberg, GERMANY

Send Us Your Questions

How can we be of assistance to you? Please feel free to send us your queries, someone will get back to you as soon as possible.

Email: info[at]studentexchange[dot]africa
Tel: +254 20 235 0000, +254 20 2500195
Location: K-REP Centre, Wood Avenue, Nairobi

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