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Whether you are studying public health, pre-medicine or dentistry, this is an incredible opportunity to gain professional work experience within South Africa’s health care system.
As an intern in this programme, you will be working alongside trained and skilled healthcare professionals at one of Cape Town’s township public health projects or community medical clinics. This is your chance to make a difference to the disadvantaged and vulnerable communities of Cape Town’s townships.
Cape Town Healthcare Internship Projects
For those seeking an internship placement working in the field of healthcare, there are a number of possibilities in the Cape Town area.
Cape Town is a large and bustling city. With a population estimated at approximately 3,5 million people in 2007, Cape Town’s public health projects and community clinics have a busy time serving the needs of this constantly growing population. Depending on your area of focus within healthcare (e.g., public health, pre-medicine, dentistry), we will place you at the appropriate health project. You will get the opportunity to interact with patients and experienced healthcare professionals. Previous interns have work alongside a nurse, doctor, social worker, dentist or public health professional and are well utilized!
Below is a list of possible placement sites, please note however that each internship is individually tailored, based on your internship questionnaire, your background and experience, and what you are looking to gain from the placement. The below is merely an example of possible placement sites, and there is no guarantee this is where you will be placed.
Placement Spotlight – Mothers2Mothers
Mothers2Mothers is an NGO that helps to prevent mother-to-child transmission of HIV through an effective and sustainable model of care that supports mother and child health. The organization’s mission is to help eradicate mother-to-child transmission of HIV through an effective, sustainable model of care that relies on trained local women who provide education and support for pregnant women and new mothers living with HIV.
Three main goals drive mothers2mothers’ work and are critical to achieving its mission:
- Preventing babies from contracting HIV through mother-to-child transmission
- Keeping mothers with HIV, and their babies, healthy
- Empowering mothers living with HIV, thereby enabling them to fight stigma in their communities and to live positive and productive lives
As an intern at Mothers2Mothers, you will work along side fieldworkers and conduct regular home visits within the local community. You will meet with, and support, HIV-positive women who require counseling. Mothers2mothers trains and employs new mothers living with HIV to provide education and support to women just like themselves. These Mentor Mothers work alongside doctors and nurses to serve the needs of pregnant women and new mothers living with HIV, helping to fill the gaps in critically understaffed health systems. As an intern in this environment, you will serve on the front lines of South Africa’s massive public health effort to combat the HIV/AIDS pandemic. This internship is an incredible opportunity for a candidate with an interest in public health or medicine.
Placement Spotlight – Ikamva Labantu
Ikamva Labantu is a non-profit organization based in Cape Town that focuses on providing the following services within South Africa’s most disadvantaged communities: health interventions at the primary level; education & skills development; food security & enterprise development; and building community infrastructure, including securing land and buildings.
Ikamva is an umbrella organization with a network of over 1,000 projects working with and assisting various sectors of the population in South Africa — including children, youth, families, mothers, seniors, and those physically challenged. The organization works directly through local communities so they can become self-sufficient and sustainable, so during your internship, you will have meaningful and sustained interaction with some of South Africa’s most disadvantaged and vulnerable inhabitants, including children who have been orphaned or made vulnerable by HIV/AIDS, abuse, crime, poverty, and more; child-headed households; elderly-headed households; youth and teenagers; families made vulnerable by disease, poverty, and violence; and more.
Ikamva employs social workers, child psychologists and counselors, occupational therapists, nurses, and more – and as an intern you will be supervised by both the Development Manager as well as the Consultant Social Worker on site at Ikamva Labantu.
You will be involved in a range of projects during your internship, and these projects will take you both into the office as well as into the townships in Cape Town, where you will accompany a member of staff.
Your responsibilities may include:
- Research, writing, and advocacy
- Assisting with the development of multi-purpose development relief centers in disadvantaged communities around Cape Town
- Assisting with the provision of services related to the care of orphans and vulnerable children, primary health care and psycho-social support
- Access and improvement to land and buildings
- Early childhood development training
- Counseling and career guidance for youth
Placement Spotlight – Imizamo Yethu Community Health Clinic
Imizamo Yethu (IY) is a vibrant township located in Hout Bay, Cape Town. Like most townships in Cape Town, IY has a unique ‘vibe’ which is especially noticeable by visitors from outside. A spirit of caring and friendliness (‘ubuntu’ as it is known in Xhosa) pervades the township. This same feeling of friendliness can also be experienced at the IY Community Health Clinic located near the entrance to the township. As an intern at the IY Clinic, you will work with the wonderful, dedicated and experienced medical staff there. They will help you learn exactly what it means to provide medical services to sick patients.
As an intern at IY, you will work as a doctor’s assistant, nursing assistant, and/or administrative assistant. You will be able to shadow experienced medical professionals at a clinic that sees a large volume of patients on any given day. You will have the opportunity to experience all aspects of the clinic’s operations while observing nurses and doctors treating patients. On some days you will also get the opportunity to visit patients at their homes in the community. The clinic treats a number of patients with HIV / AIDS and they come in regularly to collect their medication. The staff at IY will make you feel at home and part of the family. Overall, this is an excellent internship opportunity for an intern with an interest in attending medical school.
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