- Prior experience in health care settings preferred
More photos from this internship can be found here.
Interns with Child and Family Health International (CFHI) in Uganda will complete rotations in a variety of non-profit care facilities throughout Kabale (Uganda) and the surrounding area. Please note that rotations are not clinical in nature. In Uganda, over 80% of the population lives in rural settings. The intern will join healthcare initiatives implementing education, counseling, and clinical care alongside community healthcare workers, volunteers and others mobilizing for improved health and livelihoods in the countryside of southwestern Uganda. Participants will learn about health issues facing this region through workshops, visits with local NGOs and social entrepreneurs, and participation in education and outreach efforts via two structured five week programs.
These two community-based programs in Uganda will address interactions between poverty, ill health, lack of education, and the need for empowerment in sub-Saharan Africa. Additional opportunities in public health outreach and education campaigns available. This is a chance to increase your global health experience and visit a wonderful country.
Fall: October 7 – December 16, 2017
Winter: January 6 – March 17, 2018
Spring: April 7 – June 16, 2018
Summer: July 7 – September 15, 2018
Duration of Internship:
About the Organization
Founded in 1992 by Dr. Evaleen Jones, Child Family Health International offers educational and community health programs at 20+ sites in 6 countries. To date, their programs have 7000+ alumni from 35 countries. Many participants in the programs are medical students who spend 4 weeks on rotations. The joint program with IE3 allows for 10 weeks of rotations for pre-med, pre-nursing, and public health students.
This particular program focuses on Food Security, Sustainable Agriculture and Maternal/Child Health. Uganda is known as the bread basket of Eastern Africa, with the majority of the country covered with fertile soils belonging to small peasant farmers that comprise of 80% of the population. There’s no shortage of food in Uganda, yet the majority of its poorest households are reported to be “food insecure,” with poor health and disease exacerbated by malnutrition. Pregnant and lactating women, people living with HIV, elders, and school children, particularly from rural villages, struggle to eat enough food, and enough variety of foods to fulfill daily nutrient levels – leaving a large majority of the population at risk.
Uganda also has the 20th highest maternal mortality rate and the 15th highest infant mortality rate in the world according to the World Health Organization. The majority of people live on less than $2 per day. It’s estimated that only 30% of women give birth in settings with a trained health professional. Given high incidences of malnutrition, anemia, HIV/AIDS, malaria, and other diseases, many pregnant women are at risk of complicated births that lead to illness or death. Children under five are also at risk of contracting preventable diseases and suffering from acute malnutrition.
CFHI is a global health ethics leader; as such their programs uphold strict standards and comply with all local laws which may prevent foreigners from directly providing healthcare services. The experience may be predominantly observational.
Exploring HIV & Maternal/Child Health
Become a part of the community in Kabale, a town located in southwestern Uganda, and learn about their ground-breaking integrated approach to addressing and improving maternal and child health. Due to insufficient government infrastructure and funding, nonprofit organizations have taken the lead in providing access to healthcare services, especially in remote regions.
The first 5 weeks of the program will focus on Maternal/Child Health and HIV/AIDS. Rotate through the main general clinic, as well as the newly built Maternal and Child Hospital where you will take part in rounds with physicians, nurses, medical officers, lab and ultrasound technicians. At the HIV/AIDS clinic, sit in on counseling sessions, assist health workers with testing and learn how to reduce rates of mother to child transmission. Conduct outreach in a rural village and explore how nutrition and HIV are closely linked. Other opportunities include rotating at a nutrition center that treats and prevents maternal and child malnutrition, visiting traditional birth attendants and healers, and joining a local radio program that provides public health education to the community.
Become a part of the community in Kabale and learn about their ground-breaking integrated approach to addressing “The Bread Basket Paradox” and improving food security and nutrition. Assist a local nonprofit organization, KIHEFO, in their efforts to treat and prevent maternal and child malnutrition through education and counseling. Visit local primary and secondary schools and participate in Nutrition Education Outreach using participatory drama and theater. Learn about Sustainable Agriculture and Permaculture with KIHEFO and local social enterprise, Omusiri (‘Garden’ in the local language of Rukiga). Participate in workshops with village community groups and explore methods of growing a diversity of foods closer to people’s homes.
In addition meet with trainers at a Rabbit Breeding & Training Centre, and learn how rabbit rearing is an effective way to improve protein and B12 intake and generate household income. Travel to rural villages throughout Kabale District and meet with local people who organize themselves into ngozi village groups. Through a microcredit program supported by KIHEFO, groups gain access to seeds, farming tools and agricultural training. Witness the positive impact of these programs on individuals’ economic situations and maternal and child health in their communities.
NOTE: Rotation availability depends on local conditions. All rotations are subject to change depending on local availability and general national holidays. Local coordinators will try and make alternate arrangements if a particular activity or facility is not available during the program month.
CFHI programs are not episodic volunteer experiences, and are not designed to provide service to those who would otherwise not have healthcare. The learning objectives for interns with CFHI are:
Develop a larger sense of cultural competency
Observe and develop existing clinical skills
Broaden public health knowledge
Develop creativity in problem-solving
Deepen their commitment to service
Promote medical supply conservation
Watch the following video to learn more about CFHI Uganda Medical Director, Dr. Geoffry Anguyo and the KIHEFO clinic where CFHI interns work.
Qualifications / Requirements
Pre-Med, Pre-Nursing, Pre-Pharmacy, Public Health, and other Pre-health courses
International Development, Sustainable Development, African Studies
Prior experience in health care settings preferred
Interns should be at least 20 years old to participate
Estimated One-Time Expenses
IE3 Global Program Fee: $3,450
Host Site Fees: An additional fee of $5,650 applies to this program to cover room and board (2 meals/day) and local support.
International Travel: $1500-$1800
Visa Fee: $100
Recommended Immunizations: $400-$500
Estimated Monthly Expenses
Food: Included (2 meals/day)
Local Transportation: $100
Personal Expenses: $50
Additional Expense Information
The host site fee from CFHI includes:
Room and board for 10 weeks (up to 4 people per apartment and 2 meals a day)
Airport pick-up and drop-off
Weekly meetings with Medical Director and Local Coordinator
Transportation to all program activities
Use of a mobile phone
24-7 Emergency Support
Housing / Accommodation
Room and board for 10 weeks.
Interns stay in a shared apartment, located in the same complex with the CFHI Kabale Medical Director and his family. Apartments comfortably house four people per apartment and two people per bedroom. Apartments include a living room, two bedrooms, and two bathrooms. Beds, bedding, mosquito nets, and bathing towels are provided. Accommodation also includes 2 meals a day and filtered/bottled drinking water. Apartments are located in a safe neighborhood in Kabale, and have 24-hour security.
Past Participant Stories / Testimonials
Jenna works with KIHEFO in Uganda with a mission to help people rise up out of poverty by empowering families to become involved in small-scale rabbit production: The Rabbit Breeding Project
Read about conducting community health surveys in rural Uganda: It Takes a Village by Jenna Schuder
“I feel as though I grew exponentially during my internship. I gained incredible cultural competence while living in Kabale, Uganda. I gained insight into the many determinants of health that impact people in a developing country. I saw the range of health care standards and gained first-hand experience in conducting an evaluation on a significant public health initiative. Creating data collection tools and then using those tools to collect actual data was great practice for me. Additionally, analyzing the data I sought and using it to produce a relevant evaluation for an organization I believe in boosted my confidence in applying the practical skills I learned in the classroom.”
-Jenna, Oregon State University
“In epidemiology, we talk about sick people in terms of populations and numbers. For the first time, I was putting a face and name to those numbers. It had a profound effect on me, and I was really able to see what impact preventative measures have on actual human beings.”
– Mia, Portland State University,