FIMRC Volunteer Service in Kodaikanal

Participants in FIMRC’s Global Health Volunteer Program in Kodaikanal will spend part of each day assisting medical staff at the FIMRC’s rural clinic, KHMS Hospital, PASAM Trust, Rural pre-ventures, St.Joseph Cluny hospital and will travel with FIMRC staff to nearby crèches to help carry out FIMRC’s nutrition initiatives, assist doctor during routine examination of kids at the crèches, accompany FIMRC staff during house visits and assist in preparing and conducting health education programs. All interested individuals, including undergraduate students, medical students, and medical or non-medical professionals, are welcome to join our program. Trips will run year-round for any length of time, though we suggest a mission trip of two to four weeks. 

Exact volunteering tasks will vary depending on the number of volunteers in each group, the length of the volunteer trip, and the current needs of the community and hospital. Regardless of the exact itinerary, each FIMRC volunteer mission is culturally and socially enlightening, and aims to expand participants’ understanding of global health.

Each volunteer is given the opportunity to gain basic medical experience, including shadowing the doctor in the examination rooms, administering medications, and taking vital signs of patients. It is important to note, however, that a visit to a FIMRC clinic may not revolve around clinical or medically focused work, as our project reaches beyond the hospital grounds into the community. While giving an injection, for example, may be an inspiring experience for a volunteer interested in a career in medicine, FIMRC maintains the policy that medical care must be delivered by qualified, trained professionals for the benefit of our patients. Volunteers with medical background or expertise will likely have the opportunity to work in a medical capacity alongside the hospital’s staff. Student volunteers are asked to enhance our projects by assisting with well-child checkups and other activities that promote the FIMRC mission, in addition to their time in the hospital. FIMRC asks that all volunteers be flexible and willing to assist FIMRC staff where needed.

In an effort to improve health and hygiene in communities of Kodaikanal, FIMRC is now focusing on household health and hygiene initiatives. Regular Health education sessions are held for households helping families understand the basic health and hygiene scenarios that exist within their locality. Topics such as child care, vaccination and immunization, water borne infections, air borne infections, respiratory infections, skin infections, hygiene and basic sanitation will be covered in an effort to improve overall quality of health.

Volunteers will be able to gain first-hand experience in community health and hygiene programs while assisting the FIMRC staff and Ambassadors (long-term volunteers). Volunteers will have an opportunity to interact with children at the crèches and aid teachers in education concerning cleanliness. They will also assist the nurse in conducting hospital visits with the sick children and checking vital measurements of crèche children in regards to their development.

The following is a sample weekly itinerary for Project Kodaikanal 2012:

 

MONDAY

TUESDAY

WEDNESDAY

THURSDAY

FRIDAY

SATURDAY

9:00 AM - 1:00 PM

Hospital Rotations: Shadow physicians at Pasam Trust

Hospital Rotations: Shadow Physicians (KHMS) Rural clinic in village with KHMS

Hospital Rotations: Shadow physicians at Pasam Trust

Health camps: Assist doctors/ nurses at outreach camps

Hospital Rotations: Shadow Physician (KHMS)

House visits in communities for health and hygiene sessions

1:00 PM - 2:00 PM

Lunch

Lunch

Lunch

Lunch

Lunch

Lunch

2:00 PM - 5:30 PM

Assist with medical check-ups for crèche children

Assist with medical check-ups for crèche children

Assist with patient intake at FIMRC’s Rural clinic

House visits in communities for health and hygiene sessions

House visits in communities to collect health survey data

Free time

6:00 PM - 8:00 PM

Dinner, free time

Dinner, free time

Dinner, free time

Dinner, free time

Dinner, free time

Dinner, free time

 

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