Medical Expeditions

Medical Expeditions

Volunteer as a health or dental professional or final-year medical student doing your Junior Elective and support the development of one of our remarkable partnership health care programmes, whether it’s in the Peruvian Amazon or on the Tanzanian Lake Victoria.

Bring your knowledge, skills, and passion aboard one of our programmes’ three fully-equipped medical vessels, working alongside our in-country health care teams on a two-week expedition to isolated and remote communities.

You’ll have unrivalled access to the mentorship of our in-country medical professionals as they guide you through the process of providing high-quality itinerant health care and health education services to vulnerable people in these areas.

Perhaps most importantly, you’ll play a fulfilling and deeply rewarding role in supporting these in-country programmes as they build and strengthen health systems in isolated parts of Tanzania and Peru.

Our medical volunteers experience first-hand the positive impact of in-country itinerant health care programmes that seek to not only provide primary care services to isolated communities, but to also empower these communities through introducing health promotion and education services that improves medical capacity in these areas.

Not only will you find it hugely rewarding to play a supporting role in this sustainable development process, you’ll also share medical expertise and experience with the onboard health care team, both learning from the in-country professionals and imparting your own knowledge when necessary.

Join the team and help to support health systems and transform lives! As we only have a limited number of places, contact us by email to confirm availability before applying.

If you’ve already checked our availability, apply now!

Join the team and help transform lives! As we only have a limited number of places, .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) to confirm availability before applying.

If you've already checked our availability, apply now!

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Consultations - Lake Victoria

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Consultations - Amazon

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Medical & Dental Consultations

Climb Aboard And Join The Team

Vine Trust offers opportunities to volunteer on a medical trip if you are a qualified, registered, or recently retired health professional or a final-year medical student doing your Junior elective.

You’ll be operating aboard one of our partners’ three medical ships, each of which is fully equipped with a consultation room, a dental surgery, and a pharmacy.

Together with the permanent in-country clinical team, you will live and work on the ship, supporting the respective programme’s delivery of medical services and health education to each one of the rural and isolated communities in Peru and Tanzania.

Smiling medical team aboard a Vine Trust ship

Challenge Yourself

You don’t need any previous experience of tropical medicine or know how to speak Spanish or Swahili to volunteer on one of these trips. That’s because our in-country teams of medics and translators will support you throughout your expedition, enabling you to make the most of your time in either Tanzania or Peru.

Volunteers from past expeditions have told us they found their experience on board immensely valuable and fulfilling, both professionally and personally. Living and working together helps those on the ship to foster uniquely strong bonds and connections with each other.

Medical students in their final year can work alongside and learn from both local and UK-based doctors, GPs, nurses, dentists, and midwives: this integrative and versatile workforce also creates an environment where everyone is always discovering something new.

Volunteer with Vine Trust if you want to apply, adapt, and develop your clinical skills in a supporting role within an in-country programme that empowers vulnerable and rural communities in some of the most incredible natural settings on the planet.

People stepping off the Forth Hope

Climb aboard! Contact health@vinetrust.org to check availability and then apply online

Medical consultations in Moshi
Doctor examining child with mother

Tanzania Medical Expeditions

Play a part in supporting our in-country partners as they bring primary health care to the isolated communities of Lake Victoria, Tanzania, as part of the Jubilee Hope Medical Programme.

The MV Jubilee Hope is a 155-tonne former Royal Navy Tender, refitted for purpose, that has been in operation on the Tanzanian Lake Victoria since 2015 and has an onboard team that has held nearly 400,000 consultations for vulnerable community members.

This ship will be your base as you connect and collaborate with regional, national, and international partners to support them in the provision of a range of primary health care services, from general medicine and dentistry to antenatal support and HIV testing and treatment.

You’ll also find many opportunities to engage with local people and culture, having conversations and interactions that will inform your individual perspectives in an exciting and transformative way.

Find out more about this programme in our Jubilee Hope Handbook.

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Peru Medical Expeditions

Join up with the Amazon Hope Medical Programme and play a supporting role in its provision of primary health and dental care to rural and isolated communities in Peru.

Since 2001, our in-country partners have worked closely with the Peruvian Ministry of Health to provide a regular primary medical service to over 160 communities along the Amazon and its tributaries.

At the end of 2022, the Amazon Hope Medical Programme (also known as PMEAP) celebrated the milestone of reaching 2,000,000 free consultations with vulnerable community members in this part of the world.

Utilise and develop your clinical skills in the heart of the spectacular Amazonian rainforest, engaging with local culture and fresh perspectives and learning about tropical medicine in a hands-on, challenging, yet highly rewarding environment as you treat vulnerable people who would otherwise have no access to health care.

Through this engagement, you’ll also experience first-hand the exceptional benefits of the programme’s development practices, which place the empowerment of local communities at the heart of matters through promoting and supporting medical capacity and infrastructure in these places.

Find out more information in our Amazon Hope Handbook.

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Clinical Tasks

During your trip, you will deal with a variety of clinical tasks, which may include:

  • managing tropical diseases (including malaria)
  • basic obstetric care
  • treating minor injuries
  • paediatrics
  • tooth fillings & extractions (dentists only)
  • providing health education services to local communities.

If a community member has a health complaint that you haven’t had experience dealing with before, don’t worry. You will only be expected to treat medical issues that are within your clinical or specialist area.

Our in-country staff are an excellent resource, and will help to guide you through the experience by providing the necessary support.

Cost

Please search for a specific trip to determine the cost of your expedition. Click me

The price covers a contribution towards the medical project: this money is used by our in-country partners to help run and maintain these life-changing services. It also covers your internal transport and accommodation costs.

It does not include international flights or the price of any necessary immunisations or anti-malarial tablets.

Frequently Asked Questions

We are delighted to accept applications from fully-qualified clinical professional, and we also have opportunities for medica/dental/nursing students to participate on the expeditions.

Please note that all healthcare professionals must be registered with the appropriate body relevant to their country of work/residence (such as the GMC, GDN, GNC, etc.) and hold a license to practise.

You will join the full time staff on board our medical ships, staying and working on board for approx. 10 days (Travel time and overnight stops take up the rest of your 2 weeks.).  Please note that in Peru, if you are visiting a remote part of the river system you may spend more time sailing to reach these communities. Depending on your personal skill set, you will be involved in daily open surgeries where you may be expected to be involved in the assessment and treatment of tropical diseases (including malaria), basic obstetric care, minor injuries, minor surgery, paediatrics and dental care.

You will be staying in the accommodation on board the medical ships for the majority of your trip (apart from stays at a hotel at the beginning and end).

For 2023, an Amazon Hope Expedition will cost from £1680.

This includes a contribution towards the medical projects which is used to help run and maintain these services. This cost also includes internal transport (e.g. airport transfers, transport to ship, domestic flights in Peru), food, water and accommodation. It does not include international flights and any visa, immunisations or anti-malarial tablets required.

It is always important to visit your GP before you travel for a medical check-up and to talk through the vaccinations needed. For the most up to date information on vaccinations needed please see:

Peru: www.fitfortravel.nhs.uk/destinations/south-america--antarctica/peru.aspx

Tanzania: www.fitfortravel.nhs.uk/destinations/africa/united-republic-of-tanzania.aspx

For general health advice for travelling overseas, including advise for visiting Peru or Tanzania, please visit: https://www.gov.uk/browse/abroad/travel-abroad

Tanzania: Volunteers with a British passport do not need a visa in advance of their trip, on arrival in Tanzania you will be required to fill out a simple form and pay $50 dollars for a tourist visa. Volunteers who do not have a British passport should make their own enquiries about the necessity for a visa.  

Peru: Volunteers with a British passport do not need a visa for working on Amazon Hope. Volunteers who do not have a British passport should make their own enquiries about the necessity for a visa.

To ensure the quality of service provided to the people in Peru and Tanzania is of the highest standard, and in keeping with Vine Trust’s commitment with the Ministry of Health in Peru and Tanzania, all healthcare volunteers with the Vine Trust will be confirmed as having current eligibility to practise as a clinician in the UK/elsewhere and that they remain in good professional standing. For Doctors it will also be necessary to confirm that you hold a current GMC licence (or national equivalent) to practise.

For medical/dental/nursing students, please contact Vine Trust for more details of what documentation you will need to present.

Doctors - current GMC regulations require all doctors to hold a Licence to Practise; this lapses as soon as a retirement has been confirmed unless the Doctor undertakes additional steps to retain the same. Whilst revalidation is for 5 years, the License to Practise is linked to working in a recognised clinical environment (technically under supervision of a Responsible Officer) and therefore lapses on retirement. The Vine Trust would wish to encourage doctors to consider undertaking an Amazon Hope trip whilst their License to Practise is still valid; the alternative is to volunteer as a general helper alongside colleagues who still have full practising rights. The doctor offering supervision would be required to take clinical responsibility for all decisions. It is expected that, on board, the skills of all volunteers will be recognised and used to best help support the activities of the programmes in Peru and Tanzania.

Dentists and Nurses - at present GDC and NMC registration continues to next renewal point and so Vine Trust welcomes volunteers from Dentists and Nurses during the period of their continued registration after retirement. Thereafter the supervision model described above for Doctors would pertain.