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Public Health Internships in Cambodia


Project Overview

  • PLACEMENT LOCATION: Communities around northern Phnom Penh & on Silk Island
  • ROLE: To work in the field of health care and provide basic health services to the local island community
  • Requirements: None
  • ACCOMMODATION: Shared volunteer apartments
  • LENGTH OF PLACEMENT: From 1 week
  • START DATES: Flexible

A Cambodian man receives treatment from Projects Abroad Public Health interns.

Interning on the Public Health program in Cambodia with Projects Abroad is a great opportunity for those looking to gain practical experience in the field of healthcare while giving back to local communities. This internship is suitable for everyone, but is particularly useful for pre-med students looking to boost their resumes for medical school, healthcare graduates interested in adding to their skills in public health, or professionals already working in the field.

The goal of the Public Health program is to provide crucial healthcare services and ensure that disadvantaged people receive the treatment they would otherwise not be able to access or be able to afford. Not only will you be gaining meaningful experience and skills at the project, you will be providing an invaluable service to the community.

As a public health intern, you will work in various disadvantaged communities around northern Phnom Penh as well as on Silk Island. You will spend time with various NGOs, including the Khemara Organization, which is our main partner for this project.

Your Role on the Public Health Project in Cambodia

Projects Abroad Public Health intern participates in an outreach at a Cambodian kindergarten.

You will work alongside a public health coordinator during your project. All coordinators have a medical background, speak Khmer and have good English skills. This will make it easy for you to communicate with locals, review patients' conditions, provide advice, and when necessary, medication.

For project work you will visit local communities, child care centres, schools, and a centre for disabled children. You work will include providing basic health services and education on illness prevention and the spread of disease. You may also conduct home visits to provide these healthcare services.

During a home visit, you will assist with conducting non-invasive testing, such as measuring blood pressure, blood glucose levels, and weight. It is important to note that throughout these tests, you and the other interns will never use needles for any procedure. Once these tests have been concluded, you might need to refer cases to a nearby government-funded clinic. The clinic might also provide transport for patients to relevant and appropriate hospitals or doctors if available.

Common conditions requiring further assistance may include:

  • High blood pressure/hypertension
  • High blood sugar levels
  • Lethargy
  • Loss of appetite
  • Arthritis and related conditions
  • Pain management in general
  • Dehydration
  • Stroke

In addition, you will also have the opportunity to provide basic health services for children at kindergartens, child care centres, and schools. These visits contribute to the goals of our Care Projects, especially in terms of early childhood development and improving hygiene.

Testing or evaluation procedures at the kindergartens, child care centres, or schools, may include:

  • Common colds and flu
  • Cuts and infections
  • Skin disorders
  • Anemia (through physical symptoms)
  • Chest problems
  • Basic teeth checks

You will use a database to record all patient details, and can refer back to available information collected at previous consultations.

You will spend time working in the office on Fridays where you will record, analyze, and report on your findings along with the coordinators. You will also spend time creating education presentations or attend skill improvement workshops and presentations on why public health is needed in Cambodia, and the best way this can help.

You can read more detailed information about the aims of the project in our Cambodia Medicine & Healthcare Management Plan.

Public Health internships in Cambodia are available for shorter periods than 4 weeks. While you will be able to gain valuable medical experience on a short-term trip, we recommend staying for a longer period to allow yourself more time to get to know the local medical system, see more of a variety of conditions and procedures, and develop stronger relationships with local medical staff.

While you’re in Cambodia, you might also consider joining a 1 week Culture & Community Project. For more information, please visit our Khmer Project in Cambodia. Our Combinations Page explains how you can combine not only projects, but also destinations.

Cambodia Medicine & Healthcare Management Plan

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