Medical, dental, and other volunteers are welcome. Contact us well in advance of desired dates of service as coordination with Peruvian health authorities and considerable logistic arrangements are required. Two types of medical service opportunities are available:
1. Boat-Based Medical Service Trips: These are generally anchored by Peruvian medical personnel, but include the participation of national and international medical professionals, students, and other volunteers. Such trips have translation capabilities (for non-Spanish speakers), and include accommodations and meals once the boat departs from Iquitos, Peru. Short-term internships are available for medical and undergraduate students wishing to the reduce the costs of participation. Click the link for the full PA Boat Med Trips-2016 pdf for details.
2. Service at Urban or Rural Public or Private Clinics and Hospitals: Arrangements are made directly with directors/staff of such facilities for service periods ranging from two weeks (minimum) to several months. Conversational Spanish ability is essential. Accommodations may be at the facility itself or in the surrounding community. Ask for the clinic placement document.
For additional details about medical service options, as well as requirements and contributions for participation on medical service trips, please email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Scheduled Boat-Based Medical Service Expeditions - 2016
In general, there are 12 spaces available for medical and other volunteers; available spaces remaining are highlighted in yellow.
Short-term internships are available for medical and undergraduate students wishing to reduce the costs of expedition participation. Request the "PA Boat Med Trips-2016" document for details.
- 11-25 Feb 2016: Apayacu & Orosa Rivers (15 days/14 nights). Core medical team: PA Medical Coordinator, University Medical Center, Jackson, Mississippi, USA. (0 - CLOSED)
- 24 Mar-1 Apr 2016: Itaya River (9 days/8 nights). Core medical team: Peru Ministry of Health. (12) Cost: $1425
- 3-15 Apr 2016: Lower Napo River (13 days, 12 nights). Core medical team: PA Medical Coordinator, University of Alberta Nursing Group. (0 - CLOSED)
- 24 Apr-6 May 2016: Ampiyacu River (13 days/12 nights). Core medical team: PA Medical Director. (12) Cost: $2065
- 30 May-9Jun 2016: Mazan River (10 days/11 nights). Core medical team: PA Medical Coordinator. Boat departs Iquitos on 29 May and returns 10 Jun, but participants will join and depart the vessel in Mazan (transportation between Iquitos and Mazan is included). (12) Cost: $1585
- 27 Jun-5 Jul 2016: Yanayacu/Tahuayo River (9 days/8 nights). Core medical team: PA Medical Coordinator & Greenville School of Medicine (SC). (06) Cost: $1425
- *24-30 Jul 2016: Nanay & Pintuyacu Rivers-I (7 days/6 nights). Core medical team: PA Medical Coordinator. (12) Cost: $1125
- *31 Jul-6 Aug 2016: Nanay & Pintuyacu Rivers-II (7 days/6 nights). Core
medical team: PA Medical Coordinator. (12) Cost: $1125
- *Participants can opt to combine both trips. The medical boat will not return to Iquitos at the end of the first week, but returning participants will be taken by speedboat to Iquitos the afternoon of 30 July, with new participants being brought by speedboat from Iquitos on 31 July.
- §1-10 Sep 2016: Lower Napo River (10 days/9 nights). Core medical team: PA Medical Coordinator. (12) Cost: $1585
- §11-23 Sep 2016: Central Napo River (13 days/12 nights). Core
medical team: PA Medical Coordinator. (12) Cost: $2065
- §*Participants can opt to combine both trips. The medical boat will not return to Iquitos at the end of the first trip, but returning participants will disembark in Mazan and be taken by speedboat to Iquitos the afternoon of 10 September, with new participants being brought by speedboat from Iquitos on 11 September.
- 16-26 Oct 2016: Tigre River (13 days, 12 nights). Core medical team: PA Medical Coordinator, Peru Ministry of Health. (12) Cost: $2065
- 16-25 Nov 2016: Mazan River (10 days/9 nights). Core medical team: PA Medical Coordinator, Peru Ministry of Health. (12) Cost: $1585
Activities of Medical and Dental Volunteers
On service trips, volunteers assist with collecting patient histories and data, collecting community-level health information, photographic documentation, dispensing of prescribed medicines, and instructing patients on the proper use of medicines and preventative health care techniques. Qualified volunteers also directly attend, or assist with attending patients. Volunteers interested in dental, pediatric, internal and general medicine will have ample opportunities to interact with patients and medical personnel in those fields. Opportunities for more specialized fields (surgery, neurobiology, etc.) will be restricted largely to the Iquitos area. In most remote clinics and health posts, the full range of patients and medical conditions are seen, but some patients will be sent to larger centers (i.e. Iquitos) for diagnosis or treatment due to the local lack of specialized equipment and lab facilities. Most rural clinics have power only a few hours daily (if at all), and facilities and equipment are limited. Such clinics are the only medical facilities available for the populations of most riverine communities.
There is a high demand for dental attention in all riverine communities, and dental caries/cavities and poor dental care are chronic issues. In most cases, dental attention means extraction of teeth. Except in Iquitos and a few other larger centers, there is no capacity for restorative work and during expeditions it is often impossible to attend to all of those who request extractions. A critical role for dental and other volunteers is education on oral hygiene in the communities visited.
Funding and Costs of Medical Service Trips
Expeditions are funded by private donations and by participant contributions. Teaching/service expeditions are organized by specific medical schools who send their staff and students. These trips accept volunteers on a space available basis, but volunteers need to contribute at the same rate as other participants. Volunteer contributions allow us to cover the participation of Peruvian medical personnel and students, as well as to purchase medicines for use during the clinics. Donations for support of medical service trips are tax-deductible (for US residents), and most participant contributions may also be tax-deductible.
Unless noted otherwise, participant contributions do not include:
- Transportation to/from Iquitos, Peru (this will be by air for most volunteers)
- Lodging in Iquitos at the end of the expedition (lodging the night before departure IS included in trip costs).
- Food and other expenses in Iquitos (apart from the welcome/orientation dinner the night before departure).
- Inquiries: To apply or to request further information, email email@example.com