Are you interested in using your knowledge and skills as a healthcare professional to assist in global scientific efforts? Earthwatch, the international environmental organisation, may have the answer as we are calling for volunteers to work for two weeks with public health and nutrition experts worldwide.
Whether it is assisting with the inventory of endangered medicinal plants in Vietnam's Ba Vi National Park, mapping community clean water resources in Kenya or improving maternal health in India, the Earthwatch portfolio has something for everyone.
On ‘Health and Nutrition', a new 2004 expedition, volunteers contribute to Botswana's first nationwide public health survey with the goal of averting a chronic disease crisis.
Drs. Leapetswe and Jackson Malete (Michigan State University), along with their colleagues at the University of Botswana, want to improve the odds for southern Africans by changing their dietary habits and nutrition patterns which are deeply rooted in cultural, economic and political structures. Working alongside field assistants fluent in English and Setswana, team members interview adult householders about their health habits while measuring their height and weight. The information gathered will inform and guide the focus for policy development and intervention strategies in Botswana.
Alison Leaf, a Pediatrician from Bristol, who has been on two Earthwatch projects and is about to take a third says, ‘Earthwatch has been a means of escape from my day to day responsibility for caring for sick newborn babies. The trips have offered me exotic locations and an opportunity to meet interesting and like-minded people. There is also the added bonus of coming away with that feel-good factor, knowing that my contribution has made a difference to the world and the bigger picture.'
She added, ‘I feel real admiration for the scientists who break away from the lab environment and go and strive for difficult data in a challenging environment, with the hope and belief that their endeavors will keep our world a sustainable place to live. I would recommend an Earthwatch to anyone from the healthcare profession who is looking for a new experience where you really feel like you are making a difference.'
For more information about over 150 Earthwatch projects in 50 countries across the world, take a look at http://www.earthwatch.org/ or call +44 (0) 1865 318838.