Company Logo

Volunteer Physician Programme

Volunteer Physician Programme

Volunteers are the lifeblood of many charitable organizations including AFD. Each year we are privileged to host a number of skilled volunteers. Their contributions are mutually beneficial, bringing our business new skills and insights while they have the opportunity to develop their expertise working with Africa’s most well-recognised air ambulance service.

The VPP is our largest volunteer programme and involves a serious commitment by doctors from different countries to support our work by donating their time, skills, and experience.

Launched in 1997, this skilled volunteer programme allows physicians to apply their medical skills in the uniquely African environment. During their placement, doctors are required to provide at least one teaching session to our medical staff to ensure a mutually beneficial exchange of experiences and skills regarding emergency care practices.

In 2015, we have had five volunteer physicians from Germany, New Zealand, and the United Kingdom who participated in the programme over a period of 3-4 weeks each. During the year, the VVPs covered almost 435,227 miles in AMREF Flying Doctors aircraft.

Objectives

  • To encourage physicians to fly on aero-medical emergency missions with us.
  • To provide experienced physicians from around the world the opportunity to work with AMREF Flying Doctors, providing Air Ambulance services locally and internationally.
  • To make experienced physicians available to exchange knowledge and skills in emergency care practices with AMREF medical staff.

Essential Criteria

  1. Must be a qualified physician in Emergency Medicine, Anesthesia, or Intensive Care Medicine with a minimum of four years working experience.
  2. At least 12 months working experience in Intensive Care Medicine or Pre-hospital care is essential.
  3. Skills and confidence in all emergency procedures e.g. RS intubation, insertion of chest tubes, etc. and the management of mechanically ventilated patients are mandatory.
  4. Volunteer Physicians must have proven competencies in advanced airway management (including intubation and ventilation), resuscitation, and management of major trauma and serious medical illness.
  5. Demonstrated excellence in the English language.
  6. Proven ability to work well in teams and to demonstrate leadership skills.
  7. Professional Indemnity Insurance/ Medical Malpractice (which must be valid for East Africa).
  8. Must hold a current Yellow Fever vaccination certificate.

Desirable Criteria

  • Ideally, Volunteer Physicians should hold current certificates in Advanced Cardiac, Trauma, and Pediatric Life Support.
  • Experience in Aero-medical Transport, preferably HEMS, and either international repatriation or inter-facility fixed wing operation.
  • Other linguistic skills would be welcome.
  • Proven talent for teaching. Interest in audit and/or research.

Additional Information

Registration and Temporary License to Practice in Kenya

You will be required to provide the following details online: an updated CV, copies of your qualification certificates, copy of practice licence, head/shoulder photos, and completed application. AMREF Flying Doctors will then organise for temporary registration with the Kenyan Medical Practitioners and Dentist Board. It is not possible to issue registration or licenses to practice in any other country whilst at AMREF Flying Doctors.

Finances and Insurance

Each Volunteer Physician must be financially independent and able to cover their own costs including accommodation, meals, and transport. As a guide, average cost per month is a minimum of US$1,200.00


The Kenyan currency is the Kenyan shilling. For current exchange rates, please log onto Central Bank of Kenya: www.centralbank.go.ke


Accident insurance cover is provided while the physician is involved with aero-medical evacuations. You are encouraged to organise your own medical malpractice cover. 

Food

Breakfast will be provided at the apartment, and special dietary requests can be accommodated. Food courts and various restaurants are available at the T-Mall shopping centre as well as at Wilson Airport. Snacks and drinks are provided on long flights.

Accommodation in Kenya

AMREF Flying Doctors will arrange collection from and drop-off to Jomo Kenyatta International Airport (JKIA) upon arrival/departure in Kenya.

Accommodation is provided at a nearby apartment and organised by AMREF Flying Doctors. Magharibi Suites are located at Magharibi Place, opposite the T-Mall complex off Langata Road. It is a 10-minute walk or 5-minute drive from Wilson Airport. During daylight, it is safe to walk from the hotel to AMREF Flying Doctors premises, but after dark it is advisable to take a taxi provided by AMREF Flying Doctors. For more details, please visit the website: www.magharibisuites.co.ke. However, if you are away overnight on an aero-medical mission, accommodation will be provided.

What to bring

A list of the medical equipment used by AMREF Flying Doctors is on this website under medical equipment. If you have particular medical implements you like to use, for instance, special alternative airway rescue devices, please bring some with you.

You will need sturdy shoes and navy blue trousers to wear at work. We will supply you with our white uniform shirts. A head torch is a useful addition to your equipment.

Bring some good books to read or your I-pod or other access to music when you are on transit or waiting to transport a patient.

If you are able to bring your own laptop, Wi-Fi is available at the office and at the hotel. Please bring any teaching presentations that may be of interest and use for our staff. Alternatively you can develop a training session here at the office in between flights.
A good camera is an absolute must as you will want to relive the memories of East Africa and your volunteer period with AMREF Flying Doctors for evermore. At the end of your stay, we request Volunteers to share their work related pictures with us as to add to our photo archive.

Period of stay

The period of stay for a new Volunteer Physician will be 4 weeks, and the period of stay for Volunteer Physicians who have been with AMREF Flying Doctors is not less than 4 weeks. This includes a few days off for personal travel.

Other tips

Learning basic phrases in Swahili will assist you when dealing with patients and families. The internet is a great source for language translations, but do check with the nurses who will verify that you are saying what you intend to say.

Apart from our 24hr Emergency Control Centre, AMREF Flying Doctors office hours are 8:00am to 4:30pm. At times, an evacuation requires an early departure or late return. The Volunteer Physician will also participate in weekend coverage, but this is on an on-call basis. A mobile phone will be provided. Since scheduling is flexible, each Volunteer Physician will have some free time for traveling.

At the end, the Volunteer Physician will be issued with an AMREF Flying Doctors ‘Frequent Flyer Certificate’ of appreciation and a letter confirming their participation in the programme.

Applying

If you would like to apply, please click here