I have always wanted to do medicine so I decided to go to Sri Lanka do to a Medical project for a month during my gap year, after completing my undergraduate degree. Although I have been to Sri Lanka before, this was going to be my first time in the south of the country.
My Medical placement
My placement was in Karapitiya Hospital in Galle. This is the third largest hospital in Sri Lanka, however, it is closer in size to a medium hospital in the UK. It was not only the size that was different; cats and dogs wander around the hospital too!
During my one month stay, I had the opportunity to work in the Emergency Treatment Unit, in Paediatrics, Medical and Neurosurgical wards. Everyone at the hospital is welcoming and always keen to teach if you show you are interested and willing to learn. A great benefit of volunteering in Sri Lanka is that all the doctors speak English well; the wards rounds, teaching and notes are all done in English.
Working at this hospital was definitely very interesting as I had the chance to see variety of illnesses such as dengue fever, lots COPD cases and even a leprosy case. I also had the opportunity to participate in a medical camp where I took patients’ blood pressure and blood sugars; something that you definitely can’t do when doing work experience in the UK.
My host family
After a day at the hospital I always enjoyed spending time with my host family. They were amazing and I couldn’t have asked for a better one. They treated me as their own daughter and made me feel at home. I have promised them I will come back to see them in the future!
My free time in Sri Lanka
During my free time, I spent time with the other volunteers going to the many beautiful beaches around Galle or exploring the amazing waterfalls of Sri Lanka. Social events organised by Projects Abroad were also a great opportunity to meet all the other volunteers based around Sri Lanka.
Overall my time in Karapitya was great. I learnt a lot and made some good friends by my time was over before I knew it. I would advise new volunteers to open mind and you will learn a lot in this beautiful country.