VETERINARY AND ANIMAL CONSERVATION

The pre-vet internship abroad programme is uniquely designed with vet, pre-vet, vet tech, vet nurses and broader animal science students with strong interest in wildlife medicine and conservation in mind. If you are keen to develop your clinical skills, including patient intake, physical examination, compiling medical records, diagnoses, interpreting test results, then selecting and administering treatment; this programme is definitely for you!

What's the programme about?

You will work alongside professional vets and vet nurses between several sites, including a 24-hour vet clinic, a wildlife rescue & rehabilitation sanctuary, a dairy farm as well as at a vet lab. It is the perfect internship to learn about veterinary science (animal care), hands-on wildlife healthcare experience, assisting in surgical procedures, and outreach clinics in local communities. Interaction with local villages and communities educating them on animal-human relations, rescue and transfer of injured, abused or orphaned animals from around the surrounding areas as well as ambulatory vet work on local farms. 

Who should apply?

If you’re interested in tropical medicine, you’ll learn about the prevention and treatment of malaria, tuberculosis and schistosomiasis. We do absolutely take precautionary measures when it comes to preparing programme participants though – so your own risk exposure will be minimised. If you’re a medical, nursing or physician assistant student, you’ll be involved as both an observer and an active participant in the diagnosis and treatment of infections that present challenges to Zimbabwe’s people and health care system. Zimbabwe’s medical professionals are, however, cost conscious and well-versed in adequately treating their patients’ conditions despite the developing conditions within their institutions. You’ll see their knowledge, resilience and strength under pressure at work first-hand if you participate in one of our programmes.

WHAT CAN YOU DO AS AN INTERN?

  • Practice taking a comprehensive or focused medical history based on the symptoms and reasons why the patient is at the facility
  • Complete clinical examinations of the patient(s) and screen for signs of illness
  • Prepare differential diagnosis reports
  • Present assessment and treatment management plans
  • Practice cost-conscious medicine
  • Attend weekly grand rounds and interact with local Zimbabwean healthcare students
  • Work at least 150 hours in total throughout the duration of your global health internship experience

HOW CAN YOU MAKE A DIFFERENCE?

Doctors, nurses and physician assistants will rely heavily on the medical history and physical examination results you record as there are limited resources available in Zimbabwe for extensive testing or imaging studies. Therefore, the knowledge you’ve gained at home will help result in more comprehensive analysis and diagnosis.

You will be participating in the provision of healthcare to a patient population that is quite unique. Each new person you meet will be very different from the individuals you have worked with in your home country, as their needs are shaped by their daily struggles and ability to overcome local challenges.

What are the highlights of the programme?
  • Multi-site internship – exposing you to the diversity of the veterinary and animal science field
  • First-hand experience inside a surgical vet clinic
  • Learn on the go with the mobile vet clinic conducting community outreach work
  • Participate in hands-on learning experience on treating injured wildlife 
  • Interact with locals, and share ideas on veterinary issues, and how to solve existing community challenges
  • Get up close and personal with wildlife within the natural habitats as well as domestic animals
  • Earn academic credit while enjoying an adventure of a lifetime
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What does a potential itinerary look like?

Day 1: Arrive in Zimbabwe

Day 2-6: Harare

  • In-country orientation
  • Zimbabwe: a country of many contrasts
  • Local area tour
  • Health and safety workshop (bush survival guide)
  • Culture shock seminar
  • Animal rescue and veterinary service learning
  • Welcome dinner

Day 7-11: Animal rescue sanctuary

  • Rehabilitation of wildlife 
  • Game Park management 
  • Environment and wildlife rehabilitation
  • Community outreach and conservation awareness 

Day 12-14: Kariba

  • Bush & animal behaviour training
  • Human-animal relations
  • Anti-poaching and game tracking/monitoring
  • Eco-schools programme

Day 15: Departure 

The above is a provisional 2-week itinerary, which we will customise to match the needs of the specific site, the activities being undertaken during that season as well as your academic goals.

Where will you stay?

The 24-hour veterinary service as its name suggests, offers round the clock clinic and surgical services to animals in Harare. It is a great place for pre-vet, vet, and vet-tech students to complete the service-learning component of the educational tour or internship hours. In addition to participating at the clinic, there are plenty of opportunities to take part in the outreach work alongside professional local vets, who from time to time participate in Rhino dehorning exercises, spay campaigns as well as community vet clinics to sterilise dogs and cats. 

Accommodation: shared rooms or dormitories. Food, towels and soap included. 

 

Kariba

A resort town, built on the steep hills, 370 kilometres above the Lake. Home to the Legend of the Nyaminyami ‘The River God’, which locals believe to have lived in the depths of the Lake, and was separated from the female Nyaminyami when the bridge was constructed in order to facilitate for the hydro-electric power plant that remains today. Approximately fifty thousand people were displaced on both the Zimbabwe and Zambia sides in order to make way for the construction of the project. Paradoxically, the construction of the power station is said to be the World Bank’s most successful project in the world. There are several islands and wildlife parks surrounding Kariba, including the Chewore Safari Area where Dinosaur footprints were found and are reserved to this day. 

Accommodation: Safari tented rooms on the shores of Zambezi River.

Wildlife Animal Sanctuary

No animal is turned away…Ambulatory vet service to surrounding community 

Community dog immunisation and feeding clinic once a week

University of Zimbabwe & Government Veterinary Laboratory

What do you need to apply?

Tiritose supports volunteers and interns coming to Zimbabwe and ensures that the experience is equally rewarding for yourself and our programme.

Intern – education /skills/work experience required

  • Only students currently enrolled in medical school or Residency are eligible for the programme as it is clinical in nature.
  • Experience within a medical or health setting would be beneficial.
  • Positive, can-do attitude.
  • Skills:  Communication, organisational, reading and writing.
  • Students or residents need to be comfortable with rural village life if they choose the rural hospital option.

You’ll need to send proof of your:

  • Education, skills and work experience in the form of a CV, documentation from your school and reference letters.
  • Current enrollment in a professional, accredited, medical or healthcare programme of education

We’ll also need:

  • A list of references we can contact to confirm your experience, organisational skills and reading and writing ability – especially when it comes to interacting with patients and taking histories to have an initial online interview with you to assess your communication skills

programme highlights

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WHY SHOULD YOU APPLY?

Some of the topics covered during the internship that carry transferable credit include: animal behaviour and reproduction; practical wildlife learning (animal, bird monitoring/surveys), and environmental audits), bush and wildlife theory (ecology, outdoorsmanship); small animal care (prepare food and bottle feed orphans and reptiles, clean enclosures, clean wounds), habitat enrichment (construction of activity centres for primates, and making toys to stimulate foraging). Vet, pre-vet, and vet tech students can expect to work with a diverse range of animals, both indigenous and exotic to Zimbabwe, including big cats (lions), hyenas, buffalos, giraffes, donkeys, owls, endangered species like the African wild dog as well as reptiles.

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