Medical Expeditions

Help us treat 180,000 patients every year.

Use your medical or dental skills to treat isolated communities living in poverty as part of one of our remarkable floating healthcare projects on the Peruvian Amazon and Lake Victoria, Tanzania.

Bring your knowledge and passion aboard our fully-equipped medical vessels on a 2-week expedition, and play your part in changing the lives of those most in need.


Join the team and help transform lives! As we only have a limited number of places, .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) to confirm availability before applying.

If you've already checked our availability, apply now!

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146

Medical & Dental Volunteers in 2016

180,000

Medical Consultations Predicted in 2017

1,300,000

Medical Consultations in Total

Climb aboard and join the team

As a qualified, registered clinician, Vine Trust enables you to become part of an extraordinary initiative, providing primary healthcare to remote communities.

Operating from one of our two medical vessels, fully equipped with operating theatres, dental surgeries, consultation rooms and pharmacies, you will sail to communities who would otherwise have little or no access to basic health services.

As part of a team of between 4-8 volunteers, you will live and work on the ship alongside permanent in-country clinical staff, treating a wide variety of common health issues, and educating local people on health and sanitation, in each community you reach during your 2 week expedition.

Challenge yourself

You don’t need any previous knowledge or experience of tropical medicine, or be able to speak Spanish or Swahili. Our team of medics and translators will support you throughout your expedition, enabling you to make the most of your time in this challenging and rewarding environment.

Volunteers from past expeditions have told us they found their experience on board immensely valuable and fulfilling, both professionally and personally. Apply your clinical skills in innovative ways to treat vulnerable communities in the most unique and incredible settings on the planet!

Climb aboard! Contact health@vinetrust.org to check availability and then apply online

Tanzania Medical Expeditions

Bring primary healthcare to the isolated communities of Lake Victoria, Tanzania, as part of Vine Trust’s latest healthcare initiative. MV Jubilee Hope, a 160-ton former Royal Navy Tender, refitted for purpose, will be your base as you travel to the vulnerable communities on the shores and islands of the lake.

Launched by HRH The Princess Royal and operating since 2015, Jubilee Hope has held over 100,000 consultations for some of the estimated 450,000 people in the area who have little or no access to medical care.

Cooperating with regional, national and international partners, you will provide a range of primary healthcare services, including General Medicine, Dentistry, Mother & Child clinics, and HIV testing/treatment. You will be fully immersed in the colourful and vibrant Tanzanian culture, visiting communities and meeting the locals. Find out more about this project in our Jubilee Hope Handbook.

Join the team as we aim to treat 100,000 patients each year from 2017!

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Peru Medical Expeditions

Help us provide basic health and dental care to the rural communities of the Peruvian Amazon. Since 2001, Vine Trust’s Amazon Hope Programme has worked closely with the Peruvian Ministry of Health to provide a regular healthcare service to over 160 remote communities on the Amazon and its tributaries.

In July 2014, we treated our 1 millionth patient, and we have now treated over 1.2 million local people, free of charge.

Practice your clinical skills in the heart of the spectacular Amazonian rainforest, visiting local villages and enjoying the incredible natural surroundings. Find out more information in our Amazon Hope Handbook.

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Clinical Tasks

We are unable to guarantee what health issues will be presented as each expedition will be different. It is, however, likely that clinical tasks may include:

  • managing tropical diseases (including malaria)
  • basic obstetric care
  • treating minor injuries
  • undertaking minor surgery
  • paediatrics
  • tooth fillings & extractions
  • health education.

Please note our in-country staff will provide you with all the necessary support. There is no need to be concerned if you have not previously treated a health complaint. You will only be expected to treat health issues within your clinical area which you are comfortable in dealing with.

Cost

For 2017, Jubilee Hope Expedition in Tanzania costs £1100. An Amazon Hope Expedition will cost £1375.

Both of these prices cover a £545 contribution towards the medical projects that is used to help run and maintain these life changing services, internal transport and your food, water and accommodation.

It does not include international flights (we can book the flights to access charitable rates), any visa costs, immunisations or anti-malarial tablets required.

Frequently Asked Questions

If you are a fully-qualified clinical professional, then the answer is yes! We welcome your application if you are a:

  • doctor
  • GP within the NHS or working in OOH care
  • dentist in practice in the UK 
  • nurse or nurse practitioner in primary care or A&E (or similar setting)
  • doctor working in emergency care, A&E or Paediatrics (or with previous experience of working in primary care)
  • ophthalmologist, optometrist or optician
  • senior medical or dental student
  • other medical healthcare professional with an interest in helping provide primary healthcare to communities living in severe poverty.

Please note that all healthcare professionals must be registered with the appropriate body (such as the GMC, GDN, GNC, etc.) and hold a license to practise.

You will join the full time staff on board our medical ships, staying and working on board for 10 days. (Travel time and overnight stops take up the rest of your 2 weeks.) Depending on your personal skill set, you will be involved in daily open surgeries where you may be expected to be involved in the assessment and treatment of tropical diseases (including malaria), basic obstetric care, minor injuries, minor surgery, paediatrics and dental care.

You will be staying in the accommodation on board the medical ships for the majority of your trip (apart from stays at a hotel at the beginning and end). We welcome couples on board the ships but at this time can only offer single beds.

The 2017 cost of a Jubilee Hope Expedition is £1100, while an Amazon Hope Expedition will cost £1375. Both of these prices include a £545 contribution towards the medical projects which is used to help run and maintain these life-changing services.
This cost includes internal transport, food, water and accommodation. It does not include international flights (which can be arranged by Vine Trust) and any visa, immunisations or anti-malarial tablets required.

It is always important to visit your GP before you travel for a medical check-up and to talk through the vaccinations needed. For the most up to date information on vaccinations needed please see:

Peru: www.fitfortravel.nhs.uk/destinations/south-america--antarctica/peru.aspx

Tanzania: www.fitfortravel.nhs.uk/destinations/africa/united-republic-of-tanzania.aspx

For general health advice for travelling overseas, including advise for visiting Peru or Tanzania, please visit: https://www.gov.uk/browse/abroad/travel-abroad

Tanzania: Volunteers with a British passport do not need a visa in advance of their trip, on arrival in Tanzania you will be required to fill out a simple form and pay $50 dollars for a tourist visa. Volunteers who do not have a British passport should make their own enquiries about the necessity for a visa.  

Peru: Volunteers with a British passport do not need a visa for working on Amazon Hope. Volunteers who do not have a British passport should make their own enquiries about the necessity for a visa.

To ensure the quality of service provided to the people in Peru and Tanzania is of the highest standard, and in keeping with Vine Trust’s commitment with the Ministry of Health in Peru and Tanzania, all healthcare volunteers with the Vine Trust will be confirmed as having current eligibility to practise as a clinician in the UK and that they remain in good professional standing. For Doctors it will also be necessary to confirm that you hold a current GMC licence to practise.

Doctors - current GMC regulations require all doctors to hold a Licence to Practise; this lapses as soon as a retirement has been confirmed unless the Doctor undertakes additional steps to retain the same. Whilst revalidation is for 5 years, the License to Practise is linked to working in a recognised clinical environment (technically under supervision of a Responsible Officer) and therefore lapses on retirement. The Vine Trust would wish to encourage doctors to consider undertaking an Amazon Hope trip whilst their License to Practise is still valid; the alternative is to volunteer as a general helper alongside colleagues who still have full practising rights. The doctor offering supervision would be required to take clinical responsibility for all decisions. It is expected that, on board, the skills of all volunteers will be recognised and used to best help the people of Peru and Tanzania.

Dentists and Nurses - at present GDC and NMC registration continues to next renewal point and so Vine Trust welcomes volunteers from Dentists and Nurses during the period of their continued registration after retirement. Thereafter the supervision model described above for Doctors would pertain.