If you’re interested in a career in public health, pursuing a degree in a related field, or already employed in the public health sector, then you have an idea of how critical its initiatives are.
Public health personnel, and the interns and volunteers who help them, improve the lives of millions of people worldwide. In the United States alone, the average citizen’s lifespan has been extended by 30 years! But it’s not just the United States that’s enjoying better health and longevity: great progress has been made in to prevent death, and raise life expectancy through improving the living conditions of people everywhere.
During the 20th century, public health professionals achieved many accomplishments:
- Eradicated smallpox and developed vaccines for many other diseases
- Reduced child mortality
- Decreased the instances of HIV/AIDS and founded a coalition in Africa
- Improved access to safe water and sanitation
- Increase awareness for road safety and tobacco control
- Improved preparedness and response to global threats
- Established nuclear test bans
We don’t know how much we would have accomplished without volunteers to support these initiatives, but we know there’s much more work needed. Without volunteers, public health professionals couldn’t complete their mission.
Volunteers and interns for public health programs don’t always need experience to be useful. Doctors, nurses, paramedics, and other health-related professionals provide critical services, but the average volunteer or intern can lend support in the areas of educating the public about health and safety issues, performing administrative work at clinics and health hotlines, delivering meals to the homebound and elderly, caring for children while parents seek help, and even cleaning and repairing structures. From the important to the menial, all tasks matter and help to build a healthier, happier world community.
There’s also the fact that working in public health can improve your social skills and leadership abilities while building your resume through job-related experience. This is important because healthcare, healthcare support, and personal care fields are among the fastest growing sectors with a projected growth of 15.6 million new jobs by 2022! Take a look at the outstanding opportunities below to allow you to live abroad while gaining in-depth experience, or sharing your own expertise, in public health.