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Program Safety and Security

Coronavirus Updates

Healthcare Internship Program to Resume on August 1, 2020 

July 6, 2020

We continue to actively monitor the ongoing COVID-19 emergency. At this time, all of International Medical Aid’s Healthcare Internships-East Africa beginning from the August 1, 2020 Program Start Date are moving forward as scheduled.

For prospective candidates, applications for late Summer 2020, Fall/Winter 2020 and Summer 2021 are open and rolling. You may view available Program Dates and apply directly on our website. If you have any questions or concerns, please contact Program Admissions at admissions@medicalaid.org.

Please continue to refer to this page for further updates and information.

 


Summer 2020 and Fall/Winter 2020 Internships 

March 31, 2020

International Medical Aid’s Leadership Team and Medical Advisory Board continue to actively monitor the recent outbreak of the respiratory illness caused by the novel coronavirus (COVID-19). On March 17, 2020, the Kenyan government issued a temporary entry ban that is scheduled to last 30-days. This proactive public health measure in addition to strict stay-at-home orders are meant to prevent the spread of COVID-19 within the country. At the time of this update, Kenya has reported 50 confirmed cases of COVID-19 and there are 3 confirmed cases in the city of Mombasa which hosts our flagship healthcare internship programs. We anticipate that these numbers will rise in the coming weeks. While it is difficult to predict the future of this virus, we are hopeful that Kenya’s strong, early and proactive approach will work to mitigate the outbreak in the region.

We remain in regular contact with public health officials in the United States and our host countries. At this time, all of International Medical Aid’s Summer 2020 and Fall/Winter 2020 Programs in East Africa are moving forward as planned. Should this change, we will communicate any necessary updates to our students, parents and university partners via email. As detailed previously (See Below), interns may also defer their placements to Fall/Winter 2020 or Summer 2021. We continue to relax our admissions policies and waive all change fees.

The health and safety of all of our students and staff is and will remain our highest priority. Below you will find additional information regarding the ongoing support and resources provided to each of our interns:

Program Safety and Security Measures

24 Hour Emergency Support by Thoroughly Trained Staff: Our U.S. based and on-site staff receive ongoing, in depth training in order to proactively prepare for and respond to emergencies and crises abroad. Our Crisis Management Team is made up of U.S. staff members who work hand in hand with on-site staff who are on-call 24/7 for emergencies and crises.

Crisis Management Plans and Protocols: International Medical Aid is armed with a detailed international crisis management plan and appropriate protocols in accordance with the plan. Leading international security firms have aided us in forming evacuation plans. Procedures are region-specific.

In-Country Network: Our programs’ on-site staff remain in contact with local police, public health officials as well as other governmental authorities. This includes consistent contact with local U.S. Embassies and consulates.

Comprehensive Program and Hospital Orientations: At the time of program entry, ALL students participate in a mandatory orientation program. This program pays close attention to recognized medical, safety, and security risks in their city and/ or region. During the aforementioned orientation, every student is provided with details as to how they can avoid or mitigate risks we recognize in their geographic area. They are also provided with written or printed information. This includes, but is not limited to, local maps, local emergency contacts and coordinating phone numbers, and more specific instructions regarding various medical, safety, and security issues.

Program Residences: All students are offered modern dormitory-style accommodations which are located within gated, secure communities. Every intern will be provided with consistent access to hot water/ showers, as well as clean bottled water. On-site professional housekeeping staff will be available to assist students with laundry and ensure that residences are regularly cleaned. Beginning this summer, we will also be increasing our cleaning protocols to include disinfecting products which have been found to work effectively against the coronavirus (COVID 19) and other such viruses.

Monitoring of Local & World News/ Events: Our Crisis Management Team will receive live safety and security alerts pertaining to all of our locations globally. They will follow up by consulting with private sources and governmental global security experts.

Travel Medical and Evacuation Insurance: International Medical Aid provides each of our interns with $1,000,000 max limit ($500 deductible) of comprehensive travel medical insurance. This insurance may be used anywhere, excluding the student’s home country. For many eligible medical expenses, there is no required deductible, and no out of pocket maximum. Charges resulting directly or indirectly from a pre-existing condition are not covered by this insurance plan. Emergency medical evacuations which are the direct result of acute onset of a pre-existing condition are covered up to $25,000. For more information regarding the terms of student insurance plans, please see the following Sample Policy.

On-Going Communications: In the case of a serious event, we will provide consistent communication between students, parents/ guardians, our centers, and schools throughout the process. Our focus will be to ensure that all parties receive up-to-date information.

Cell Phone and Internet Access: We will provide each of our interns with basic data and minutes package for their cell phones while in country. All of our program residence locations will have reliable access to Wifi, allowing interns to remain in contact with their parents and loved ones back home.

Lastly, it is worth noting that

  1. For the most part, students are not members of a population which may succumb to COVID-19 and its symptoms. Those populations include those who are immunocompromised and the elderly.
  2. As opposed to most travelers, students receive support on the ground at their many study sites by professional faculty and staff. They are also supported by others who work to assure that students are provided with information, assistance, guidance, and help when necessary.

 


A Message for Enrolled Summer 2020 Interns and Prospective Candidates

March 12, 2020

International Medical Aid’s Leadership Team and Medical Advisory Board are actively monitoring the outbreak of the 2019 Novel Coronavirus (COVID 19) and its impact on international travel. We recognize the concern associated with this recent coronavirus outbreak for students, families and our university partners. The health and safety of students and staff abroad is always our top priority. We remain committed to following the guidance of the CDC, WHO, US State Department, and all relevant local health authorities. Our staff is in daily communication with local embassies and public health officials as we continue to ensure that our risk management procedures and protocols align with best practices.

At the present time, all of our Summer 2020 and Fall/Winter 2020 Programs in East Africa are operating as planned and our programs have not been directly impacted by the outbreak (See Updates from U.S. Embassy in Nairobi). There are no confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Kenya and the country remains safe and open to visitors. Should this change and we deem it necessary to cancel or postpone placements, we will contact you with alternative options as soon as possible.

We understand that this is a dynamic situation and are working to be as flexible as possible. Accordingly, we have relaxed some admissions policies to allow students to defer Summer 2020 Placements to Fall/Winter 2020 or Summer 2021 at no cost. Any amount paid towards a Summer 2020 Placement may be used towards a Fall/Winter 2020 or Summer 2021 Placement.

As we are doing today, we will continue to provide important updates in the coming weeks. Rest assured, our entire team in the United States, East Africa, and South America is here to provide you guidance and support every step of the way.

Please feel free to reach out to us with any questions or concerns via email or schedule a call with our staff using the following link.

Resources for Additional Information and Updates

Program Safety and Security

International Medical Aid maintains a 100% safety rating and our organization has had no incidents with interns or staff in any of our programs.


 

International Medical Aid (IMA) makes every effort to assure the safety of our interns and staff. We provide ample local guidance and 24/7, U.S.-based support for interns and their loved ones. We provide interns a full orientation of the local area in addition to physician led orientations of the placement site including an overview of AAMC’s Guidelines for Premedical and Medical Students Providing Patient Care During Clinical Experiences Abroad and OSHA’s Universal Precautions. 

All our residences are located within the safest neighborhoods of the cities in which we operate. Each residence is enclosed in a gated community with 24/7 security staff. We employ only designated, private transportation for our interns and disallow the use of public transport. In case of exposure to infectious disease, interns will have access to Post-Exposure Prophylaxis. We offer all our interns comprehensive travel, accident, and health insurance. All treks and safaris organized by IMA Safaris Africa contract vetted travel partners and trusted guides. Furthermore, we continuously monitor advisories from the U.S. Department of State and when deemed necessary, proactively take measures to protect our interns and staff.

24/7 U.S. Based and Local Support

International Medical Aid provides a single point of contact for parents, loved ones and home colleges of interns who are traveling abroad that is available 24/7 via email, phone, and text (iMessage, SMS, WhatsApp). Interns will be provided with a local cell phone or local SIM card for their phone so that they may stay in touch with Program Staff, fellow interns, and loved ones back home. Additionally, interns will have 24/7 wifi access in all of our Program Residences.

Experienced Program Mentors

All interns are assigned a dedicated Program Mentor who will be responsible for guiding participants throughout the entire internship experience. Program Mentors will provide detailed pre-departure instructions including packing lists, assistance with flight planning and vaccination advice. Additionally, all interns will be provided with a Comprehensive Program Schedule which will provide a detailed, daily overview of hospital rotations and activities. Upon arrival, each intern will be personally met at the airport by a Program Mentor and accompanied to the local Program Residence. Each intern will be given a comprehensive local area orientation in addition to a detailed orientation of their placement hospital led by a senior member of the facility’s staff.

Travel, Accident and Health Insurance

International Medical Aid provides each intern with $1,000,000 of top-rated travel insurance that will cover most medical and dental expenses, medical evacuation, lost luggage costs*, and trip interruption coverage*. This insurance is underwritten by Sirius International which holds an “A” rating by A.M. Best. A Sample Policy may be viewed on the carrier’s website. This insurance is among the strongest and most comprehensive coverage offered by any student travel organization in the United States. Should medical care be needed in East Africa, there are a number of private hospitals in Kenya including Aga Khan Hospital, Mombasa and Aga Khan University Hospital in Nairobi which is an internationally recognized, Joint Commission Accredited facility.

*Region Specific Coverage Varies

Structured Clinical Rotations - AAMC Compliant

Based on a model developed by our founders at Johns Hopkins, International Medical Aid’s internships allow students to gain meaningful insight to different medical specialties in major teaching hospitals outside of the United States under the supervision of experienced hospital faculty. All of IMA’s programs are compliant with the Association of American Medical College’s Guidelines for Premedical and Medical Students Providing Patient Care During Clinical Experiences Abroad.

Modern and Secure Program Residences

International Medical Aid’s Program Residences provide interns with safe, modern dormitory style accommodations in apartments located within secured, gated communities. Our Program Residences are centrally located within the safest neighborhoods in the cities in which we operate. All Program Residences have professional security staff on-site 24/7.

Dedicated, Private Transportation

International Medical Aid provides interns with safe, reliable daily transportation to/from their placement site as well as all air-port transfers. IMA employs only private, chartered transportation with vetted drivers who pass extensive background and safety checks. Interns will have access to this transportation for any additional trips which are outside of the Program Fee including trips to local cafes or attractions.

Questions or concerns about any of International Medical Aid Programs? Please contact our Program Support Team at support@medicalaid.org or schedule a call with a Program Advisor.

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