Program Safety and Security

Coronavirus Update

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.